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compost

295 posts

Ultimate Geek


#12276 8-Mar-2007 22:33
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Not that I'm in the market for a home phone service at the moment and I know it's a dead end product, but there's not very much comparative analysis of home phone services so I thought I'd give it a try.

I'm only considering basic services otherwise it all gets too hard. For the same reason I'm ignoring TelstraClear InHome and Woosh.

Basic line

  1. ihug Home Phone - 40.00
  2. Callsouth HomePhone - 42.20
  3. Slingshot Homeline - 42.95
  4. Orcon Homeline - 44.95 (includes compulsory wiring & maintenance)
  5. Telecom Homeline - 43.60
  6. TelstraClear Homeplan - 47.21

Basic line plus wiring & maintenance

  1. ihug Home Phone - 42.25
  2. CallSouth HomePhone - 44.73
  3. Slingshot Homeline - 44.95
  4. Orcon Homeline - 44.95
  5. Telecom Homeline - 46.13
  6. TelstraClear Homeplan - 49.74

Basic line plus voicemail

  1. ihug Home Phone - 47.00
  2. CallSouth HomePhone - 49.80 (15.50 disconnection charge for cancellation of Call Mailbox within 12 months)
  3. Slingshot Homeline - 49.95
  4. TelstraClear Homeplan - 50.55
  5. Telecom Homeline - 50.60 (if all direct dial calling is with Telecom)
  6. Orcon Homeline - 59.95 (have to take it with a bundle of services)

ihug is the cheapest but with only a few bucks difference between plans, what other factors are there to consider?
  • Loyalty programmes. Unfortunately only the two most expensive providers offer these (Telecom Fly Buys and TelstraClear AA Rewards). SmileCity is still available...
  • Payment methods. Limited options put Telecom at the bottom of the list. Everyone else takes credit cards without hassle. Not sure about Amex tho - they keep quiet about it, I guess because of the high fees. I do know that TelstraClear take Amex. CallSouth give 1% discount for paying by direct debit.
  • Discounts for other services. Sadly I didn't find any. Telecom and ihug could throw in a few free minutes of mobile calling time to differentiate themselves but they don't. Go on somebody, give us some fuel discount vouchers!
Based on this I would consider TelstraClear with voicemail as a "full service" option, particularly if you hold the AA Amex card.

Comments welcome. Have I missed anyone/anything?




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cokemaster
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#63216 8-Mar-2007 22:43
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Telecom allows for credit card payments. You can make them by going through 0800 000 000.

Do other 'home lines' allow for other providers internet connections ie. Telstar homeline having a Orcon or Ihug connection? If not, it could be a big drawback if you are 'locked' into a single providers tolls/broadband and having to pay a 'reconnection fee' to switch again.




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nzbnw
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#63217 8-Mar-2007 22:52
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Interesting, but you should note that Telecom Anytime Plans offer a cheaper line rental (compared to Homeline) in the major cities, and as such they can take advantage of cheaper smart phone services than customers on Homeline. Outside these major areas Anytime is about $2-$3 more than Homeline. So for $10 they could for example get Smartpack which includes Call Minder, Caller Waiting and Caller Display. Caller Display/Caller Waiting/Fax Ability are $2.50 each while Call Minder is $7 under the Anytime plans.

Also Telecom does take credit cards, and you can setup a direct debit on one if you wish. Although it is worth noting that Banks charge a convenience fee on each transaction (and had nothing to-do with Telecom, and appears as a separate charge on the cardholders statement.)

nzbnw







ZiglioNZ
194 posts

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  #63239 9-Mar-2007 09:17
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Hi all, this is my first message!

I'm surprised by the lack of competition. Are they all (except Telstra and Woosh) basically reselling the same Telecom voice line product?
I'm still luckily on my Homeline Economy plan, a not well known, no longer offered plan (each local call costs 20c, but national calls are more expensive). So I'll stick with Telecom for the voice plan and with another provider for all the rest.
It's the best option for us.
I really hope that unbundling would provide a variety of offers even for normal voice lines.




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  #63242 9-Mar-2007 10:07
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ZiglioNZ:

I really hope that unbundling would provide a variety of offers even for normal voice lines.



We'll definately see plenty of competitive offerings. The big issue will just be convincing people that a VoIP service as as good as a normal phoneline because the main offering will probably be combined internet + VoIP voice services. The days of having a POTS service are very much limited.


ZiglioNZ
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  #63252 9-Mar-2007 11:13
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The other reason why I stick with Telecom for voice is that for some reasons I don't understand, the phone line seems to break more easily. In the last year I've had to call Telecom 3 times because of faults with our phone line.

Mind that Internet has always been working happily.

They have always promptily fixed the faults, but could another ISP offer the same level of service?

JonC
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  #63258 9-Mar-2007 13:06
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Not sure why you're not considering TelstraClear InHome.  You can get just a phone line if you want:

http://www.telstraclear.co.nz/products-res/voice/residential-services/

"Residential phone lines are available in connectable areas of Christchurch and Wellington on their own or as part of a TelstraClear package"

This would be $32.95 + $2.25 (wiring and maintenance) - by far the cheapest option.  Free install if you sign up for 2 years or $29 for 1 year or $49 for no contract.

And in three weeks time, people in Wellington and Christchurch will be able to switch to a TCL phone line and retain their number.



johnr
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  #63261 9-Mar-2007 13:45
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IHUG is $41



ZiglioNZ
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  #63263 9-Mar-2007 14:08
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Interesting TelstraClear InHome, do they offer unlimited local calls for $32.95/month?
That would beat the HomeLine Economy ($27.08) if I make more than 29 calls per month.
The good thing also is that they consider the wider regional area as local.
But then, do I have to make all other toll calls with them (national and international)?

By the way, who makes international calls with the normal operator any more??

JonC
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  #63264 9-Mar-2007 14:15
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ZiglioNZ: Interesting TelstraClear InHome, do they offer unlimited local calls for $32.95/month?



They do - and they have bigger local-call areas than Telecom:

http://www.telstraclear.co.nz/residential/calling-plans/bigbackyard/index.cfm





compost

295 posts

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  #63372 11-Mar-2007 13:11
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Thanks fo the feedback, I guess I can do a regional breakdown at some point. In the meantime how about I summarise as follows:

  • In fortunate regions Telecom Homeline and TelstraClear InHome offer the best prices.
  • In less fortunate regions Telecom Anytime is competitive with other offerings. BNZ Fly Buys card holders in particular should consider this.
  • For the least fortunate regions refer to the prices previously presented.
  • ihug prices are being increased slightly from 1 April.
  • Depending on the services you want, toll and broadband bundles on offer may change the value proposition.

It appears that Telecom are more or less obliged to offer wholesale home phone services, but TelstraClear aren't. Doesn't this mean that resellers are unable to compete in the TelstraClear InHome coverage area? If so then this situation seems to have been overlooked by the current initiatives to lower market entry barriers.




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LennonNZ
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  #63378 11-Mar-2007 14:29
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Talking about Changing Phone Providers have a look at http://www.burnyourbill.co.nz . Its just a little bit of humor.

Yes maybe it is a little "anti Telecom" but quite a number of people are moving away from Telecom as their Telephone Provider.

Thanks
Craig


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  #63379 11-Mar-2007 14:47
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The problem with switching to a 3rd party provider is that you are locked into that providers tolls, broadband and services.

If you want to switch to another provider from another wholesale provider, you need to pay your early disconnection fee for broadband + a new connection fee. (This is due to at least one provider only offering free transfers from telecom connections...).

So while 3rd party providers may rock your boat... they should be carefully weighed up (tolls and broadband offerings) as the switching costs can be high (this excludes voip lines of course), even if its just changing who is billing you.




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  #63383 11-Mar-2007 16:21
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I have thought about adding a phone line comparison to netchoice.co.nz but I am still trying to figure out how I can rate the providers because there are so many price variables. If anyone has any ideas I would love to know.

After the unbundling comes into effect I think there will be some real competition.




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sbiddle
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  #63384 11-Mar-2007 16:23
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compost: Thanks fo the feedback, I guess I can do a regional breakdown at some point. In the meantime how about I summarise as follows:

  • In fortunate regions Telecom Homeline and TelstraClear InHome offer the best prices.
  • In less fortunate regions Telecom Anytime is competitive with other offerings. BNZ Fly Buys card holders in particular should consider this.
  • For the least fortunate regions refer to the prices previously presented.
  • ihug prices are being increased slightly from 1 April.
  • Depending on the services you want, toll and broadband bundles on offer may change the value proposition.

It appears that Telecom are more or less obliged to offer wholesale home phone services, but TelstraClear aren't. Doesn't this mean that resellers are unable to compete in the TelstraClear InHome coverage area? If so then this situation seems to have been overlooked by the current initiatives to lower market entry barriers.


Telecom's cable network has been available for wholesale to other ISP's for many years now and there are a handful of ISP's who do resell cable plans.

As for TCL not having to make their phone service available it's essentially the scope of what the whole Telecom ULL and wholesale regulation was designed for. It was to force Telecom to wholesale their network and offer incentives for other players to enter the marketplace, not force new players who do build a network (such as TCL, Econet, BCL/Kordia) to also offer their network at wholesale rates to other players.

In some ways it's a moot point anyway, within a few years you'll have a large number of people using VoIP as their primary phone and most providers will be offering a dual play voice & internet service using a naked ADSL circuit (whether it be via Telecom wholesale or their own DSLAM) and VOIP. There is nothing stopping any ISP out there entering the Wellington and Chch markets reselling TCL cable plans and their own VoIP service.


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  #63434 12-Mar-2007 09:14
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ZiglioNZ: Interesting TelstraClear InHome, do they offer unlimited local calls for $32.95/month?

That would beat the HomeLine Economy ($27.08) if I make more than 29 calls per month.

The good thing also is that they consider the wider regional area as local.

But then, do I have to make all other toll calls with them (national and international)?



By the way, who makes international calls with the normal operator any more??


TCL don't charge for local calls at all.

You can make toll calls with whomever you want I think. I use Ztalk which is their low cost toll provider but also my wife uses those calling cards which are even cheaper (though they have the sound quality to match :-(  )




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