Mobile Phone Plan Providers

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

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Mobile Plans

Skinny rated number one for customer satisfaction


For the Biggest & Best Mobile Plans Choose: Skinny

Wallet … keys … phone! It’s a mental checklist most of us tick off whenever we leave our homes. Finding yourself out and about without your mobile, or a phone plan short on calls and data, is like being a modern-day Robinson Crusoe – cut adrift from instant access to family, friends and the internet.

A smartphone is central to the modern lifestyle – it’s how we keep informed, keep in touch and order so much of our lives … from our finances to our takeaway meals! If we’re not peering into a sleek glass screen, we’re smiling into a camera for a selfie!

While choosing the right phone to meet your budget and tech needs is important, so too is signing up for the right plan to deliver your data, calls and texts.

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

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

  • Overall Satisfaction,
  • Accessibility of the Provider
  • Assistance Managing Data
  • Billing
  • Customer Service
  • Network Coverage
  • Value for Money

Coming out on top is Skinny. The 4-Weekly Plan provider is the only provider in this year’s awards to earn a coveted 5-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction. And deservedly so. For across the board, Skinny excels, earning 5-Stars in all categories, except for Provider Accessibility, for which it has a 4-Star rating.

Congratulations, too, are in order for Slingshot Mobile and 2Degrees. Each has a 4-Star Overall Satisfaction rating, plus boasts multiple 5- and 4-Star awards across other ratings categories.

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.

However, Customer Service and Accessibility of Provider are also important. 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:

Drivers of satisfaction %
Value for Money 22%
Customer Service 19%
Accessibility of Provider 17%
Billing 15%
Network Coverage 13%
Assistance Managing Data 13%

How We’re Using Our Phones

When it comes to mobile 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: 59% use apps like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and WhatsApp to keep in touch, rather than calls and texts.

And this is reflected in our data usage, with over a third of us (35%) now on unlimited data plans.

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

Indeed, only 29% of us track our phone usage to make sure we’re getting the best value from our plans. And far fewer, 18%, have switched to a better provider.

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


Key statistics

I use apps to communicate with others (e.g. Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp) more than traditional calls and texts: 59%

I listen to my voice messages: 59%

I use my phone for my everyday finances: 52%

I no longer have a landline phone connection at home: 49%

I access the internet mainly through my phone: 46%

I feel ‘naked’ if I’ve forgotten my phone: 43%

I have unlimited data: 35%

I keep track of my mobile plan usage to get value for money: 29%

Data cap is the major consideration when I choose a phone plan: 22%

I’ve used my mobile illegally while driving: 21%

The cost of unlimited data is prohibitive: 20%

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

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

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

Canstar Blue surveyed 5133 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 mobile phone account. In this case, 1921 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.





Latest phone articles

Best Endless Data Phone Plans.

Spark, Vodafone or 2degrees? Best Endless Data Mobile Plans

Sure, unlimited talk and text is all well and good (if pretty standard), but these days data is the real deal-breaker. Whether you’re video calling or video streaming, Googling, gaming, or simply social media scrolling, …

– Read more
How Much Mobile Data Do I Need?

How Much Mobile Data Do I Need?

Author: Emma Bradstock

Back in 2020, the Commerce Commission released a report that said 25% of people with a mobile plan were paying too much. On average, $11.60 per month too much for mobile plan data, …

– Read more

How to give your iPhone a Performance Boost

If your once shiny new iPhone has begun to show signs of slowing down with age, there are a steps you can take to give it a fresh lease of life. Before splashing out on …

– Read more
How to Declutter Your Android Smartphone

How to Declutter Your Android Smartphone and Get it Running Like New

Keeping your Android smartphone clean and decluttered can significantly boost its overall speed and performance levels. In fact, if you don’t take the time to keep your digital tech in order, things can quickly get …

– Read more
iPhone SE or iPhone 13 Mini: Which Should You Buy?

iPhone SE or iPhone 13 Mini: Which Should You Buy?

Author: Tara Donnelly

Apple’s newest budget edition smartphone, the 2022 iPhone SE, is by far the cheapest new iPhone available. But it’s not the only compact and lower-priced device available to Apple buyers.

The flagship iPhone 13 …

– Read more