Yet in days when calls on land lines are diminishing there should be an equal lowering of the maintenance budgets held by the two main providers, Telecom and Vodafone. There are less breakdowns and reliability of their systems are very good. And there should be nothing in that monthly charge that covers the expansion of the Cell networks - that should be incorporated in Cell charges not land line charges.
So let's look at some figures. This table is based on Telecoms monthly charges to residential customers. It's quite enlightening for sure. I'd do another for Vodafone but at $50 a month they are slightly dearer than Telecom and the Telecom figures paint a base rate picture.
|1000000||Number of Homes|
|30||Number of Days|
|$1.53||Cost per Day|
|5||Number of Calls per day average.|
|$0.31||Charge per Call|
If Telecom were charging for local calls they'd be at around 20c a call, yet these "Free" calls seem to be costing the consumer 31c a call. As outlined there is very little maintenance charges now so the only thing you could be paying for is calls and a rental amount. But that raises another issue.
Why don't the Telcos offer their customers a charge to "own" their phone number. Instead of paying $552 a year in rental, get folks to pay say $500 to own their phone number (which is transferable, i.e. shift town all you do is change your number, no charge) And get folks to fork out $10 a month for maintenance costs. I know call numbers are dwindling so less maintenance/less use. All the Telcos are doing right now is swimming in cash they aren't doing anything to earn. Seriously, this is a wrought. A phone used to be a necessity, but the Cell network is eroding it's past glory and folks just don't need to pay for a service they don't use much anymore.
Maybe the likes of Fair Go and Consumer Institute need to do an investigation. It's a given they won't get anywhere as both Telecom and Vodafone won't want to divulge too much in case they lose their cash cow.