It’s called the lazy tax – extra money you pay to utility and service providers because you can’t be bothered to look for a better deal. But if you take the time to read the small print and check out a provider’s website, it’s easier than you think to save $100s per year. As an example, Canstar looked at Spark broadband and instantly saved over $350 per year. Read on to discover how!
Unless you opt for a no-frills telco provider for an individual product, the various bundles and deals on offer can become confusing. And the more you bundle, the greater the bewildering choice of options. To complicate matters further, most telcos update and amend their plans regularly.
Many of these changes offer lower prices and better deals. But if you’re already a customer, your plan won’t be upgraded automatically. It’s up to you to do the research to find, then sign up to, a better deal.
To its credit, Spark does have an option to easily compare and upgrade your broadband plan on its MySpark website. But, unless you regularly take time out to look up your options, you could be missing out.
This is exactly what we discovered at Canstar. When we looked at a team member’s account, in the space of 15 minutes, we were able to save them over $350 off their yearly bill. This is how we did it:
Checked the Spark Broadband plan
Spark is very good at regularly updating its broadband plans. In the past, plans have offered increasingly more data at cheaper prices. Now, with unlimited data the norm, it’s lower prices and extra incentives that are the norm.
When we checked the account. We were able to upgrade from:
Unlimited Data with Landline – Fibre100 ($115.99, per month, 120GB+)
Unplan Netflix Fibre100 with Landline ($109, per month, 120GB+)
Alone, this provides an annual saving of $83.88.
Checked the streaming
As you’ll notice above, the new account comes with free standard Netflix. Once you sign up, you activate your new account and presto, no more monthly Netflix bill. That’s a monthly saving of $11.99, or $143.88 per year. Already the savings are adding up:
$83.88 + $143.88 = $227.76
But there’s more! Last year Spark’s Lightbox streaming service merged with NEON. Since the merger Spark customers have been able to save $4 per month on a NEON subscription. That’s an additional annual saving of $48.
$83.88 + $143.88 + $48= $275.76
Checked the security
“It pays to read the small print” – it’s a mantra that we live by at Canstar. And, yet again, it proves itself to be infallible advice. Each year $90.95 was being spent on virus protection from McAfee. But after a thorough read of Spark’s website, we discovered that Spark offers its own free Security Suite, powered by McAfee.
Each Spark broadband customer receives five free licences for the Security Suite. This means you can install it on up to five devices: computers, laptops or tablets.
The result of this discovery was a saving of an additional $90.95 per year.
$83.88 + $143.88 + $48 + $90.95 = $366.71
That’s a grand saving of over $350 for under 15 minutes work!
Always do your research
Of course, this is just one example of the savings on offer. You might not have your broadband with Spark. You might not already be paying for virus protection or want Netflix or Neon. But it does show what you are able to save if you invest just a little time and effort researching different deals.
And to help you get a clearer picture of broadband providers in NZ, Canstar Blue rates all the big providers in the market annually. We survey thousands of broadband customers and ask them to score their providers across categories including Value for Money, Network Performance and Customer Service.
Canstar Blue’s 2020 review of NZ internet providers compares NOW, 2degrees, Bigpipe, Contact, MyRepublic, Orcon, Skinny, Slingshot, Spark, Stuff Fibre, Trustpower, Vodafone and Voyager, and awards the best our 5 Star rating:
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Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in April 2022, published in May 2022.
See Our Ratings Methodology
The table above is an abridged version of our full research, so to find out more about NZ’s best broadband providers, just click on the big button at the bottom of this story.