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  Reply # 590541 5-Mar-2012 11:47
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When I am on holiday be it in New Zealand or abroad I turn my Cellphone off




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  Reply # 590543 5-Mar-2012 11:48
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timestyles:
 

Can you think of any product that changes its price that dramatically when you move borders?



Cocaine.   


Bahahahahahahahahaha




Hmmmm


 
 
 
 


n4

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  Reply # 590554 5-Mar-2012 11:52
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antoniosk:
n4:

Except that 2degrees does real time data rating while roaming so you will either run into the limit of your prepaid credit or the operator credit limit (if you're postpaid and do nothing). If this is a concern to you, you can also set an additional (postpaid) spend limit yourself, which would stop you exceeding the amount of your choice (eg $200).


Does it?

I'm going away soon, it would be handy to know this actually works, and isn't held up for example, by delays in CDR's coming from foreign telco back to NZ.

Has ANYONE used 2D in Europe and found they could control their spend?


Yep used it last year in Europe. Normally my wife has a $50 spend limit (the user set one) as she has a $29 plan (the limit is on the cash spend over and above the plan cost). Cut her off half way through a call (although data was actually turned off it was calls/texts). You can go online to the user portal and lift the spend limit for that month, or pay something against the account so the limit is still in force.




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  Reply # 590559 5-Mar-2012 11:54

cisconz:
timestyles:
 

Can you think of any product that changes its price that dramatically when you move borders?



Cocaine.   


Bahahahahahahahahaha


its about 1/5th - 1/10th the price rather than 50x the price... 

gzt

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  Reply # 590566 5-Mar-2012 12:02
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gzt: The markup on the Telecom NZ end is just rorting as well, for what is essentially just billing only - no capacity required.

freitasm: Actually, it sounds crazy but... All traffic while roaming goes back to your provider's APN. So it means while you are overseas and visit cnn.com, the request comes from the USA to NZ, then back to the USA. Crazy...

Wow, amazing.

In a way that is good news because it follows there is really no reason they cannot implement session capture to advise the current roaming charge and charges so far before clicking ok for access.

freitasm: Nothing wrong with having local SIM cards...

I agree completely, only that sim swapping has some disadvantages and is just another thing to take care of.

At least something like TravelSim - http://www.travelsim.co.nz/ brings it down to one main SIM and reasonable rates. Never used the service, but it sounds good. Just one contact number when OOTC in multiple destinations.

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  Reply # 590581 5-Mar-2012 12:26
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PaulBrislen: Just had a look at some websites:

2Degrees Mobile - $20 per GB (you can get it cheaper but that's a nice round figure).
Telecom/Vodafone - $50 for 2GB (again, YMMV - let's call it $25)

So why would any reasonable customer expect to pay $30,000 for the same product just because he's in another country?

Can you think of any product that changes its price that dramatically when you move borders?

Coffee? Beer? Magazines? Books? Funny hats?

Nothing else works like that.

I understand that the customer should have paid attention. Yes, he should. But we should all be angry about the outrageous charges, not about his level of awareness.

There's a difference between charging a premium and rorting the customer - this is dangerously close to the latter.

Paul


 

Thats because none of those products work in even remotely the same way as roaming.

 

With roaming you are using someone else’s product (network) but are not actually a customer of that company. Instead you get  being billed for it by your home country’s network because you do not wish to inconvenience yourself by buying a sim for that country.

The closest analogy for a product like coffee would be going to a coffee shop in Spain and requiring that the Spanish café don't charge you directly, but isntead charge you via the tab you have setup at your coffee shop in your home country because you don’t wish to inconvenience yourself by becoming a customer of that coffee shop for the short time you are on holiday. If you suggested that to a café owner in spain they would laugh you out of the shop. 

The closest actual analogue to roaming I can think of to roaming is banking.  When you go overseas you are using a different company’s network of ATMs, but you do not require an account with them. instead you use the account from your home country’s bank.

so, loking at banking charges I can see that it is free for me to withdraw money from my banks ATM in NZ, but if I go overseas and try to withdraw money from an ATM there it costs me $2.  That is a multiplier of infinity. (not to mention the exchange rates are usually not that great either). Even if I am on one of those accounts which doesn’t include free withdrawals from NZ ATMs, it is still only 5c. compared to $2 that is a huge multiplier, similar to the roaming multiplier.

 

Yes, the total amount spent is likely to be much less, but that is because I don’t make thousands of transactions whilst there, and thus the risk of getting a bill for hundreds or thousands of dollars in transaction fees is small. The multiplier on a per-transaction basis is still much larger than the telco roaming multiplier though.



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  Reply # 590599 5-Mar-2012 12:43
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So from that I take it that:

1: The telcos have between them agreed on the price.
2: That price is extortionately high and everyone agrees it's a problem.
3: The telcos use an asinine way of moving the data around (tromboning it back to NZ etc).
4: The customers shouldn't complain because the price is high.

The first three points would suggest to me that it's the telcos that need to get their acts together and get it sorted not the customer.
The fourth point relies on having the first three points in place. Get rid of those and the fourth point clears itself up.

I don't care if the telcos trombone data. I don't care if the local guys can't reduce their prices because the offshore guys won't change theirs.

I just don't care about a business model that requires me NOT to use the product and service I have bought.

It's stupid and we as users shouldn't stand for it.
Complaining in the media is one way of forcing change, trying at a governmental level is another and the European Commission is coming down on the telcos like a ton of bricks (tonne) because they refuse to see the light of day.

Charging customers thousands of times more for a product is immoral and just plain bad business.

The MED is working with its Aussie counterpart to come up with a solution for trans-Tasman roaming. That's one part of it, but we sign multi-lateral trade deals every day - why isn't roaming part of that? If you want a free trade deal with the Trans-Pacific partnership you have to regulate the price of data roaming.

Simple.

No telco wants that, heck I don't want that, but if that's the only stick left to swing then we should be swinging it.

Telcos, the ball is in your court. Sort this nonsense out faster than you are or this is where it'll end up. Just take a look at Europe.

Paul

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  Reply # 590629 5-Mar-2012 13:15
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Its simple: the price is too damn high. With that said they are free to charge as they please and the guy could have picked up a local sim or chosen not to use it. The guy most likely assumed that the price would either be the same as in NZ or slightly more but not $2000 worth. Again, why did the guy not have a credit limit? If that were the case this would have never happened. I tried to get my account limited once but was not able to for some reason.

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  Reply # 590630 5-Mar-2012 13:18
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PaulBrislen: So from that I take it that:

1: The telcos have between them agreed on the price.
2: That price is extortionately high and everyone agrees it's a problem.
3: The telcos use an asinine way of moving the data around (tromboning it back to NZ etc).
4: The customers shouldn't complain because the price is high.

The first three points would suggest to me that it's the telcos that need to get their acts together and get it sorted not the customer.
The fourth point relies on having the first three points in place. Get rid of those and the fourth point clears itself up.

IPaul


yes to the first three, no to the fourth.


I agree that roaming is an issue, I jiust think your comparison to other products is rather disengenous because those products are not sold in a remotely similar way to telco products, and as such the comparison is not useful when trying to have a discussion about possible solutions.

Getting the overseas coffee shop to bill you via your home coffee shop is absurd, so the solution is to simply buy your coffee direct from the overseas ocffee shop.

I suggest you do the same thing for roaming. i.e. use a local sim.
you wouldn't expect your holiday coffee shop to send the bill for using their product back to your local coffee shop for anything less than a huge fee (if they agree at all), so why try?

you could even get a mifi type device, stick the local sim in it,  and that way you can keep your normal sim in your handset and retain the use of roaming voice and SMS but avoid roaming data costsI


 

As you have said often enough, the way to get telcos to act is by voting with your wallet so I would context that the ball is in the customers court.

 

Nobody is being forced to use roaming data.  If they want to avoid the fees then there is a very simple solution – get a local sim or even one of those travel sims.  If enough people start doing it then the roaming revenues will start to dry up and they will be forced to drop the price to compete.

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  Reply # 590640 5-Mar-2012 13:33
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I included those products because they fit into the user's psyche at about the same level as a gig of data. It's not so big I have to think about it, it's not so small it doesn't matter a damn. Coffee, newspapers, buying a book, buying a gig of data. Roughly similar in terms of price, roughly similar in terms of portability. I buy them all on a regular basis.

There is no other product or service that jumps by a thousand fold when I move offshore. None.

I understand completely that "nobody is forced" to use data while roaming, but that's the whole point - the user is being encouraged to use data in a way that makes it appear to the user that data is cheap. Because it is.

At home the data costs are either included in the plan (so cheap as to be given away) or cost roughly $20/GB.

That sets a mode of use that works like this: Get up, check my email, have a look at Twitter or FB or whatever, play a game, download a song, go about my business.

I do it all the time. I reach for my phone and use it, happy to pay a reasonable amount. I don't even think about the cost these days.

But as soon as I go overseas, that's all gone. Instead of just using my phone, I'm expected to change the SIM (assuming my phone isn't locked of course). I'm expected to monitor my usage (although how I'm supposed to do that is never clearly spelled out). I'm supposed to set credit limits, to check in with my telco, to fret about what back home is something I don't even think about.

Yes, I could do all of that but I have to ask why a customer who has bought a product and a service off a company is then supposed to stop using that service. It's bizarre.

I want to use my phone. I want to, but the telco doesn't want me to.

how is that a reasonable business model?


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  Reply # 590645 5-Mar-2012 13:44
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PaulBrislen: So from that I take it that:

[snip]

It's stupid and we as users shouldn't stand for it. 

Telcos, the ball is in your court. Sort this nonsense out faster than you are or this is where it'll end up. Just take a look at Europe.


You are right there Paul. Now, if only we could find a user association that could represent the interest of businesses and consumers of telecommunications products and services in New Zealand to talk some sense into the government.

Oh, wait...




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  Reply # 590654 5-Mar-2012 13:50
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PaulBrislen: I included those products because they fit into the user's psyche at about the same level as a gig of data. It's not so big I have to think about it, it's not so small it doesn't matter a damn. Coffee, newspapers, buying a book, buying a gig of data. Roughly similar in terms of price, roughly similar in terms of portability. I buy them all on a regular basis.

There is no other product or service that jumps by a thousand fold when I move offshore. None.



I already described one - banking.  and the model for that is actualy the closest to telco roaming out of all the products you have described



I understand completely that "nobody is forced" to use data while roaming, but that's the whole point - the user is being encouraged to use data in a way that makes it appear to the user that data is cheap. Because it is.

At home the data costs are either included in the plan (so cheap as to be given away) or cost roughly $20/GB.

That sets a mode of use that works like this: Get up, check my email, have a look at Twitter or FB or whatever, play a game, download a song, go about my business.

I do it all the time. I reach for my phone and use it, happy to pay a reasonable amount. I don't even think about the cost these days.

But as soon as I go overseas, that's all gone. Instead of just using my phone, I'm expected to change the SIM (assuming my phone isn't locked of course). I'm expected to monitor my usage (although how I'm supposed to do that is never clearly spelled out). I'm supposed to set credit limits, to check in with my telco, to fret about what back home is something I don't even think about.

if you use a local sim then you don't need to do anything apart from the first thing on that list.
even if your phone is locked you can use a mifi device to make sure you can still send and recieve calls and txts.

you pay money direct to the local supermarket when you go overseas, a local bar, a local cafe. What is so illogical and mind blowing about using a local sim?


Yes, I could do all of that but I have to ask why a customer who has bought a product and a service off a company is then supposed to stop using that service. It's bizarre.

I want to use my phone. I want to, but the telco doesn't want me to.

how is that a reasonable business model?

Providing an overseas service is massively different to providing one within NZ. 

Do you complain to Countdown that "I want to buy your food but you aren't letting me. You have a terrible business model because you refuse to deliver food to the cook islands"

simple fact is, unlike countdown or virtually any other NZ retailer, the telco is letting you buy their product when overseas, but it is expensive.  You can choose to either not buy anything at all, or use a local sim to get local rates, just like you would use a local supermarket or a local bar 


When I go overseas I don’t try and use my credit card for every little transaction because I know it will rack up $2 per charge.  Instead, I withdraw cash before I go for the smaller transactions, and use my credit card only for something big for which cash would be impractical (paying for car hire for example).

 

What I don’t do is go on holiday, pay for every little candy bar using my credit card, then moan about how the bank charged me hundreds of dollars in fees because I was too lazy to check how much it would cost.

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  Reply # 590656 5-Mar-2012 13:53
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PaulBrislen: If the pricing was, as mentioned $6 a chocolate bar and $10 a bottle of water, I'd agree wholeheartedly.

It's not. It's more akin to $20,000 a chocolate bar and $30,000 a bottle of water.

At those prices would you not stand up and say it's wrong?

The cost of 1GB of data on mobile at home is negligible. I get more than 1GB of data included for free with my plan. My expectation as a user is that it's relatively cheap.

Yet in this case his 1GB of data suddenly jumps from a few dollars to $30,000.

You can blame the user to a degree, and yes, I've done it myself. But there's a world of difference between a price point being doubled, tripled or even increased tenfold when travelling and having something increase by these kinds of levels.

The EU has just mandated the wholesale rate for data roaming be dropped to 5 euro cents per MB. That's still stupidly high, ($EU5,000 per GB) but the telcos don't seem to appreciate that charging people at these kinds of rates is just plain wrong.

Cheers

Paul



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It is about what is fair and reasonable for charges. It is also not as if you get the roaming prices quoted to you as you start using it. In a hotel, the mini bar does quote the prices clearly, so you know exactly what you are paying.
Sure it has been in the media, but so have these scams out of India when these scammers ring up saying you have a virus on your computer, and to pay them money to clean it for you. That does stop people falling for it, due to not knowing about the scam. People on here will of course now all that, but that is why this is geekzone. Many people who are not technically aware wouldn't have seen or noticed them. I could ask my mother, and she wouldn't have a clue about what the roaming charges were. There isn't really that much education about it.

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  Reply # 590657 5-Mar-2012 13:55
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NonprayingMantis:
Thats because none of those products work in even remotely the same way as roaming.

 

With roaming you are using someone else’s product (network) but are not actually a customer of that company. Instead you get  being billed for it by your home country’s network because you do not wish to inconvenience yourself by buying a sim for that country.

The closest analogy for a product like coffee would be going to a coffee shop in Spain and requiring that the Spanish café don't charge you directly, but isntead charge you via the tab you have setup at your coffee shop in your home country because you don’t wish to inconvenience yourself by becoming a customer of that coffee shop for the short time you are on holiday. If you suggested that to a café owner in spain they would laugh you out of the shop. 


My gym is a local franchise of an international chain. as part of my membership I can use my access card to get into any of the chain, anywhere in the world, 24/7. No extra charge.

Vodafone is a local division of a multinational corporate. You'd think at the very least they'd be able to arrange cheap or free roaming on their own networks around the world.

NonprayingMantis:  The closest actual analogue to roaming I can think of to roaming is banking.  When you go overseas you are using a different company’s network of ATMs, but you do not require an account with them. instead you use the account from your home country’s bank.

so, loking at banking charges I can see that it is free for me to withdraw money from my banks ATM in NZ, but if I go overseas and try to withdraw money from an ATM there it costs me $2.  That is a multiplier of infinity. (not to mention the exchange rates are usually not that great either). Even if I am on one of those accounts which doesn’t include free withdrawals from NZ ATMs, it is still only 5c. compared to $2 that is a huge multiplier, similar to the roaming multiplier.  
 


Using another bank's ATM in NZ, when charged, generally costs around 50c per transaction, so the overseas multiplier is 4x.  Not 40,000.

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  Reply # 590659 5-Mar-2012 13:56
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codyc1515: Its simple: the price is too damn high. With that said they are free to charge as they please and the guy could have picked up a local sim or chosen not to use it. The guy most likely assumed that the price would either be the same as in NZ or slightly more but not $2000 worth. Again, why did the guy not have a credit limit? If that were the case this would have never happened. I tried to get my account limited once but was not able to for some reason.


I thought this too, but I am not sure if companies are allowed to charge what they please. I remember during the world cup, a bed and breakfast ramped up there prices dramatically, and didn't one of NZ regulatory authorities say that they would be keeping an eye on the charges so that they were fair and reasonable. Any fees do need to be fair and reasonable.

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