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Topic # 127039 27-Jul-2013 20:35
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Moved to NZ 3 months ago from the US. Plans in the US do not have "PrePay" or "Top Up" or "Packs" or anything of that sort. Instead it worked like this:

Minutes are purchased on a monthly plan. $35 for 500 mins, $50 for 1,000, etc..
Texting is purchased seperately on a monthly plan. $5 for 200 texts, $10 for 500, etc...
Data is purchased seperately on a monthly plan. $50 for Xmb of data, etc...

Basically you build a plan for yourself based on what you need. You can combine plans in order to save money. As an example, my old plan was $35 a month which included 200 minutes a month and 500 texts (no data). If you exceed your minutes or texts (or use any data) in that month, you just get an extra charge on your bill. I frequently went under this, so basically was paying for more than I was using, but the way plans work is that you try to pay for JUST over what you think you will use each month.

I always felt the pricing plans were too inflexible in the US (no lower plans), but at least I always knew what I was paying for, and it was clearly stated to me both on the web site, at the store, and on my monthly bill.

------------------------------

3 months ago purchased a phone for my wife. Our plan was to just pre pay (pay as you go). Bought a Samsung Galaxy mini for $150 from Vodafone and $20 credit on phone. Following month after we used up our minutes, switched to 2 degrees in order to synch up with Fly Buys points. Loaded card with $20 again - still haven't used this up after 2 months. Seems like a good deal to me. Basically just need the phone for emergencies or "hey buy some milk or bread" that kind of thing.

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Wife wants me to get another cell phone in case of emergencies, just so I can be reached at all times. Plan to get the same thing as above. So go to 2 degrees store today to purchase. At store, show the employee what we got last time - Samsung Mini - Prepay (standard).

Employee nods... "we don't see that anymore. Here's what we have. Closest phone to it is Galaxy III Mini for $400 (over twice as much). We have these other phones starting at $250..." she smiles like this is good news...

After frowning, pick out a phone. Tell her we just want the Prepay option. She smiles and starts explaining the Prepay Plus: "You have to pay $19 every month."

"what? I just want to pay as I go"

"that's right, just $19 every month" smiles happily while ringing me up...

We talk back and forth a bit about semantics and what Prepay means. She acts like I don't speak English... she assures me the plan works same as my wife, so I eventually give up trying to ask her what she is talking about and pay for the phone.

-------------------------

Get home and look online at the prepay plus plan... okay... this is basically just a monthly plan. Why are they calling it PrePay? It's a monthly plan for $19. If you stop paying $19, your phone turns off. Don't call it PrePlay, just call it a monthly plan....

We call 2 degrees help service to try to sort it out. They say we can get it switched to standard, but we have to call the store to do it. They can't do it.

-------------------------

Call the store, the store assures us that Prepay Plus is exactly the same as Prepay Standard, and we have nothing to worry about. We ask to talk to the manager - manager tells us the same thing - "Don't worry all your minutes will last a year. no worries." Hang up...

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Looking on website.

"Any Carryover Minutes under your Combo that you haven’t used in a month, will carry over to the next month for up to year provided you keep your Combo active or you have one of ourCarryover Chat Packs active on your Prepay Account."

That's pretty clear to me...

Do some more reading... oh, they've changed their plan over since May, and no one told me...

----------------------------

Find this website... apparently if you text MOVE to 7526, you can switch back to standard. Ok... I try that... it works... but immediately get a text from 2 degrees saying my "minutes are low and need to top up soon. Check online". Ok.... I go online to find there is only $1 left on the account. So moving lost the $19 I spent today, even though I have used nothing yet...

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Very disappointing experience all around. Poor communication from employees at store. Poor communication over phone. Poor choice of phones at store. And at the end of it all lost our money too. Maybe there's some kind of cultural difference, but it feels and sounds like I've basically been lied to and overcharged all day with slight of hand tricks and side-talk... very frustrating day. :(


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  Reply # 867232 27-Jul-2013 22:33
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hhmmmm.... you posted this 2 hours ago and there's been no comment from 2D, I wonder why?
I tend to agree with you, a $19 "Pre-pay Plan" you have to pay monthly to stay connected, sounds like a "Monthly Plan" to me too.
Having said that I am a 2D customer and have a "Standard" prepay account that I last put $20 on 3 months ago. They must hate me. Have been with them since shortly after they started and have never had issues with lost texts or no signal as others sometimes report. Mobile for emergencies "hey buy some milk or bread" as you say :-)
I tend to mainly make local calls either from home or work and use that thingy on the desk with the wire that goes into the white box on the wall. My teenage son on the other hand doesn't know what it is, and won't even pick it up when it rings.

welcome to NZ

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  Reply # 867262 28-Jul-2013 01:08
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You don't need to be on the $19 combo you can just be on the casual rates, which it sounds like your wife is.
These are the standard rates:
Talk Text Data per MB
44c 9c 50c

then if you're on prepay standard not prepay plus you can get top-up rewards which are:
"Top Up every 30 days to get:

22c per minute calls to 2degrees mobiles and NZ landlines, plus landlines in 21 countries.
a bundle of FREE texts to any network
Top Up $30 $40 $50+
Get FREE texts 300 400 500"

By the sounds of it you just want to be on these standard rates.

unfortunately since you had the $19 value pack and you moved to prepay standard you lost it (and your $19):
"If you switch from Prepay Plus to Prepay Standard please note that you may not be able to take all your 2degrees Value Pack benefits across with you. Please see our Terms and Conditions page for conditions that apply to your current Value Packs if you make switch."

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 867299 28-Jul-2013 09:57
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Hm... well I assumed since it was taken away at the time of switching, it's basically "policy" and there's nothing I can do about the money I've already lost. That's fine I guess, since ultimately I was able to switch. But this "solution" is buried in a forum that's not even located on the official website, and wasn't offered to me by either the 2D support line or the store clerks.

I think I'm just more upset at the terminology being used and the dodgy way in which it is being done. I hope maybe a few people can read this and become more informed as a result.


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  Reply # 867323 28-Jul-2013 11:40
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We were talking about this at work the other day. When 2degrees launched, all the marketing was about keeping things simple etc. 2D has only been around since 2009 and here we are, four years later, with almost a complete U-turn; monthly fees, add-on "value packs", and plenty of confusion.

We almost need a fourth provider to come in and simplify things again... but then we'd probably need a fifth in a few years' time...

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  Reply # 867350 28-Jul-2013 13:26
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Leviathan: Moved to NZ 3 months ago from the US. Plans in the US do not have "PrePay" or "Top Up" or "Packs" or anything of that sort. Instead it worked like this:

Minutes are purchased on a monthly plan. $35 for 500 mins, $50 for 1,000, etc..
Texting is purchased seperately on a monthly plan. $5 for 200 texts, $10 for 500, etc...
Data is purchased seperately on a monthly plan. $50 for Xmb of data, etc...

Basically you build a plan for yourself based on what you need. You can combine plans in order to save money. As an example, my old plan was $35 a month which included 200 minutes a month and 500 texts (no data). If you exceed your minutes or texts (or use any data) in that month, you just get an extra charge on your bill. I frequently went under this, so basically was paying for more than I was using, but the way plans work is that you try to pay for JUST over what you think you will use each month.

I always felt the pricing plans were too inflexible in the US (no lower plans), but at least I always knew what I was paying for, and it was clearly stated to me both on the web site, at the store, and on my monthly bill.


NZ prepay has traditionally been "top up, then spend at a flat per-minute/text/megabyte rate".  This is similar to how it works in Europe.

US Cell carriers don't understand prepay.  Verizon think prepay means "not locked into a 24 month contract" but otherwise their prepay is like all the other plans they sell.  And often you'll get some minutes and some texts and then pay extra for data.

Note that you don't pay for incoming calls to your cellphone here.  That's one reason that people can get by on a plan with e.g. only 30 minutes, because that's only used for outbound calls.  Calls to cellphones from landlines are charged at a higher rate.  For all the NZers reading this: US cellphone users have to pay for incoming calls, the caller is not charged extra because a cellphone is being called.

You got stuck with a crappy salesperson, who probably assumed you knew what prepay was because it's been around in NZ for over a decade.  That's their fault, not yours.  Note that your phone will still work for incoming calls and texts as long as you top up once a year, even if you have no pack active.  And as someone else in this thread said, you don't have to buy the packs, you can get per minute/text/megabyte charging instead.  Which is expensive per minute, but if you hardly use it, it probably works out cheaper.

The $19/etc "value packs" are prepay because you pay in advance rather than in arrears.  It lowers costs for the cellular company because they don't have to send you bills, and when you don't pay, send you debt collectors.  And you can switch between them, mix and match, etc.  When travelling I often buy an extra data pack, for instance.

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  Reply # 867952 29-Jul-2013 16:13
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Hi all

Thanks for bringing this to our attention and sorry if there's been any confusion with our Prepay plans.

As deadlyllama says some sales assistants have been around Prepay and these products so long that they assume the customer knows it too. (There's a great saying about assume which I can't repeat here).

I'll be happy to follow up with the store and the agent you spoke with on the phone if you can PM me the details, including the number you called us on and store you went to.

With Prepay, as the term suggests, you pay upfront for the services you use. When the credit runs out you have to top-up again. You need to top-up with a minimum of $20 once a year to keep the account active.

Prepay Plus was introduced on 13 May 2013 to give customers more choice and value - http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/prepay/pricing/plus

Prepay Plus customers can subscribed to our innovative Carryover Minute Combo, the first Prepay Value pack to offer minutes that do not get taken from you at the end of the month.

The $19 Carryover Minute Combo offers 500MB data, Carryover Minutes that carry over to the following month and last a year if unused plus All You Need Texts. The minutes and texts included in this Combo can be used to call and text Aussie mobiles and landlines.

Prepay Standard - http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/prepay/pricing/standard
- is our original Prepay proposition that customers that joined before 13 May 2013 are on unless they've made the switch to Prepay Plus.

With each Prepay Plus and Standard you do not have to subscribe to any Value pack and are able to top-up when you need to. However without a Value Pack you will be charged the standard rate according to each.

Please check each site to check the 'standard' rates and various Value Packs available to see what suits your needs best.

That brings us to why we've moved on from our original proposition. Our customer base has increased and so have their needs. Since launch we've introduced innovative products and services to the NZ mobile market such the $19 Combo, Shared Data, Spend Control and Touch2Pay amongst others.

I hope that explains things a little better. Please let me know if you have any other queries.

Cheers
^POB



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  Reply # 867961 29-Jul-2013 16:31
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Would this be correct then?

Under Prepay Plus, I can cancel the service (ie text "stop 19carry" to 233). At the end of the month, the benefits of the 19carry pack ends.

However, I can choose to "top up" the account with $20, and use the phone under the standard costs (while still being on the Prepay plus plan, but unsubscribed from any recurring value packs).

Thus, the only difference between Prepay Plus and Prepay Standard are the types of recurring (monthly charged) packs being offered?

In other words, if the salesperson had allowed me to "top up" (ie put $20 on the phone) rather than selling me the Prepay Plus value pack, all of this could have been avoided?

Additionally, if all of this is true, is there any advantage at all for being on the old "Standard" plan, or is the new "Plus plan" basically just a better option in general with no drawbacks?

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  Reply # 867965 29-Jul-2013 16:42
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Leviathan: Would this be correct then?

Under Prepay Plus, I can cancel the service (ie text "stop 19carry" to 233). At the end of the month, the benefits of the 19carry pack ends.

However, I can choose to "top up" the account with $20, and use the phone under the standard costs (while still being on the Prepay plus plan, but unsubscribed from any recurring value packs).

Thus, the only difference between Prepay Plus and Prepay Standard are the types of recurring (monthly charged) packs being offered?

In other words, if the salesperson had allowed me to "top up" (ie put $20 on the phone) rather than selling me the Prepay Plus value pack, all of this could have been avoided?

Additionally, if all of this is true, is there any advantage at all for being on the old "Standard" plan, or is the new "Plus plan" basically just a better option in general with no drawbacks?


That's exactly right.  I think the old Standard plan was supposed to be marginally better if you didn't buy the value packs, but can't remember the exact details.



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  Reply # 867987 29-Jul-2013 16:47
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Reading over the policy notes, it appears with Standard, there is a 1-month bonus for topping up in certain increments (ie $30 = 300 bonus texts for 1 month). Otherwise, I can't see any differences.



I guess there's certain value packs associated with each, but it appears from the website that most of them have either been discontinued or moved over to the Plus plan.... it seems oddly difficult to find everything... there needs to be a spreadsheet or something...

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  Reply # 867990 29-Jul-2013 16:51
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Leviathan: Reading over the policy notes, it appears with Standard, there is a 1-month bonus for topping up in certain increments (ie $30 = 300 bonus texts for 1 month). Otherwise, I can't see any differences.



I guess there's certain value packs associated with each, but it appears from the website that most of them have either been discontinued or moved over to the Plus plan.... it seems oddly difficult to find everything... there needs to be a spreadsheet or something...


The bonus also lowers the calling rate to 22c a minute to 2degrees numbers and landlines for 30 days from the top up.



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  Reply # 867994 29-Jul-2013 16:56
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Hm... yes in theory if you are making very few calls or texts, that would stretch your money a bit farther, as long as you remember to top up in $30 increments.

Edit: Ah, the reduced cost to 2d numbers is irregardless of top up value. $30 is purely for the bonus texts.

This thread has been extremely informative to me. I sincerely appreciate everyone's responses and help.

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  Reply # 867997 29-Jul-2013 17:09
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JarrodM:
Leviathan: Reading over the policy notes, it appears with Standard, there is a 1-month bonus for topping up in certain increments (ie $30 = 300 bonus texts for 1 month). Otherwise, I can't see any differences.



I guess there's certain value packs associated with each, but it appears from the website that most of them have either been discontinued or moved over to the Plus plan.... it seems oddly difficult to find everything... there needs to be a spreadsheet or something...


The bonus also lowers the calling rate to 22c a minute to 2degrees numbers and landlines for 30 days from the top up.


You've got it.  With Prepay Standard you get 'Top-Up and Get' rewards.

Prepay Plus has these Value Packs - http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/prepay/pricing/plus/value-packs

Standard Prepay has these Value Packs - http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/prepay/pricing/standard/value-packs 

To be clear Carryover DATA only happens on Pay Monthly (Postpay) accounts.  

Here's a useful link that shows you what happens to your Value Pack if you move from Prepay Standard to Prepay Plus - http://move.2degreesmobile.co.nz/

Cheers
^POB

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