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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 236380 30-May-2018 12:57
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Just received:

 

 

Spark is launching a public campaign to contact former customers so that the business can return credits left on accounts from when they left Spark. Over the next week, around 135,000 former customers will be sent an email or letter prompting them to go to the Spark website and enter their details, so Spark can return these credits to them.

 

Like many businesses with variable monthly bills, when customers leave Spark there may be a small credit or debit left on their account. A minority of those customers who left Spark in the last seven years still have credit left on their old account. These credits range from a few cents to over $100.

 

Grant McBeath, Acting CEO of Spark Home Mobile and Business says, “There is a range of reasons why a former customer might have a credit left on their old account. Some customers were left in credit at the end of their account termination process due to the way their final bill was calculated. Some customers didn’t cancel an automatic payment before leaving or mistakenly paid their final bill twice. Or in some cases, a refund from a billing error on Spark’s part was discovered after customers had left Spark.

 

“Whatever the reason, the credit remains on these old accounts and we want to give the money back. This money is held for the customer until it is paid back.”

 

Spark has communicated with many of the former customers with credits previously. If it doesn’t hold a customer’s bank details, in most cases the customer receives a notification of their credit in their final bill or receives an email or letter at a later stage when a credit is retrospectively made to their account. Some customers have also received reminders by email or letter.

 

While lots of people have successfully received their credit this way, Spark has not yet reached everyone – and some haven’t claimed their money. For instance, when people have changed their email or physical address and their final bill or reminder letters didn’t reach them, if former customers don’t open their mail/ email – or if they simply don’t bother to claim what might be a relatively small amount. Unfortunately, whatever the scenario, if we don’t have current bank account details for the customer, we can’t refund the credit.

 

Spark is in discussions with the Commerce Commission about a billing system issue and two operational issues that relate to a small proportion of the outstanding credits. While this investigation is ongoing, it prompted Spark to look take a look at the broader issue of account credits. As a result, we decided to take a more public, proactive approach and run a public campaign to encourage former customers to claim their credits.

 

McBeath explains, “We want anyone with a credit to get their money back. Once a customer has left us, it becomes harder to track them down and then verify their identity to make sure we give the credit to the right person – while also making it as easy as possible to claim their credit. So, we’re launching a public campaign and contacting former customers who have a credit from the last seven years to remind them of this.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to the editor:

 

If a customer has left Spark in the last seven years and has a credit, we’ll send them a letter or an email to their last known address. Note that this applies to Home, Mobile and Business customers with a credit balance of $1 or more, but excludes Government, Enterprise or Corporate accounts, customers in receivership, liquidation or deceased estates, or customers where mail has been returned previously.

 

Alternatively, if a customer has their old Spark account number handy, they should head to spark.co.nz/refund and fill out the form and we’ll let them know if they have a credit. If a customer doesn’t have their old Spark account number, we’ll need to check a few details our end, so they should click on the ‘Don’t know your account number’ link. This website is available to former customers on a permanent basis.

 

Customers with a credit can choose to have their money sent to a personal bank account, transferred to a different Spark account, or donated to one of the worthy causes at the Spark Foundation.

 





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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 2025644 30-May-2018 12:57
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I do hope scammers don't take the opportunity to send out phishing emails to collect account numbers, names and passwords...





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  Reply # 2025669 30-May-2018 13:19
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freitasm:

 

I do hope scammers don't take the opportunity to send out phishing emails to collect account numbers, names and passwords...

 

 

Way to go. Murphy and Sod have now sprung into action I'm sure....





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  Reply # 2025692 30-May-2018 14:15
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Didn't they do this a year or 2 ago as well? I seem to remember getting an email from them to claim my credit. 


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  Reply # 2025693 30-May-2018 14:16
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throbb:

 

Didn't they do this a year or 2 ago as well? I seem to remember getting an email from them to claim my credit. 

 

 

So I'm not going crazy then! Yeah, I remember something about that.


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  Reply # 2025844 30-May-2018 18:58
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It sounds like they are trying to prove to their auditors that they have made an effort to give back these credits, so that they can write the unclaimed amounts back to their P&L.


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  Reply # 2025848 30-May-2018 19:07
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alasta:

 

It sounds like they are trying to prove to their auditors that they have made an effort to give back these credits, so that they can write the unclaimed amounts back to their P&L.

 

 

The amounts are small. The amounts are liabilities, so a Balance Sheet item, so no affect on P+L, although I am far enough out of the accounting industry to not be aware now, when such writebacks are legal. I'd suggest 7 years minimum.

 

In todays competitive world, this is an added value with no cost 


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  Reply # 2025881 30-May-2018 19:51
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tdgeek:

 

alasta:

 

It sounds like they are trying to prove to their auditors that they have made an effort to give back these credits, so that they can write the unclaimed amounts back to their P&L.

 

 

The amounts are small. The amounts are liabilities, so a Balance Sheet item, so no affect on P+L, although I am far enough out of the accounting industry to not be aware now, when such writebacks are legal. I'd suggest 7 years minimum.

 

 

Yes, it sits on the balance sheet as a liability until such time as someone decides it's not going to be claimed, and consequently you inflate your profit by debiting the liability and crediting the P&L. 

 

I remember pushing back against this practice when I worked for an Australian owned corporate.


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  Reply # 2025884 30-May-2018 19:56
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alasta:

 

tdgeek:

 

alasta:

 

It sounds like they are trying to prove to their auditors that they have made an effort to give back these credits, so that they can write the unclaimed amounts back to their P&L.

 

 

The amounts are small. The amounts are liabilities, so a Balance Sheet item, so no affect on P+L, although I am far enough out of the accounting industry to not be aware now, when such writebacks are legal. I'd suggest 7 years minimum.

 

 

Yes, it sits on the balance sheet as a liability until such time as someone decides it's not going to be claimed, and consequently you inflate your profit by debiting the liability and crediting the P&L. 

 

I remember pushing back against this practice when I worked for an Australian owned corporate.

 

 

As I said, Im unsure now of the time frame for that, but even then its an Extraordinary Item, as its outside normal trading income/expenditure. So yes, it can boost the bottom line, but not the real bottom line. 


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  Reply # 2025942 30-May-2018 21:14
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alasta:

 

tdgeek:

 

alasta:

 

It sounds like they are trying to prove to their auditors that they have made an effort to give back these credits, so that they can write the unclaimed amounts back to their P&L.

 

 

The amounts are small. The amounts are liabilities, so a Balance Sheet item, so no affect on P+L, although I am far enough out of the accounting industry to not be aware now, when such writebacks are legal. I'd suggest 7 years minimum.

 

 

Yes, it sits on the balance sheet as a liability until such time as someone decides it's not going to be claimed, and consequently you inflate your profit by debiting the liability and crediting the P&L. 

 

I remember pushing back against this practice when I worked for an Australian owned corporate.

 

 

 

 

Stuff posted this in their article today:

 

"If the credit is unclaimed in seven years, balances over $100 are transferred to the IRD. However, the customer can claim the money at any point in the future, regardless of whether it has been transferred to the IRD."

 

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/104317751/spark-to-refund-more-than-1m-to-135000-former-customers

 

So any unclaimed moneys will not stay with Spark.





My views are my own, and may not necessarily represent those of my employer.



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  Reply # 2045938 29-Jun-2018 10:35
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Just received:

 

 

Spark has so far refunded almost 20,000 former customers who had credits on their accounts. 

 

Last month, Spark launched a public campaign to encourage former customers to claim refunds. Of the almost 135,000 former customers contacted by mail or email at their last known address, around 15% have so far claimed their money. 

 

Grant McBeath, Acting CEO of Spark Home, Mobile and Business says, “This is a good start toward our goal of making sure our past customers get what’s theirs. We’re keeping the claims website open and we hope many more visit it and give us the details we need to confirm if they're owed a refund.” 

 

McBeath said there were a range of reasons why a former customer might have a credit left on their old account. Some were left in credit at the end of their account termination process due to the way their final bill was calculated. Others didn’t cancel an automatic payment before leaving or mistakenly paid their final bill twice. In some cases, a refund from a billing error on Spark’s part was discovered after customers had left. 

 

Spark has contacted those customers who left sometime in the last seven years and have a balance of $1 or more. Customers are being given the choice of having their money sent to a personal bank account, transferred to a different Spark account, or donated to a worthy cause at the Spark Foundation. 

 

Anyone who believes they might have a refund on their old Spark account can head to www.spark.co.nz/refund to check if they’re owed anything. 

 





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