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Learning Not to Hate Telecom

I’ve loved hating Telecom for the last decade, laughed at the fishing ads that came out just as the XT network fell over for the thousandth time.  And of course for a long time the spunky underdog Vodafone had cool iPhones while grandpa Telecom only had cheap imitations.

This excellent parody pretty much sums up the feeling of the country two years ago:

However Telecom now stocks iPhones, they’ve revamped their brand and stores, and XT has kept itself out of the news for a few years. Since my Vodafone contract had expired, I thought it might be worth giving Telecom a chance to redeem themselves.  I couldn’t have been more surprised with the results.  Sure I’m only one week in, but so far Telecom has outshone Vodafone in every way that matters:

Pricing

Both companies have similar 2GB data + 5 hours calling plans but Telecom was $20 per month cheaper.  I was impressed that there is no penalty for not tying myself to a long term plans, but if you are a plan fan, Telecom will give you an iPhone 4S for $200!

Reception

In my office, where I receive most of my calls, I would usually have 1-2 bars with Vodafone and a dropped call a day.  Now with Telecom I’m getting 3-5 bars depending on the room – that’s twice the signal strength with no dropped calls yet.

Speed

I ran a bunch of speed tests on my Vodafone and Telecom accounts, similar times of day, similar weather.  On average download speeds were 90% faster, uploading was 65% faster and pings were 35% faster with Telecom.

Switching was amazingly simple too, they did all the paperwork on the spot and within a few hours I was using my new Telecom sim. I haven’t had a chance to test their call-centre yet but hopefully I don’t have to. Both providers hook up to the brilliant Consume app for checking usage so equal grading here.

So as much as I hate to admit it, Telecom have proven to be a much better company to work with than Vodafone.  I might even jump on a 24 month plan one day and get that $200 4S, if I do, does anyone want to buy my old 3GS?

If you’ve experienced both providers recently I’d love to know how you found the switch.

10 thoughts on “Learning Not to Hate Telecom

  1. Would love to take the 3GS off your hands Andrew, Marthijn been hanging out for one for ages!! haha

    1. Well you’re the only taker so far :)

  2. I’d love to know how you got consume working with XT? I have been trying off and on for a long time… Have come to assume the app was broken for xt. Thanks in advance :)

    1. It took me a few tries but eventually worked out that I needed to log into this page first: https://pwm.telecom.co.nz/mobileonliness/

      There’s an option for first time registrations which I needed to do. Once I was registered and could log in to that page, I used the same credentials to log into Consume.

  3. Good to hear your thoughts Andrew….. Seems like the best move you could have made. Still, Telecom-bashing has been ‘fun’ at times though!!! ;-)

    The Pre-Pay deal I have with 2degrees is fantastic for my needs (and available funds). I rarely have any issues with dropped calls (in fact, can’t think of one) – Data Speed seems okay too (although I have done no tests). I figure, unless someone offers a far better price, I don’t need to switch…

    * I do realise 2degrees uses the same network as Vodafone – essentially… ;-)

    1. Nice to have a 2degrees customer perspective! The main reason I didn’t give 2degrees a try was that their 2GB data plans are $200, twice the price I was willing to pay!

  4. UPDATE – Smarter people than me are now touting Sky as the new Telecom:

    “SkyTV you’re the new Telecom. We tolerate your complicated pricing plans and mildly put-out customer service lacking a credible alternative.” – @rowansimpson, on Twitter.

    “Is Sky TV the new Telecom? It is big and it is dominant. And now it faces a regulatory threat which may hinder its efforts to carry its dominance into a new technological era.” – Liam Dann, in NZ Herald.

    http://rowansimpson.com/2012/05/19/sky-is-the-new-telecom/

    Personally I watch all my TV online between NZ on-demand and Hulu so can happily say I’ve never paid Sky a cent, so can’t really weigh in on this one :)

  5. Thanks for that info. I have now set up both my wife and I on consume on my iPhone :). On a side note, I have been on 2degrees with my iPhone about 6 months ago. Was with them for about 6 months +. The main issue I had was very low reception (this is on the north shore Auckland). At home it would go down to edge instead of 3G. Also when I was down the line the data was on edge so super slow! So when I got the 4s I went back to telecom. Awesome speeds, bit pricy but u pay for what u get?

  6. Hmm, first down-side of working with Telecom discovered: they are sending me TXT spam with no unsubscribe instructions. I’ve TXT’d back so let’s see if they stop. http://imgur.com/hO5Dr

    1. They stopped after a reply, that’s good, but I believe the law is I have to actively opt into spam and I certainly didn’t do that willingly. Anyway, despite this downer, I’m still having a better experience than I did with Voda overall :)

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