The New Zealand Commerce Commission (ComCom) called on the country’s three mobile network operators to make it easier for customers to compare price plans to avoid overspending, prompting them to catch up with sectors like electricity by offering comparison websites.
It called for Spark, Vodafone New Zealand and 2degrees to “guard against overspending” after a review of nearly 80,000 consumer bills found a quarter of post-paid customers could save an average of NZD11.60 ($7.77) a month by switching to a lower-price plan without amending their usage.
The review also found 64 per cent of consumers didn’t change their mobile plan over a 12-month period, while 7 per cent “spent a relatively high amount” on services “given their usage” and could save an average of NZD48.65 a month.
“Our work suggests that some consumers are significantly overspending on their mobile plans due to transparency and inertia problems”, Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson said.
“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.”
Vodafone stated it will work with the Telecommunications Forum on a detailed response, but argued the report showed the country’s mobile sector is one of the most competitive, with a majority of consumers already shopping around.
ComCom’s research showed more than a third of consumers which signed up to base plans switched during the 12-month period, significantly higher than the electricity sector, the operator added.
It highlighted the report implies 93 per cent of consumers are paying a fair amount, and pointed to a recent GSMA survey in which New Zealand ranked third in the world in terms of mobile networks and services.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back