Prepaid Mobile Phone Plan Providers

Compare Mobile Plan providers in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Skinny, 2degrees, Spark, Vodafone and Warehouse Mobile were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Accessibility of the Provider, Billing, Customer Service, Network Coverage and Value for Money.

See Our Ratings Methodology

Most Satisfied Customers | Skinny

Skinny rated number one for customer satisfaction.

Skinny answers the call for great prepaid plans

Most of us feel lost without our mobile phones … quite literally if we can’t access map apps! Our phones and prepaid plans are how we communicate, get our news, do business, entertain ourselves and, increasingly, even feed ourselves.

As phone technology improves with the release of each new model, the phone plans that we need to use them are also becoming more complicated … and expensive. When comparing the different phone payment methods, perhaps the simplest way of keeping your phone hooked up for calls and data is a prepaid plan, which allows you to keep exact control of how much you’re spending.

So as part of our mission to inform NZ consumers of the best prepaid mobile phone plan providers on the market, Canstar Blue canvassed the opinions of 1921 New Zealanders who had a prepaid mobile phone plan, across a range of categories, to measure and track their satisfaction.

To decide which prepaid plan provider offers the best level of customer satisfaction, each was rated across the following categories:

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Accessibility of Provider
  • Billing
  • Customer Service
  • Network Coverage
  • Value for Money

Coming out on top for the seventh consecutive year, the winner of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Mobile Prepaid Plans is Skinny.

Yet again, it is the only provider to score a 5-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction, thanks to a clean sweep of 5-Star ratings in every category.

Overall, Skinny is the only prepaid provider to achieve multiple top ratings. 2degrees and Warehouse Mobile both do well with 4-Star Overall Satisfaction ratings, but only manage one top score each, for Provider Accessibility and Value for Money, respectively.

What Kiwis Want From their Phone Providers

Value for Money, yet again, defines customer satisfaction levels. And in this field, Skinny excels, offering great plans for low prices without any expensive frills.

And Customer Service and is important, too. As anybody who has ever sat on hold for 45 minutes waiting to speak to their telco provider can attest!

It’s telling that Network Coverage is becoming less important – probably because most populated areas of NZ now have excellent coverage.

Overall, the main drivers of satisfaction are:

Drivers of satisfaction %
Value for Money 30%
Customer Service 21%
Network Coverage 18%
Accessibility of Provider 18%
Billing 13%

Our Phone Habits, Revealed

When it comes to prepaid plans, Canstar Blue’s research shows that Skinny is a clear winner. But it also shows how our mobile use is evolving.

The majority of Kiwis now use their mobiles less like traditional phones and more like devices to communicate over the internet: 55% use apps like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and WhatsApp to keep in touch, rather than calls and texts.

And nearly half of prepaid users (43%) use their phones for all their day-to-day financial transactions.

But however you use your phone, have you checked recently if you’re getting true value for money? Telco companies change their prepaid plans regularly, and often don’t inform their customers of new, better value products.

Indeed, only a third (32%) of us track our phone usage to make sure we’re getting the best value from our prepaid plans. And far fewer, 18%, have switched to a better provider.

So if you’ve not checked your how your prepaid plan stacks up for a while, why not do so now? And start by comparing your plan with Skinny, the clear winner of Canstar Blue’s 2021 award for Satisfied Customers | Mobile Plans.

As a division of Spark, Skinny shares Spark’s 4G network. But unlike Spark, Skinny offers only pare-down mobile and broadband and the promise that it will do anything to keep its prices low and customers happy. Judging by the results of our survey and its 5-Star clean sweep, it seems that Skinny is delivering on its promise!


Key statistics

I use apps to communicate with others (e.g. Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp) more than traditional calls and texts: 55%

I listen to my voice messages: 50%

I no longer have a landline phone connection at home: 46%

I access the internet mainly through my phone: 43%

I use my phone for my everyday finances: 43%

I feel ‘naked’ if I’ve forgotten my phone: 36%

I keep track of my mobile plan usage to get value for money: 32%

The cost of unlimited data is prohibitive: 23%

I find other people’s phone usage rude: 18%

I have switched providers to get better value for money: 18%

Data cap is the major consideration when I choose a phone plan 15%

I have used my mobile illegally while driving: 15%

I have unlimited data: 13%

I have snooped on a partner or friend through their phone: 9%

Canstar Blue surveyed 5118 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who had an active prepaid mobile phone account. In this case, 2181 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses 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. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.






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