EDIT: Telecom XT Prepaid Topups - Don't get caught out!

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 11-Jun-2009 19:58

I originally posted this blog post earlier today. What followed online was a discussion between numerous twitter users who were critical of Telecom's policy and the official TelecomNZ account on Twitter. After approximately 30 mins Telecom announced

TelecomNZ In regards to the Pre Pay Top up, we have a correction. If you top up before the 6 months the original credit will roll over :)

TelecomNZ@juhasaarinen @stevebiddle @redjungle We will reword the T's and C's to clarify that the top up will cause the original balance to rollover

Whether this was a change of policy at Telecom within those 30 minutes or a simple error in the website text that will be corrected is anybody's guess - it's something only Telecom know.

I am reinstating this post because Google had already linked to the post anyway so leaving it hidden is pointless.


With the introduction of Telecom's XT network there have been several changes to their pricing struture and credit validity. If you're an XT prepaid customer you really need to be aware of these new terms & conditons to avoid being caught out.

In recent years both Telecom and Vodafone have had 12 month expiry periods for their prepaid accounts. If you don't top up for a 12 month period you will have your account deactivated, will lose your number, and all remaining credit associated with that account will be lost.

XT has introduced a 6 month expiry period for both your credit and your account. This means you have to top up once every 6 months for your account to remain valid. Once again this is no big issue as Telecom currently still offer (at the time of writing this) $10 topup vouchers which means your minimum spend is $10 over a 6 month period for your phone to stay active...hardly a big expense!

What is new however is the 6 month validity period for all credit on your account. In the past if you topped up your phone before the 12 month expiry period your remaining credit would be carried over and did not expire. On XT your credit will expire 6 months from the date of topup - even if you topup your phone before the end of the 6 month period.

If you top up $100 on your account and 5 months later have only used $50 of that credit and top up another $50 you will forfeit that unused $50 once the 6 month expiry period rolls over and will only have $50 credit remaining. In the past this remaining credit would have rolled over and given you a $100 balance.

From the Telecom Topup site  listing the terms & conditions:

Any top-up credit needs to be used within six months otherwise it will expire and you need to make sure you top up at least once every six months to avoid your Prepaid account being deactivated.

Telecom have not tried to hide this information - it is very clearly listed on their site. This issue is also probably unlikely to affect most customers who do top up regularly - afterall $10 worth of usage within a 6 month period is very little!

I'm sure however that it is going to catch some low use customers out as they approach the 6 month period and top up their phone to find that their unused credit has not been carried over.

Thanks to the people in the Geekzone forums (you know who you are!) who pointed this issue out!

Other related posts:
No, AT aren’t stealing your money. How Stuff confused a nation.
The perils of using Airbnb during big events
How to remotely control your heat pump from your phone for under NZ$25

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Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com