Monday, 1 April 2013

2Degrees, Myth or Fantasy

Beware the giant that has big teeth.  In fact be very careful entering into a contract with a product that has, not misinformation, but no information.  Be very scared about approaching 2Degrees and their website where money focused marketing just doesn't exist.  If you are with 2Degrees and know their Spend Control functionality are you aware of it's true purpose?

All this started last December when I was shopping for a new phone (and not a Smartphone) and I walked into the Plaza in Palmerston North where all three Telcos were lined up espousing their wares.  I visited 2Degrees first as they were the first on my path, and I told the salesman I was looking for a prepay plan with a new phone that was compatible for my needs.  Thankfully the salesman took me for a gadget savvy customer and convinced me that a Smartphone (Samsung Galaxy Gio) and a $39 a month plan suited my needs and would excel everything I had used before (and he was right).  As part of the plan were Talk Minutes and Bonus Talk Minutes, Data and Bonus Data, and finally Unlimited Txting (can be read as FREE txting).  I knew I wouldn't need all the txting but was impressed by the Data and Talk packages, BUT I did ask him (to be sure) that it was unlimited free txting to which he replied Yes!!  Now remember that.

I then went to Telecom and Vodafone and was frankly unimpressed with the deals on offer so went back to 2Degrees and signed up and got my new phone (even kept my old Vodafone number).  Great deal.  So off I went, got home charged the phone up and visited the 2Degrees website just to confirm my new plan and it's value.  Then about 3 weeks later, after accessing my voice mail a couple of times and sending a txt to my sister in Aussie, I got a txt from 2Degrees stating my Spend Control had been exceeded.  WTF!!  What is this Spend Control.  I visited the 2Degrees website and eventually found this Spend Control demon and all it said then was do you want to increase your spend control limit ($1 set for current plan).  This didn't help me as I had no idea why my Spend Control limit had been exceeded as it didn't say what did it on the website.  A quick phone call to 2Degrees 0800 number soon identified the culprits and I was much the wiser. (Yes 2Degrees charge 20 cents a call to your voicemail box and 59 cents for overseas txts - these don't get charged to your free txts).

So that's alright there website does say NZ txt's only.  But then the story gets somewhat murkier.  In the past week I txt'ed to Radio Hauraki for a competition and after 2 txt's I got a txt from 2Degrees saying my Spend Control limit had been exceeded.  I was confused to say the least.  I had not accessed my voice mail and no txts overseas.  So armed with a website that gave no indications about anything to do with Spend Control except spend money, I rang the 0800 number again.  "Oh" said the nice lady (Rachel) "you txted a Radio Station."  Sorry those don't count as free unlimited txting within NZ.  In fact any media centre you txt or competitions or anything that has a set charge and capable of receiving mass txtx's (i.e. The X Factor) are chargeable at the rate that organisation charges and is counted in your Spend Control, not your Txting.

I thanked the lady for allowing 2Degrees to dupe me and all their customers and told her in no uncertain terms to get their website sorted out and to make sure all their sales staff are versed in all the intricacies surrounding their service.  Don't get me wrong even if they had told me about this issue I would still have gone their way, but there is so much we the consumer can take.  I told a lawyer friend of my tale and he thinks 2Degrees could be in breach of contract, but I'm too lazy to chase dragons.  And I love my phone and will always use it as it offers me, Spend Control and all.

And tonight I went into their website to research this blog and lo and behold the Spend Control webpage has been enhanced with more data, but still nothing to say which txt's will be charged and which aren't.  Come on 2Degrees you do have a lot of very good and happy customers, and if you are looking for more, get your act sorted.  In the Spend Control webpage (in fact all your plans) state which txts are charged and which ones are free.  Simple really.

12 comments:

  1. as one on the same plan as you I found this an interesting read indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good Ally, it's an anomaly that shouldn't exist. At least they went some way to fixing the issue but still nothing to say what is and isn't affected.

    ReplyDelete
  3. there have always been text numbers that act like 0900 numbers, it should be the responsibility of the people disseminating the text number to let you know there is a fee and most do. These charges will be identical across all providers

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah agreed, but my major gripe is these companies advertise Unlimited Txting and many ordinary folks don't know to ask does that mean Free txting, ie txt to all NZ txt lines, be it ce3ll or other. And they won't tell you until your Spend Control maxes out and then you Have to buy more to foster your habit. It's a very dirty money making tactic.

    ReplyDelete
  5. well it is not the cell phone company charging you, but the people on the line you choose to text that do the charge. If you can not control yourself enough to avoid spending a ton of money that way then you deserve to be parted from your money

    ReplyDelete
  6. missing my point, I know the subject company being txted charges, what isn't evident in 2Degrees advertising or website is that those charges go to your spend control not to your free txts. You and I know the score, ordinary New Zealand doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  7. fineprint will not fix the issue as the people who would not think texting xfactor would of course not be one of their "free" texts would never read the fine print anyway. far as I'd be concerned if you need such disclosure you might as well stick a big sign on the lawnmower blades specifying that it is not intended for shaving your legs or face.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Likewise neither 2degrees, telecom or vodafone state that the 50 free minutes etc. on their plans does not cover 0900 numbers. It is the obligation of the 0900 provider to tell you what their charging rate is. In fact the telecom one states "60 minutes to ANY network", you could argue that an 0900 number is on A network which would mean that if anyone is being dishonest here it is Telecom

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah very true I suppose if a car dealership sold you a brand new Volkswagon 4X4 and neglected to show you the very special operation and you screwed up they wouldn't be at fault? Oh yeah who reads the manual? You have a point, but I have a point too if the manual neglects to tell you how to use your service then you are at fault and are charged accordingly

    ReplyDelete
  11. likewise though they need not tell you when you buy a car that if you speed you get a speeding ticket.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Not really if you have a license which enables you to buy a car then then you should be cognisant of the requirements to drive that car. No one needs a license to drive a phone, nor enter into a contract, it's buyer beware and user despair.

    ReplyDelete