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81% Of Kiwis Say Drop The Rate, Mate!

Media Release
Tuesday 11 August 2009

81% Of Kiwis Say Drop The Rate, Mate!

Eighty-one percent of Kiwis know they’re being ripped off by Telecom and Vodafone.

That’s the key finding from an independent quantitative study by Curia Market Research Ltd, commissioned by Drop the Rate, Mate! and published today.

The same study shows 81% of us want Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce to accept the Commerce Commission’s draft recommendation to cut the mobile termination rates (MTRs) that are causing the rip off.

A spokesman for Drop the Rate, Mate!, Matthew Hooton, said the study also indicated New Zealanders were well informed about the Telecom and Vodafone rip off with 73% of Kiwis knowing that New Zealand mobile phone charges are higher than in similar countries. Only 3% disagreed with this proposition.

On MTRs specifically, 86% and 88% of New Zealanders respectively believed that it should cost about the same to call or text someone on a different mobile network as to call or text someone on their own network. Page 2 of 2

With Telecom and Vodafone likely to claim yet again that they are prepared to voluntarily lower MTRs over the next few years, the study also found that 55% of Kiwis don’t trust companies to lower prices voluntarily.

Mr Hooton said Mr Joyce could take some comfort from the results of the study when he decides later in the year whether to accept the advice from his Commerce Commission to drop termination rates.

“Over the next few months, Mr Joyce is going to be the victim of a ferocious corporate lobbying campaign by Telecom and Vodafone, but he will be able to tell them that not only is the Commerce Commission telling him to drop the rate, but farmers, students, workers, Maori, consumers and 81% of New Zealanders are all telling him the same thing – drop the rate, mate!” Mr Hooton said.

The launch of Drop the Rate, Mate! has been sponsored by Airnet, Consumer New Zealand, Federated Farmers, the Federation of Maori Authorities, the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, the Telecommunications Users Association, 2degrees and the Unite union.

The Curia study had a sample size of 800 and a margin of error at the 95% confidence level of +/- 3.5%. The full Curia report is available on request or at http://curiablog.wordpress.com

Curia Report (pdf)

ENDS

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