Vodafone New Zealand customers talk more and pay less
Vodafone is delivering on its promise of making mobile communications more affordable with customers now paying on average of ten percent less for mobile services compared to September 2004*. Usage has increased by 29% for voice and 332% for text over the same three year period.
While other services and products continue to increase in price, the cost of mobile calls has been steadily reducing over recent years.
“You only have to look at the CPI, home loan interest rates and the cost of utilities to see that consumers continue to pay more for the majority of products and services than they did a year ago. Vodafone has been able to provide a steady reduction in costs of mobile calls over the last three years,” says Vodafone Chief Marketing Officer Phil Patel.
Although not fully reflecting the best offers available to customers, new OECD rankings confirm that prices are falling for Vodafone New Zealand customers.
“According to the latest OECD benchmarking our prices are now below the average paid by mobile users in other OECD countries. We have moved from the bottom half of the OECD list to the top half for two of the three user groups,” says Patel.
The OECD rankings, which compare bundles of voice and TXT prices, show that Vodafone’s best plans for medium and low users cost 11% less than the OECD average price for the same bundle of services, placing Vodafone New Zealand 12th and 14th respectively in the list of 30 countries.
The improved rankings reflect the huge amount of work that has been done to provide value for money for customers.
“We have publicly committed to being on the top half of the OECD comparisons by 2010. The latest figures show we have reached this goal well ahead of schedule for two of the three user groups that are measured,” says Patel.
In real terms, high users have benefited from the largest reduction in costs Vodafone has moved from 17% more than the OECD average to 7% less over the last quarter. But Patel acknowledges there is more work to do to move New Zealand into the top half of the OECD. Currently, New Zealand ranks 16th out of 30.
“High value deals such as our Talker, TXTer and Mega plans and Free Weekends for Supa Prepay customers who spend more than $5** per week on our network, mean that our customers are paying less than ever for mobile calling and text messaging But we know that to reach and maintain our position in the top half of the OECD countries, we need to continue our work,” he says.
The OECD rankings for the last quarter show a notable improvement in Vodafone NZ’s position, with the rankings moving from 24th to 16th place for high users 20th to 12th place for medium users and 17th to 14th place for low users.
“Vodafone has been criticised in the past for having overly restrictive terms and conditions on these plans. We’ve listened to the criticism and taken it on board and from December we will begin removing those limits on the entry level plans,” says Patel.
Because of the way it defines the mobile market, the OECD figures do not take into account some of the new plans introduced by Vodafone (for example the move from three-year term contracts to two-year term contracts), nor does it include special offers, such as BestMate, capped calling such as international calls charged at $3 for 30 minutes, TalkZone Zero which allows businesses to nominate Vodafone numbers which can be called for free or TXT2000 which gives customers 2000 free TXT messages per month.
Patel says he is confident Vodafone will be well within the top half of the OECD by early 2008.
* Since September 2004 our average customer‘s usage has climbed from 87 to 112 minutes a month. Over the same period our customers have gone from sending an average of 55 TXTs a month to 183. In spite of this increased usage our revenue per customer has dropped from $46.92 a month to $42.30. That means our customers are paying less and receiving more while simultaneously using the services more often. Revenue per customer also includes any other services they purchase such as ringtones, music, video downloads and data used when surfing the internet on a mobile. These services have grown significantly since 2004. This shows that for voice and TXT alone customers are saving much more than ten percent.
** Free Weekends provide Vodafone Supa Prepay customers with free TXTing over the weekend, if they spend $5 or more during the week, and free voice calls and TXTs over the weekend, if they spend $10 or more during the week. See http://www.vodafone.co.nz/freeweekends