Left Menu
Development News Edition

NZ's mobile operators should provide more meaningful comparison information

The Commission today published the open letter it sent to Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees outlining its review of nearly 80,000 consumer mobile bills, which followed on from its 2019 study into the state of competition in the mobile market.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 17-09-2020 08:25 IST | Created: 17-09-2020 08:25 IST
NZ's mobile operators should provide more meaningful comparison information
“Our work suggests that some consumers are significantly overspending on their mobile plans due to transparency and inertia problems in the market,” Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson says. Image Credit: ANI

The Commerce Commission has told New Zealand's three mobile network operators that they should provide more meaningful comparison information and guard against overspending by mobile phone consumers.

The Commission today published the open letter it sent to Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees outlining its review of nearly 80,000 consumer mobile bills, which followed on from its 2019 study into the state of competition in the mobile market.

The mobile bill review found 64% of consumers did not change plans during the 12-month review period. It found a quarter of post-paid consumers could save an estimated average of $11.60 a month by moving to a cheaper plan that would still cover their usage. It also found that 7% of all residential consumers spent a relatively high amount on mobile services, given their usage, and that these consumers could potentially save an average of $48.65 a month.

"Our work suggests that some consumers are significantly overspending on their mobile plans due to transparency and inertia problems in the market," Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson says.

"We want to see the industry catch up to other sectors, like electricity, where consumers and comparison websites are making good use of the ability to compare usage and pricing.

"We expect the operators to address these issues by increasing the usage information available to consumers and implementing measures to help keep consumers on plans that best reflect their actual requirements. This will improve transparency, empower consumers to make better choices and guard against overspending."

The Commission has also encouraged the wider industry to initiate a programme of work on a "consumer data right" so consumers can choose to share their usage, spend and product information with competitors and comparison services to help inform their decisions. The Commission has asked the industry body, the Telecommunications Forum, to look at an industry-wide initiative in this area.

"We've identified important opportunities for the industry to step up to improve consumer outcomes," Mr Gilbertson says.

"We'll review the industry response in our Retail Service Quality work programme, which is focused on addressing key customer pain points across the industry as a whole, with a view to taking more active measures if required."

The mobile bill review showed that consumers who proactively manage their mobile plan are better placed to match their usage and spend. The Commission is working with advocacy groups to raise awareness and support consumer choice.

"Our work shows that consumers need to ask themselves how much money they could be saving. Most mobile plans can now be changed monthly so it just might pay to shop around to see if you can find a better deal."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Malaysia's king rejects PM's proposal to declare emergency

Malaysias king on Sunday rejected a proposal by embattled Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to declare a state of emergency to fight a new outbreak of the coronavirus. The plan by Muhyiddin, which involves suspending Parliament, has sparked n...

Soccer-La Liga talking points

Talking points from the weekends action in La Liga.SILVA ADDS MORE SWAGGER TO SOCIEDAD David Silva showed he still has plenty to offer even as he approaches 35 years old with a superb display in Real Sociedads 4-1 thrashing of visiting Hues...

Poles protest abortion ban in churches and on streets

Womens rights activists furious over a tightening of Polands already restrictive abortion law staged protests outside and inside churches Sunday, disrupting Masses and finding themselves confronted with accusations of barbaric behavior. Wi...

Belarus opposition prepares mass strikes after Lukashenko ignores deadline to quit

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko defied an ultimatum to surrender power by midnight on Sunday, challenging his opponents to make good on their threat to paralyse the country with a national strike. Eleven weeks after a disputed pre...

Give Feedback