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Topic # 138830 17-Jan-2014 22:19
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I received a letter today from Telecom. It contained about 6 paras of blather and fluff of little interest or consequence. But it also contained this sentence: 

"Also, from 17 February 2014, if you go over your data allowance you'll now pay 30c/MB."

They don't say what the current rate is. I couldn't recall.

I went to "MyTelecom". Couldn't find the current rate there.

I went to plans. The plans say the overage place is 20c/MB for 3 of the 4 tiers...the exception being the $99 plan which is 30c / MB. (The $139 plan is 20c/MB, as are the $69 plan and the one below that).

I then checked my bill and the overage charge there is 20c / MB.

So this is a huge price increase. the sentence - almost an afterthought - didn't make that clear. One might just as easily assume it was possibly a price reduction.

OK...so Telecom is increasing the data overage charge by 50%....to $300 / GB.  

Can you avoid this? Easily. Just buy a "Data Extra". You can buy 1.5 GB for $29...one-off or recurring monthly. So that's just under $20 / GB or just under 2c / MB.  You can get 3GB for $49 which is even cheaper. 

I guess I'm left wondering how anyone can justify a (approx) 1,500% effective penalty (or more vs the $49 option) for unplanned data use ($300 / GB vs $20 / GB). That seems extreme. 

I wonder if this is grounds for a complaint to the Commerce Commission? The vast differential between planned vs casual overages seems....well.....outrageous.   

Just to be clear: I'm on the $139 / month 3GB data , unlimited calling, unlimited txt plan. I also pay $29 / month recurring for an addtional 1.5GB of data. So this overage doesn't affect me because I pay attention and buy more data if I need it. 

But even so....the sheer severity of the penalty for not paying attention seems hostile and punitive. 





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  Reply # 969164 17-Jan-2014 22:26
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Sucks? Yes. Commerce commission? Not even remotely yes.

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  Reply # 969166 17-Jan-2014 22:28
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I've just come on here to ask whether or not anyone received the same letter. I thought that the method employed here was pretty sneaky - no mention of the current rate anywhere, and no mention that it's an increase. As you said, the sentence has been constructed in a way that it looks like an afterthought - presumably to draw as little attention to the increase as possible.

Sneaky, sneaky buggers. Luckily I'm on an open plan, so may have a look around at alternative options.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 969168 17-Jan-2014 22:30
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Sneaky yes. Legal yes. They only have an obligation to give notice of changes. Which they have. Don't like it don't stay with them or complain to them.

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  Reply # 969171 17-Jan-2014 22:37
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If anything, they should be charging less to gain more custom.

You run the risk of really ruining the experience of using data on a mobile casually if the customer doesn't understand the average website size vs the casual MB rate. It's quite discouraging but perhaps that's what Telecom are aiming for - get rid of small users or show them how nice you are when you wipe their balance and up sell a data add-on?

I'd rather see the add-on's thrown out, and pay for what I use only at a realistic rate when compared with the add-on price per MB. But then I'm not the typical kiwi, because I'd rather pay per calls on landlines and get what I pay for with pay per MB broadband too. Caps and limits ironically cost most people more than they use.




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  Reply # 969177 17-Jan-2014 22:42
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ahmad: Sucks? Yes. Commerce commission? Not even remotely yes.


I agree. The Commerce Commission web site makes it clear they are pretty toothless on almost everything except outright dishonest practice. The Telecommunications Act seems to be all about the new fibre infrastructure and the complaints documents makes it very clear it is for corporates only. 




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  Reply # 969178 17-Jan-2014 22:47
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ahmad: Sneaky yes. Legal yes. They only have an obligation to give notice of changes. Which they have. Don't like it don't stay with them or complain to them.


There really isn't much competition (sorry, JohnR). I carry both Vodafone and Telecom phones with me everywhere....and the first one to lose coverage - voice or data or both -  9 times out of 10 is the Vodafone phone.  My current job sees me travelling a lot...and I just can't be without coverage....as much as possible, anyway.

I was with my wife at Mosquito Bay (South Head) last weekend...and we were separated for a while. I was sending her txts...and she got none as she was on Vodafone and had no coverage while I was on Telecom and had 4 out of 5 bars. That's just one example. So Telecom still win the competition battle unless they REALLY screw up their pricing. Which they could do. I've also been a Vodafone customer for almost 20 years. They are a good company. 




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  Reply # 969180 17-Jan-2014 22:56
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Popcorn is in the microwave awaiting JohnR reply.

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  Reply # 969181 17-Jan-2014 22:56
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You can buy very small data extras, as small as $3 I believe.

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  Reply # 969182 17-Jan-2014 22:56
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I have to agree with that one. I was that close to sign up to Vodafone thinking that the network has improved in Tauranga area. Unfortunately it hasn't improve at all. I decided to stick with Telecom for now (maybe forever?). It seems like they care much about 4G but not wanting to improve their coverage.





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  Reply # 969184 17-Jan-2014 22:57
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Seriously they can charge whatever the hell they want.



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  Reply # 969185 17-Jan-2014 22:58
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ahmad: Popcorn is in the microwave awaiting JohnR reply.


JohnR knows I love him. :-)  But I'm also frank about my experiences over the past 4 years on the North Shore with respect to comparative coverage where I work and on the way to where I work (Beach Haven to Rosedale / Apollo Dr).   




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  Reply # 969186 17-Jan-2014 22:58
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In my opinion Telecom are having some cash flow trouble. Shedding staff, profit, and a loaded with a cumbersome and inefficient corporate structure.

Past management has been weak , despite high salaries.

Just look how slowly telecom is reacting to the UFB rollout.


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  Reply # 969187 17-Jan-2014 22:59
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ahmad: Seriously they can charge whatever the hell they want.


I don't think anyone's disputing that fact - it's more the way that they've done it that's going to make people feel a little uneasy.



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  Reply # 969188 17-Jan-2014 23:01
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ahmad: Seriously they can charge whatever the hell they want.


Fair enough...and I can trash talk them when they do it in a way that leaves you wondering where they left their ethics. 




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  Reply # 969193 17-Jan-2014 23:08
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Interesting, I threw away the letter assuming that 30c/MB was a reduction that but I see you're right it's an increase.

Might look into Vodafone

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