Sue Chetwin’s Consumer rort

e22e23Consumer Magazine has been one of our flagship institutions for generations. ?Need a new heat pump? ?What about a fridge? ?What is the best phone company?

Our parents as their parents before them turned to the independent and comprehensive advice found in Consumer Magazine.

In the past, at least, you wouldn’t have expected Consumer Magazine to favour one product or service over another based on how much that company paid Consumer in cold hard cash.

But that has changed. ?Come with me as I take you on a tour of damning evidence.

Internet providers are doing a worse job with customers more likely to be dissatisfied, according to an annual survey by Consumer NZ.

It said satisfaction in their overall services had dropped 6 percentage points to 68 per cent over the past year, based on a poll of more than 10,000 of its members.

Vodafone and Spark had “a long way to go” before their customers felt satisfied with their services, it said.

Consumer NZ said the feedback showed an overall decline in perceptions of network reliability, but Spark spokeswoman Lucy Fullarton said that did not marry with independent reports from the likes of Wellington testing company TrueNet which indicated Spark’s network was “stacking up really well”.

Spark would nevertheless study the report and was always looking to improve its services, she said.

Vodafone spokesman Brad Pogson said it had invested significantly in its fixed and mobile networks over the past year and in January TrueNet had said its cable customers had the best webpage download times.

2degrees was the “standout” mobile network provider, Consumer NZ said.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin confirmed the company had paid about $20,000 to become accredited as a “Consumer Trusted” business but said that could have “absolutely no influence whatsoever” on its survey findings.

Do you believe Sue? ? Read more »

2Degrees just emailed me. This is getting absurd

From: “Charlene White” <[email protected]>
Date: 22/09/2014 12:03 PM
Subject: 2degrees
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>

Hi Cameron

I understand you are having mobile coverage issues so thought I would drop you a quick line to say 2degrees would be happy to see if we can help you out.

The last few weeks have certainly been an interesting time but we would hate for you to miss out on our great service and coverage due to that. We never set out to upset anyone ? we simply made a decision to pause on all political blog sites (not just yours) ?until after the election. Now that?s over, our Google marketing has resumed back as normal. Read more »

Update on my cellphone coverage, solution found

On Saturday I wrote about the non-existent cellphone coverage I am experiencing and explored with my readers possible solutions.

My choices were:

  • Stay with Spark and get some sort of expensive booster thingy
  • Move to Vodafone, a company that I used to be with for 15 years and left because of poor service.
  • Move to 2Degrees that appeared on the surface to have better coverage, but using a company who had blacklisted me with their advertising.

The second and third options were as unpalatable as coughing a large amount of money for a repeater/booster thingy.

Still with 285,000 plus readers there was a marketing opportunity for an astute and fast moving company.

One company was fast moving.

Can you guess which? ? Read more »

A mobile coverage technical dilemma

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.47.02 pm

I have a technical dilemma.

I have moved house, no you can’t know where I live…because the media will then know. I am not having my family hounded by them again.

However I have a problem.

Mobile coverage.

I am currently with Telecom…and live in a black spot. 200m in any direction and I have full coverage but have no bars at all in most of the house, but out by the fence one bar, or upstairs. This is unacceptable. The network coverage map shows no 4G coverage, little or no 3G coverage nor any other sort of coverage. It is next to useless.

Is there a solution? I’m thinking no, and so have some choices to make. ? Read more »

2Degree boycott snowballs

Our mail ?is overflowing with examples of people interacting with 2Degrees Here’s a selection:

Sent: Tuesday, 9 September 2014 9:52 a.m.
To: Neil?xxxxx
Subject: RE: Plan Match

Hi Neil,

That?s great, thank you for letting me know.
I can look at doing another plan match if your able to send me a bill or I could pop out today to meet you?

Kind Regards,

Jacqui Rawiri
Telephone Account Manager
Two Degrees Mobile Limited

============== ? Read more »

2Degrees writes to me at last

As is my custom, I allow anyone an unedited right of reply: ?(redactions so he doesn’t get emails or phone calls)

From: Mathew Bolland <[email protected]> Date: Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 3:08 PM
Subject: Attn: Cameron – re 2degrees advertising
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>

Hi Cameron,

I wanted to clarify something following your commentary on 2degrees advertising. There?s no specific boycott of Whaleoil – sites such as the Daily Blog are also not featuring our ads until after September 20.

Our decision to stop advertising on political blog sites was one we made based on a number of complaints from customers with views from both ends of the political spectrum.

We have no political position and for this reason we made a decision to stop advertising on political blog sites until after the election. We?ll review things then.

As a challenger company, we have built our business by taking a different approach to other organisations. Although we respect everyone?s views and understand some people won?t agree with our decision, this is the approach we are taking until after the election. ? Read more »

Friday morning mailbag: No letup for 2Degrees as they bunker down


I have been astonished at 2 Degrees Mobile’s abject behavior in respect of a “complaint” that 2Degrees was undertaking sponsorship of the Whaleoil Blog through google directed advertising.

That you would contemplate or indeed pull advertising from a legitimate high hit rate website on the strength of some complaint the website was “political” is an indictment on 2Degrees’ business judgement.

I moved our accounts to 2Degrees because I saw you as the legitimate contender to break the Vodafone and Telecom duopoly. Was my enthusiasm mis-directed? 2Degrees is showing all the soul of an earthworm. If I wasn’t under contract I would pull my account immediately.

The advertising on the Whaloil blog is google directed – it has nothing to do with supporting or otherwise the content of the blog; any more than an advertisement in The Herald means 2Degrees supports the editorial in that day’s Herald. You are being played by political forces yourselves if you formally direct advertising away from Whaleoil.

I urge you to put matters to rights and leave the media buying for your advertising programmes to a policy that meets 2Degrees’ business objectives.

Kind regards


Read more »

The anatomy of a Whaleoil boycott activist

You might wonder what the likes of The Daily Blog lefty loons actually say when they approach companies with their complaints about advertising on Whaleoil.

From: jenny hotbabe [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 8 September 2014 5:09 PM
To: [email protected]

It has come to my attention that in the past your company has been involved in financing Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil? Blog site through advertising.

I would like to bring to your attention that being aligned with this blogger given recent events brings your company into disrepute by association. This is not political, it is purely an expectation of human decency and personal respect which Mr Slater does not deliver in his writings.

Neither myself nor friends will be using your companies services until we hear that a declaration has been made that the company has disassociated itself from Mr Slater and any of his Machiavellian hate speech endeavors which the country is now discovering are delivered as a paid for product for political malcontents and high flying unethical business partners who have something to hide or gain.

New Zealand does not need this kind of behaviour and ethical companies should not be supporting it.

Jenny Toso

Read more »

2Degree backlash starting to gain momentum [UPDATED]



Oh dear… ?I did warn them. ?The same happened to Pak ‘n Save.

Why do companies cave in to the lefty loon pressure groups?


Dear Sir


I might only be extremely ?small fry? to you, not really worth worrying about, as we only have four mobiles in our home, all with 2 Degrees. But I was quite astonished when I first learned of your ?executive decision? to withdraw your advertising from the Whale Oil blog site and, as the afternoon unfolded, my astonishment turned to anger and feelings of utter disdain for your ?decision?. To think that a nationally-established company, whose existence is predicated on battling the two behemoths in the sphere of telecommunications, and that appeals to those of us who want to have a real choice apart from the ?big conglomerates, responds to outright threats in such a short-sighted and weak-willed ?way, is a complete disgrace. Read more »

The Whaleoil advertising boycott winner: Bridgestone

It turns out Bridgestone have the, erm, stones, to not get put between a rock and a hard place:

Subject: advertising

From: Richard xxxxx?<[email protected]>
Date: Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 11:40 AM
To: [email protected]


Just wondering if it is true that you have with drawn your advertising from whale oil.? seems a bit strange to not advertise on a blog that has 250,000 unique views because a left leaning blogger complains to you
———- ? Read more »