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“SHARK’ New Name for Telecom Instead of “SPARK”

March 19th, 2014

“SHARK’ New Name for Telecom Instead of “SPARK”

Telecom’s new name should be SHARK, not SPARK, to reflect a miserly “clipping the ticket” approach towards their long standing customers with the introduction of a fee for those clients requiring a standard paper invoice for the monthly charge.

“Customers who want to receive paper bills by mail will have to pay Telecom an additional fee of $1.50 a month from May” said Bill Rayner, Grey Power Zone Director for Auckland. “It is cold comfort that people with a landline only will not face the new impost, and comes on top of the introduction of an additional charge for customers paying by credit card.”

This loading of accounts is an increasingly disturbing trend with utilities, and it is of concern that Consumer NZ regard the charge as reasonable and “is the way the world is going.”

All businesses have the fundamental and legal obligation to provide a clear and accurate invoice for services and goods supplied in a way that is acceptable and clearly understood by their customers as an integral part of the transaction. This includes the provision of paper bills where required.

SHARK, nee Telecom, are infamous for admitting that confusion was a legitimate part of their marketing strategy. It is not acceptable that a similar approach extends to their accounting and billing practice.

As always, these surcharges impact most on those on low incomes, particularly the elderly, many of whom have difficulty in handling the impact of the rapid changes of the new digital environment.

Telecom should focus on providing good, solid service at a fair and reasonable all inclusive price, recognising their traditional customer base, and in particular give a fair go to the older community who have supported the company over many, many years.

Grey Power asks for the extra charges for billing and payment to be withdrawn.

ENDS

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