Compare phone plan providers in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone were compared on customer service, value for money, accessibility of the provider, network coverage, billing, assistance managing data and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Phones bring convenience to everyday life, in more ways than one. From work to entertainment, to even waking us up in the morning, the mobile phone offers multiple uses – and it’s addicting at that. Cell-phones play such a huge part in society, so much so, that nearly 50% of respondents in Canstar Blue’s 2019 survey said they feel ‘naked’ when they forget their phone. So, this makes it even more important to find a phone provider that suits your needs!
But first, you should decide whether a prepaid phone package or a standard phone plan (post-paid) is better for you. A standard phone plan is essentially where you sign up to a contract and are invoiced a cost each month, to pay within a certain time period. Your plan automatically renews each month, however, if you don’t pay the price by the due date, you will be charged a late fee or your plan will be discontinued until you pay. Whereas, a prepaid phone plan means you can purchase a one-off plan when and where needed.
Standard phone plans may be a better option for you if you know the exact amount of texts, calls, and data you need each month and you can afford the bill. The benefit of this type of phone plan is the convenience of automatic renewal, where you can set and forget, as well as special features such as a free complimentary streaming service for one year. And, with many of these post-paid phone plans, there is the option to cancel, so you shouldn’t need to worry about being ‘trapped’ into the contract for a certain period.
We asked nearly 1000 Kiwis – who have an active mobile phone plan account in their name and pay the bills – to rate their post-paid phone plan provider on a number of factors, such as customer service, value for money and overall satisfaction.
2degrees topped Canstar Blue’s 2019 satisfaction ratings, recognised as the winning 5-star mobile plan provider for overall satisfaction, for the fifth year in a row. The phone plan provider was also given 5-stars for customer service, value for money, accessibility of the provider and assistance managing data, and 4-stars for network coverage and billing. Two other well-known phone plan providers qualified in the ratings – Spark and Vodafone, but it was Spark that came second – recognised as a 4-star provider. Spark was the only provider to be rated 5-stars for network and billing, while it was awarded 4-stars for all other factors. Vodafone was given 4-stars for network coverage and 3-stars across all remaining factors.
If prepaid plans could be a better fit for you, then check out our Prepaid Mobile Plan Provider Satisfaction Ratings!
2degrees came out on top as the highest rated phone plan provider – for overall satisfaction – in Canstar Blue’s satisfaction ratings. 2degrees was rated a 5-star provider for overall satisfaction, customer service, value for money, accessibility of the provider and assistance managing data. No other provider was rated 5-stars for any of these factors, so if you’re after a customer favourite then 2degrees is definitely your go to!
There’s a good chance you’ll find the right plan for your needs as 2degrees offers a staggering range of plan and phone options. It has access to the latest and greatest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy models, with an even wider variety of plans you can bundle your phone with.
As at May 2019, plans range from as little as $30 a month to $85 a month. A $30 plan offers 1.5GB carryover data, 300 carryover minutes and unlimited texts. You will also have unlimited calls to 2degrees numbers. Whereas, the $80 option offers unlimited data, texts and calls.
There are 4 other plans on offer, all at various prices, but midrange will cost you $55. This plan includes 10GB carryover data and unlimited calls and texts, which should see you through the month with leftover data!
All calling and texts included in 2degrees plans are applicable to both New Zealand and Australia. There are additional Kiwi Hero Plans which give special prices to first responders, nurses, teachers and the Defence Force – 2degrees’ way of giving back to those helping our nation each and every day.
Spark came second in this year’s Canstar Blue national survey, achieving 4-stars for overall satisfaction. Spark was the only provider to be rated five stars for network coverage and billing!
Spark has an ‘open term’ approach to all of its phone plans, meaning you don’t have to be trapped into a plan for a certain period of time. The $39.99 per month option includes 1GB rollover data, 1GB bonus data, 300 rollover minutes and unlimited texts for New Zealand numbers.
The $59.99 a month plan consists of an extensive 4GB of rollover data and 4GB of bonus data, and unlimited texts and calls to New Zealand and Australian numbers.
And, as the name suggests, the unlimited plan offers unlimited data and texts and calls to both New Zealand and Australian numbers. This plan will cost you $79.99.
With all of these plans, you have access to free Spotify for up to 24 months, and free Lightbox. This could save you $27.98 a month, compared to signing up separately for each!
When it comes to Spark mobile data plans, Spark offers a substantial amount of data within each of its plans. However, bonus data only applies for one year of renewing your plan each month. Canstar recommends you keep track of your usage because if you do happen to go over your limit, you will be charged up to the cap of $100. To avoid this, you can request to have the cap at $0 so that your data simply stops working at the end of your monthly limit.
Vodafone NZ came in third place for phone plan providers, rated 3-stars for overall satisfaction in Canstar Blue’s satisfaction ratings. Vodafone NZ was given 4-stars for network coverage and 3-stars across the remainder of the board.
However, the global telco still has plenty to offer. For example, Vodafone is the only phone provider of the three in our ratings to offer an explicit ‘plan builder’ on its website, where you first choose your plan, then choose your phone, then pay – and voila!
There are three Vodafone NZ plans on offer – a $39.99 plan, a $59.99 plan and a $79.99 unlimited plan. For $39.99 a month, you will receive 2.5GB of data, 300 calling minutes and unlimited texts. If you opt for the $59.99 a month plan, you will have access to 10GB of data and unlimited calls and texts, whereas the $79.99 a month option includes unlimited data, and unlimited calls and texts.
All texts and calls are applicable to standard New Zealand and Australian numbers. And, if you opt for the two higher priced plans, you can reap up the benefits of a one-year free Netflix subscription.
Vodafone also has limited features, such as included streaming from time-to-time, so it pays to check back in regularly to make use of this!
Canstar Blue surveyed 5,000 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 currently have an active mobile phone account (e.g. post-paid/plan or prepaid) in their name and they pay the bills. In this case, 961 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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