Do You Feel Rorted Using Your Mobile In New Zealand?

New Zealand is one of our closest neighbours, yet if you start using your mobile once you touch down, the pricing feels like you're on the other side of the world. A joint Australian and New Zealand government investigation is now seeking consumer feedback on whether roaming arrangements need to be altered.

Picture by peligno

A joint discussion paper backed by both countries has concluded that pricing is "relatively high" and not well-communicated to customers. It seems fairly lukewarm on the prospect of actually regulating to control prices (an approach that was taken in the EU), it must be said, but at least the issue is being raised.

I'll admit that on recent trips to New Zealand, I've basically taken my mobile out of commission for voice calls to avoid excessive charges. Hit the link below to access the full discussion paper and submit comments, and tell us your own NZ roaming tales in the comments.

Trans-Tasman mobile roaming [DBCDE]


    Actually, most of us Kiwis have taken our mobiles out of commission for voice calls as well - and data? forget it. We text quite a bit, though.

    The reason is arguable, of course, but seems to have a lot to do with the Telecom / Vodafone duopoly that is only now being slowly whittled away. You don't know how lucky you are having four competing networks to choose from.

      Technically it's only Three Competing Networks.
      Two Reasons,
      1) Three and Vodaphone are almost the same company now
      2) before that, Three and Telstra have an agreement with 2G & 3G towers overlap. (3Telstra Towers)

      Now there is also an agreement with 3 & Telstra for access to the Telstra 3G towers outside the CBD but only for same amount of 2G coverage area.

    The price isn't all that great if you're a NZ customer. When I moved back to New Zealand from Australia my monthly mobile bill jumped by around 250%.

    However, the trick for visiting Aussies (and anyone else from overseas) is to buy a pre-pay sim card. Of course, that's not helpful when people want to call your normal number - but for outgoing calls it'll do the trick.

    We keep a spare, old mobile at home with a pre-pay card which we hand over to visitors.

      It's helpful to check the website before going there - a while ago I checked their site and purchased a pre-pay sim a month beforehand as they had a promo that month for 200mb of data for "free" for three months.

      I got it delivered to a friends' house and enjoyed my small taste of internet for NZD$30.

      The previous trip I was amazed at how quick Vodafone AU were to setup global roaming - then I saw my $600 bill for having my phone on for less than 6 hours over 2 weeks. Never again!

    I spent a week in Queenstown last year and tried to confine most of my online browsing to the free wifi in my hotel.

    I was very surprised when I came home to have been charged $400 for a week of my phone *trying to connect* and probably not downloading more than a few hundred kb of mail headers in all.

    I once got an $11,000 phone/data bill visiting Sydney from NZ
    I quizzed my Vodafone account manager why they hadn't got an agreement in place with Vodafone NZ and Aus. He gave me some spin that they were working hard on it, that was 2001
    To this day its still the same

    Its funny, NZ pre paid customers used to have no change in service or charges when roaming in Australia. Thats all changed of course.
    The funny thing to me is, when I recieved my iphone from Vodafone Australia, the invoicing was directed to Vodafone in New Zealand.
    It seems to me they are essentially the same company.
    I do feel for NZers at home with the access to Cap plans and Pre Paid Caps.
    NZ is being price gouged to an inch of its life on pricing.
    Whichever Telco there introduces cap plans there first will win big time

    It reminds me of the horrific roaming charges between Ireland and UK/Northern Ireland, even when you're on the same company's network.

    I was slugged with a $40 bill for only a few sms and calls.

    I mean 75c for an SMS?!?

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