Prepaid Phone Accounts

Posted by Canstar Blue March 25th 2015

You are viewing the 2015 ratings for Prepaid mobile phone accounts.
Are you after one of the best prepaid mobile phone providers? Compare pay-as-you-go mobile phone brands using our latest customer satisfaction ratings to help your search.

Skinny is a ‘ring-in’ for our prepaid phone award

Skinny awarded for prepaid accounts, 2015Prepaid mobile phone services are a fantastic option for customers who don’t use much credit or data, or who simply want to pay only for what they use. Prepaid SIM cards are cheap and widely available, whether it’s directly from a mobile phone provider or off the shelf from your local supermarket or convenience store. They’re a convenient way to ensure your spend is completely under control, which would no doubt be useful for the more than 1 in 5 New Zealanders who are unsure how much data they use each month.

We’ve commissioned research to see what New Zealanders think of the products they use every day, to find out which ones they’re most satisfied with overall. This year, we’ve pointed the spotlight on mobile phone service providers: both phone plan and prepaid accounts.

We’re happy to announce our winner for prepaid mobile phone for 2015; Skinny has achieved our Most Satisfied Customers Award – Mobile Phone Service Providers, Prepaid, and impressively finished highest in all the rated criteria. 2degrees finished close behind with four stars overall, and following this brand were Vodafone and Spark with three star ratings apiece.

Check out how each brand fared in the different facets of pre-paid service:

Value for money

Easily the highest weighted criterion in these results, value for money is particularly important in a pre-paid service where call and text rates are one of the biggest considerations. Skinny topped our value ratings, receiving five stars in this crucial area. It was followed by 2degrees on four stars, and Vodafone and Spark on three.

Customer service

Nobody likes being treated like they’re just another account number, and mobile phone providers have taken big strides in recent years to improve their reputations for customer service. In our 2015 ratings, both Skinny and 2degrees scored the maximum five stars for customer service satisfaction, and Vodafone and Spark both scored three; it seems New Zealanders are now well catered for when it comes to service.

Accessibility of the provider

Easy-to-use websites, clear contact details and readily available information are just some of the things that a provider can do to make themselves more accessible to the people they serve, and doing so pays off handsomely when it comes to customer satisfaction. Skinny and 2degrees were again the companies that people were most satisfied with, scoring five stars each for the accessibility of their service. Vodafone and Spark came in behind them on three stars each.


Billing can often be a bit of a hassle with any service provider, so we all appreciate it when it’s done with a minimum of difficulty – the most important part with a prepaid service being, of course, the amount of calls text and data that you’ve used since your last payment. The most customer friendly billing amongst the pre-paid providers was Skinny, scoring five stars, and they were closely followed by 2degrees with a four star rating. Next came Spark and Vodafone, each of which achieved three star ratings for their billing.

Network coverage

There are few things more annoying than trying to make or send an important call or text, and finding you don’t have any reception! Fortunately, our satisfaction ratings reveal that New Zealanders are well catered for with regard to mobile network coverage. Topping this criterion was  Skinny, taking out our five star rating for having the most comprehensive network in the eyes of their customers. 2degrees also scored well for their mobile coverage, with a four star rating, as did Vodafone and Spark’s respective networks, netting them three star ratings.

How we rated mobile phone providers

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have currently have a prepaid mobile phone account that they pay the bills for – in this case, 1,344 New Zealanders.

Each brand must have received at least 30 responses in order to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey.