Why are Telecom and Vodafone ripping off their customers?

SInce November 1 we have had a new city in Auckland. It encompasses seven previous municipal authorities. Yet the teleco’s, namely Telecom and Vodafone are still ripping off their customers with toll rates and charges for calls within the boundaries fo the new city. TUANZ is making a fuss about it and rightly so:

Some calls being made within Auckland’s new council boundaries are being charged at a toll rate.

The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) said it had received complaints from consumers and that the charges from within the super city are unfair.

TUANZ chief executive Paul Brislen told TV ONE’s Breakfast that toll calls should be scrapped not only in Auckland but across the country.

Telecom’s response is simply weasel words:

Telecom spokesman Mark Watts said the current toll boundaries were designed before the Auckland Council was a “gleam in anyone’s eye”.

So we can amalgamate 7 cities into one, pass legislation and do all that before Telecom will even lift a finger.

Only TelstraClear seems to have local calling areas that broadly represent the boundaries of the new city. They even provide a nice clean map so you can get the picture.

TelstraClear Local Call Area - Auckland

Telecom has no map at all, but instead a stupid calculator that tells me that if I live in bucklands Beach and want to ring a number of a business in my new city that is located in Pykekhe then that will be a toll call, unless I sign up and select just one neighbouring local call area.

Telecom’s local call areas surround the main Auckland one are:

  • Great Barrier Island
  • Helensville
  • Hibiscus Coast
  • Pukekohe

All of which are inside the boundaries of the new city.

Vodafone are no better. The only upside is they have a clumsy Google Map of the regions but state on their site:

Vodafone Local Calling Areas (LCAs) are based on the Telecom New Zealand Local Calling Areas. However, there may be some variation around the geographic boundaries of those areas. Please note that above map of Vodafone LCAs is indicative only.

This simply isn’t good enough from these large, supposedly customer focused companies. Only TelstraClear seems to recognise the realities of the new city. The telcos need to get with the programme, and fast.


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  • Mr Blobby

    The Never ending story: The Great Telecon debate.
    I recently travelled overseas when I arrived I received a text from Vodafone congratulations you can call back to NZ for only $3 + your usual call cost, per minute, isn’t that great.
    I immediately put a local sim in my phone and was able to call NZ landlines for about 4.5 cents a minute and NZ mobiles for 65 cents a minute the mobile charge was the most expensive of all the countries I could call.
    With our little duopoly we are paying, at least, twice as much the rest of the world for our broad band with half the speed and still we have Data Caps. Even worse infrastructure, despite the premium prices, our network has been severely underinvested to the point that the Government has to step in to fund it in the National interest
    What is wrong with this picture?
    When it is cheaper to install and maintain a mobile network compared to a copper wire network why are our cell phone charges so high.
    I believe you could have a flat charge of $45 per month with unlimited calls from any phone to any phone in NZ and still make a good profit.

  • orange

    I was expecting the IRD style service when I called Telstra Clear yesterday to report a fault but they answered before one ring (after the recorded message menu) and a repair guy was at the door within 24 hours.

  • mike

    Totally agree that we’re getting ripped off.

    However, to play devil’s advocate, Telecom’s costs haven’t suddenly reduced because the city boundaries have been changed (I presume?). It is therefore not exactly fair to demand that they lower their prices because of it.

    however, they should reduce the prices anyway!!

  • michaels

    Just beautiful…….. As I read this one of your google ads was for Telecom!!!

  • sandynobb

    Why do we have toll rates at all, anywhere? Is there an additional technical cost to making long-distance calls compared with local calls ? It’s not like there are operators in the Philippines connecting trunk calls.

  • arnie

    I swapped to Clear the day they started in NZ, solely because Telecon a followers and not leaders how much does it cost for 1 hour BB? Why so much more for toll calls same line.
    They only got cheaper in T/C cable area because of competition, while us suckers outside the cable areas pay heaps more.

  • titanuranus

    Why are Telecom and Vodafone ripping off their customers?,

    Cos they can ,thats why.
    Typical monopolistic bullshit.Just as bad as the fuel companies.
    And nothing is going to change for a long,long time ,if ever.

  • gaskranken

    Telstra and 2degrees anyone?

  • gaskranken

    Wireless UFB and Skype – c’mon Telstra, you can do it. Tomorrow would be good. Bought a T-shirt last night, it’s got Tinorastatirotanga in red, yellow, and green and the maori girls staffing the merchandise stall had their own wireless eftpos, tu meke if only community max had thought of that eh?

  • Doug

    Why not go with VOIP I have it and it’s very reliable and cheap. For just $11.00 per month get 500 free minutes including 40 destinations around the world. You can even have a second Phone line for $6.00 so helpful when you have Daughters.

  • wallyanchor

    “Why are Telecom and Vodafone ripping off their customers?”

    Because they can. Consumer apathy, ignorance, and inertia mean they can.
    People either don’t care, don’t know, or can’t be bothered (it’s not like it’s difficult) changing supplier.

    A similar situation with power.
    There is a BIG difference in the rates power companies charge (well, here in Chch anyway), but a lot of people stick with what they’ve got regardless. The either don’t care, don’t know, or can’t be bothered changing.

    Yet these same people will flock to queue at a petrol station to beat a 2c/litre price rise.

    Go figure……

  • peterwn

    Apparently managers in the newly formed Telecom cursed that the old Post Office had included Manurewa/ Papakura, Henderson and the like within the toll free boundary, so prevented the opportunity for an even bigger ‘killing’.