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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 238250 9-Jul-2018 11:00
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Just received:

 

 

The Commission has laid 11 charges against Spark New Zealand Trading Limited (Spark) alleging it made false or misleading representations relating to its billing and a $100 offer for new customers.

The charges were filed in Auckland District Court under the Fair Trading Act and cover the period 2 June 2014 to 7 December 2017.

The Commission says the charges arose from three separate alleged failings:

 

     

  1. Spark overcharged customers for broadband data when a fault in Spark’s broadband network misrecorded customer data usage.
     
  2. Spark sent letters offering new customers a $100 account credit for subscribing to a particular broadband plan but failed to mention the offer could only be redeemed by phoning Spark. The offers allegedly created the impression that customers signing up online would receive the credit, when they would not.
     
  3. From 2 June 2014, Spark’s terms and conditions said charges would stop 30 days after the customer gave notice to terminate their contract. However, the Commission alleges that the customer’s final bill included charges for the entire next monthly billing period regardless of when the Spark service stopped. 

 

As this case is before the Court, the Commission cannot comment further at this time.

 





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  Reply # 2051869 9-Jul-2018 11:28
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The $100 credit only for phoning is sneaky.  Waiting on hold for Spark would be annoying enoguh for people to put it off and then forget.

 

Like a cash back offer it's predicated on a proportion of people forgetting to do it.  Those sorts of offers always strike me as disingenuous.

 

I got a Spark flyer recently offering free Netflix - as an existing account holder, it wasn't very clear if and how this applied.

 

Are we back to the use of confusion as a marketing tool again?

 

 





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  Reply # 2051876 9-Jul-2018 11:36
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How many retailers have got into trouble in recent times? Many. I'd be looking at what has been intentional and what has been an error, or oversight, or could have been better done. Recent examples last week, PBT and CGA, Air NZ in a freight cartel. Both are hardly an accident. Its not always sneaky


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  Reply # 2051899 9-Jul-2018 11:45
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tdgeek:

 

How many retailers have got into trouble in recent times? Many. I'd be looking at what has been intentional and what has been an error, or oversight, or could have been better done. Recent examples last week, PBT and CGA, Air NZ in a freight cartel. Both are hardly an accident. Its not always sneaky

 

 

Fair call.  Mistakes and poor judgement aren't as bad as deliberate sneakiness, but they still shouldn't happen in large company with plenty of resources and specialist personnel.

 

But why have the requirement to ring up at all to get the advertised discount, when someone is signing up online.

 

 





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  Reply # 2052102 9-Jul-2018 16:14
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I am not surprised at all. We have been charged by Spark for services canceled on many occasions. Once the service has been canceled 3-4x, yet we were still invoiced for them.


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  Reply # 2052106 9-Jul-2018 16:25
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I don't think it is intentional at all (knowing a bit about billing systems). 

 

This is the non-sexy business end of billing systems. Much focus is put on whizzy ways to price, invoice, collect, and automate. But, the refund side of a system is hardly ever a focus of RFP's.  It is one of those things that you think can be handled manually and the volumes for refunds is really miniscule fraction compared against overall billings. 

 

The commerce commission would be far better off targeting abuses of the CGA and the car spare parts industry!!   Why go after the minnows when the whales are swimming?

 

 


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  Reply # 2052193 9-Jul-2018 19:27
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MikeAqua:

 

tdgeek:

 

How many retailers have got into trouble in recent times? Many. I'd be looking at what has been intentional and what has been an error, or oversight, or could have been better done. Recent examples last week, PBT and CGA, Air NZ in a freight cartel. Both are hardly an accident. Its not always sneaky

 

 

Fair call.  Mistakes and poor judgement aren't as bad as deliberate sneakiness, but they still shouldn't happen in large company with plenty of resources and specialist personnel.

 

But why have the requirement to ring up at all to get the advertised discount, when someone is signing up online.

 

 

 

 

Larger companies have more complex systems than ledger books. It shouldn't happen, but its not ledger books these days, its software, having many systems interact. Lots of benefits there, but things can happen with computerisation. No excuse at all. More people can be staffed, and adjust the prices accordingly, but then that gets complaints too, or lost sales.


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  Reply # 2052361 10-Jul-2018 01:23
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surfisup1000:

I don't think it is intentional at all (knowing a bit about billing systems). 


This is the non-sexy business end of billing systems. Much focus is put on whizzy ways to price, invoice, collect, and automate. But, the refund side of a system is hardly ever a focus of RFP's.  It is one of those things that you think can be handled manually and the volumes for refunds is really miniscule fraction compared against overall billings. 


The commerce commission would be far better off targeting abuses of the CGA and the car spare parts industry!!   Why go after the minnows when the whales are swimming?


 



What is so special about the car spare parts industry? Sure, some parts can be bought heaps cheaper overseas. But that applies to heaps of other items as well.

There are also lots of cars here that were never sold brand new in NZ. Yet for most of them, you can still get parts and service for those models.





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  Reply # 2052755 10-Jul-2018 15:05
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Aredwood:

What is so special about the car spare parts industry?

 

Nothing but it is just another industry that rips people off. I read in an Aussie newspaper a story which stated that buying OEM parts to build a $25,000 new car would cost around $200,000 . 

 

The car manufacturers will warn you that using 3rd party parts will void your warranty. And, the electronic diagnostic systems and key systems are locked to outsiders. 

 

The aussie commerce commission was getting stuck into this issue. Not our commerce commission, they are really hopeless. 

 

 

 

 


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