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Phone companies

Posted by Lyn V 
Phone companies
August 16, 2017 04:08PM
We have been with telecom/spark for 53 years & am wanting to change so I was wondering what companies do others use that they find are good. We use spark for landlines &cell phones & internet. Do we need a landline anymore?
Would like to hear from your experiences.
Re: Phone companies
August 16, 2017 04:43PM
I honestly think they are all a much of a muchness. Landline are good when the power is down which seems to happen frequently in Auckland if thats where you are.
Re: Phone companies
August 16, 2017 05:09PM
I mainly use my mobile but I've kept a landline for a couple of people who don't have mobiles. It also works out cheaper to phone local numbers from the landline, for example when calling a company. There are establishments like WINZ and IRD who have such a long holding time that it chews through the power on your mobile.
Re: Phone companies
August 16, 2017 05:12PM
Thank you, we are in Orewa so every call out of our local area is a toll but we are really unhappy with spark, have been for a while & wondered if it was worth a change.
Re: Phone companies
August 16, 2017 05:31PM
I'm with Actrix as my ISP and landline provider and Vodafone for my prepay SmartPhone. I stick with Actrix because they are a NZ company with a NZ based help department that they have vowed never to take offshore. Means staff with accents you can understand when you phone the help desk. However, Actrix has just been purchased by Voyager and if they ever move their operation offshore, that's when I leave them.

I don't need a landline for myself because my cell phone has more minutes and data a month than I ever use and it rolls over every month. I only keep the landland because I am the administrtor for our local SeniorNet and many people won't call a cell phone due to the fact the caller pays to call a cell phone. Hence I keep the landline, otherwise I would use Vodafone as my sole provider. Their cell phone service has been excellent for me. I have no idea what their Internet service is like.
Re: Phone companies
August 16, 2017 07:56PM
Lyn - whoever you go with you should be able to get a nationwide free calling package for not very much, if not already included in whatever package you buy. I hope you aren't paying for your calls per minute still! I live in Warkworth, so nearly all my calls are toll calls too.

I keep a landline because we have very unreliable mobile service (rural area on the wrong side of the hill from the nearest mobile tower). I don't talk on the phone a lot, so could probably happily keep within an affordable amount of mobile minutes, but I know some people who simply spend too much time on the phone for it to be economical to only use a mobile. So whether you need a landline or not would depend on your personal usage habits. And like others have mentioned, would it be a burden for those who regularly call you to have to call a mobile? Unless they too call from a mobile, then it makes little difference.

My personal experiences lead me to never recommending Orcon. I experienced appalling customer service over a long period of time a few years ago. They may have sorted it out by now, but they've lost my previously loyal business over that. I currently use Telecom but their pricing is just too high for no good reason. I'm strongly considering switching to 2Degrees because they can offer me the same services for about $40 less per month, with the first 6 months being half price (or free?) as well. That's a big enough difference for me to bother. I've had mobile service with them since they started, and have always been happy with their customer service. The only thing that is stopping me is they require a 2 year contract and I don't like being stuck in a contract. I know you can buy your way out, but that annoys me too.
Re: Phone companies
August 16, 2017 08:45PM
Great thoughts thank you all will look into Vodafone etc to see what suits us. The annoying thing I have had me email address forever & so will have yo change that but I am having so much spam like 7 already this morning from the same company but different people's names on the top. All addressed to my husband but my email address. Have been getting same obsessed or do long now but today 7 !!!! Also had a very genuine one from apple, they are so very clever hard to know the difference.
Re: Phone companies
August 17, 2017 04:01AM
Hi Lyn V -
just thinking about your comment on needing to change your email address if you change your ISP. I too have had my email address forever, a very simple & easy one to remember.
(I am also a Lyn in real life, so it is my name @ somewhere smiling smiley ) & so I knew that I would never get that username again with xtra or vodafone (& other similar isp's) just because there are now literally 1000's of subscribers.
Anyway I contacted this ISP recently to see if they could match a price for more reliable data etc etc - & I ended up changing providers, but by paying $25 each year I get to to keep my user name for emails etc - does this make sense??
I understand xtra offer this service - not sure about others, but it might be worth you following up with them first.
Re: Phone companies
August 17, 2017 05:25AM
Lyn, the fee for keeping your old email address varies between the providers. The fee for Spark is $25 a year as mantilla mentioned. Anybody could be forgiven for thinking we are like flies caught in their web.
It would be worthwhile having a discussion with Spark. We had an occasion to contact them over something else a while ago and ended up talking to a helpful person and staying (at the moment) with them because they came up with what we wanted, it is a shame we had to approach them, rather than the other way round.

Many people do change providers and if you do change, you cannot be totally sure that they won't alter things down the track.

May I also suggest that you set up a gmail account or one at as well. I was able to keep my same hotmail address under I use any of the three email addresses, depending on the situation.
Re: Phone companies
August 17, 2017 04:15PM
Solve the problem of changing your email address if you change providers: use gmail. You don't have to have an email address attached to an isp, you can use an independent one like gmail which you take with you where-ever you go and you can open it on any device anywhere in the world. Even better, it's free. Your isp can forward your emails to your gmail address if you so wish. Oh, and the best thing for me - I get maybe one spam email every two or three months.

Either that or if you want to keep your current email address but hate the spam, learn how to use your email's rules for blocking and filtering emails. It's not that hard once you try. You will have to block each spam email as it comes in but gradually the spam will get less and less until it's practically nil. Also, your ISP should have a good filter system that stops spam even getting to you. Contact them and have a discussion with their help desk.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2017 04:16PM by Lorna.
Re: Phone companies
August 17, 2017 04:52PM
I think there is some current Spam glitch with Spark - and I haven't had time to contact them but must do. I am receiving emails from Qantas, KMart, Coles, Aldi and now Amazon. Have applied rule filters and it hasn't stopped them - am going to ring/message Spark to see what else I can do. I do like being able to contact Spark via FB rather than sitting on the phone.

I got rid of our home landline as in the end I realised everyone was contacting us by cell and we would get maybe one genuine call every few months on the landline - however it was ringing constantly with Windows and other spam callers. Friends that need to speak to me and have either run out of minutes or can't afford to ring a cell, I tell them to text me and then ring them. Most people have unlimited text plans.

My thoughts are that all the providers are much of a muchness and better to stick with the devil I know
Re: Phone companies
August 18, 2017 12:11AM
Goodness, great advice all a lot to think about, will talk it over with hubbies to see what is best but as you say Irene they could all end up being very similar & we will go & talk to spark about our problem.
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