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BDFL - Memuneh
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# 222489 14-Aug-2017 13:45
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Just received:

 

 

The Commerce Commission has sent warning letters to four telecommunication companies about specific conduct that the Commission considers breached the Fair Trading Act.

Warning letters have been sent to MyRepublic Limited (MyRepublic), Two Degrees New Zealand Limited (Two Degrees), Spark New Zealand Trading Limited (Spark), and Vodafone New Zealand Limited (Vodafone).

The letters follow the Commission’s announcement that retail telecommunications will be an organisation-wide priority for the Commission in the 2017/18 year. 

“The complexity and range of goods and services offered by the industry means consumers can be easily confused about product offerings. Almost every New Zealander uses a mobile or fixed-line phone and broadband, so the telecommunications sector has the potential to have a significant impact on consumers,” said Commissioner Anna Rawlings.

“As we noted when announcing our 2017/18 priorities, the telco sector continues to generate a high volume of consumer complaints, despite previous compliance and enforcement work by the Commission,” said Ms Rawlings.

The Commission is continuing to investigate further potential issues in the sector, including incorrect billing, failures to identify the subscription nature of mobile add-ons, incorrect calculation of broadband usage, unfair contract terms and representations concerning the nature and availability of internet services. 

In the Commission’s view, the companies which have been warned are likely to have breached the Fair Trading Act by engaging in the following conduct:

MyRepublic

 

  • Promoting its 1 Gigabit per second service up to 2 months before it was actually available
  • Representing that customers on its GAMER broadband service would not experience lag or latency when they could experience lag or latency caused by third party servers
  • Incorrect representations that consumers’ rights of cancellation under the uninvited direct sales provisions of the Fair Trading Act ceased to apply once MyRepublic had commenced the service

 Two Degrees

 

  • Making misleading representations about the price of its unlimited broadband plan, by not identifying or inadequately disclosing the additional cost of a modem and its delivery

Spark

 

  • Making representations that Vodafone’s 2G network was imminently closing, in the marketing of Spark’s Skinny Mobile service

 
Vodafone

 

  • Making misleading representations in the promotion of 12 month broadband plans bundled with “free” goods or services when, in order to receive the “free” goods or services, the consumer was required to pay additional fees or to take additional services
  • On some occasions, a monthly headline price was advertised, but that price did not include the additional fees to be paid in order to receive “free” goods or services

 
Background
The Commission has taken a number of prosecutions or actions against telecommunication companies in recent years, including:

 

  • Trustpower was fined $390,000 in September 2016 for misleading consumers over the price and terms of its bundled electricity and unlimited data broadband offer
  • Also in September 2016, Vodafone was fined $165,000 for false price representations on invoices for its ‘Red Essentials’ mobile plan
  • Vodafone reached a $268,000 settlement with the Commission in January 2014, over the promotion of its ‘Broadband Lite’ service
  • Call Plus Services Limited (trading as Slingshot) was fined $250,000 in December 2013 over the telemarketing of its services
  • In February 2016 the Commission issued its review of unfair terms in telecommunications contracts.





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  # 1846413 14-Aug-2017 14:29
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Excellent!

I’m now waiting for warnings (or fines) to be sent out over the ‘fineprint’ 2tier charging currently common when advertising Broadband as $x/month but only applying it for the first 3/6/12 months and then charging Y/month for the rest of the (normally 24 month) contract.

Also, where does the fine money go? Back to repay the customers affected?

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  # 1846416 14-Aug-2017 14:32
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PhantomNVD:
I’m now waiting for warnings (or fines) to be sent out over the ‘fineprint’ 2tier charging currently common when advertising Broadband as $x/month but only applying it for the first 3/6/12 months and then charging Y/month for the rest of the (normally 24 month) contract.

 

I suspect this will be a challenging one to happen.

 

 

 

While its a nice offer, i agree.. way too rigged on the draw in, I must rather the concept of being straight up... "3 months free then normal price" rather than lets slide the price up a year later when you forget its meant to happen.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1846499 14-Aug-2017 16:37
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Vodafone have to be the worst offenders for this behaviour - I've looked at their offerings in the past and decided I just don't have the time to sort out all their gobble-do-gook doublespeak to work out what I'd be getting so they've always missed out on my patronage.


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  # 1846535 14-Aug-2017 17:27
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When I was recently looking for a new ISP, as someone who is quite technical, it was all a bit overwhelming, and I really needed to setup a spread sheet showing all the addons and what some included that others didn't etc.


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  # 1846615 14-Aug-2017 18:53
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Still not as bad as power company pricing where they will only offer you certain rates if you are with a certain retailer.

 

I get so sick of them coming around and wanting bills and stuff. There was a glut of them for a while so I had a bill with all the identifying stuff redacted printed out and they would all come back saying they would save me "$15 a MONTH!! - thats OVER A HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS A YEAR!!!" - tell them to let me know when they will save me more than 10 days worth of power over a year since otherwise its not worth it and they dont seem to know how to process it.

 

Same with the ISP door to door people. They want to know who you are with and promise to save you a little bit each month. Tell them "so is it any better?" - "So whats the point in changing then if its only a little cheaper?" "But I dont want neon" - all so bloody annoying.





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  # 1846777 14-Aug-2017 23:54
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Or what about the NZ Post offering "free" unlimited delivery for $12 for two months...





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  # 1847216 15-Aug-2017 17:21
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Very pleased to see MyRepublic get called out for their gamer plan BS. 

 

The 2degrees warning annoys me a little bit as it is so representative of the NZ consumers towards their ISP - "all the extras must be free right?" 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1847844 17-Aug-2017 02:16

richms:

 

Still not as bad as power company pricing where they will only offer you certain rates if you are with a certain retailer.

 

I get so sick of them coming around and wanting bills and stuff. There was a glut of them for a while so I had a bill with all the identifying stuff redacted printed out and they would all come back saying they would save me "$15 a MONTH!! - thats OVER A HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS A YEAR!!!" - tell them to let me know when they will save me more than 10 days worth of power over a year since otherwise its not worth it and they dont seem to know how to process it.

 

Same with the ISP door to door people. They want to know who you are with and promise to save you a little bit each month. Tell them "so is it any better?" - "So whats the point in changing then if its only a little cheaper?" "But I dont want neon" - all so bloody annoying.

 

 

The ISP door to door sellers are using the Chorus website to identify what addresses are still using copper connections in UFB areas. So they can then say - do you want faster internet? Switch to us. They then imply that the current ISP serving that property only offers slow speeds.

 

Power companies are terrible as they check to see who you are currently signed up to. They only need your bill to see what your usage is, So they only offer you a plan that is slightly cheaper than what you currently have. This website allows you to look up what power company is supplying a property.






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