Canstar Blue reviews postpaid SIM only phone plan providers in NZ, 2degrees, Spark and Vodafone. Find out who was rated highest on customer service, value for money and overall customer satisfaction.
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* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order. Canstar Blue research finalised in February 2017, published in March 2017.
In Canstar Blue’s inaugural customer ratings for postpaid SIM only plan providers in New Zealand, 2degrees has won the day, adding to its success in the contract phone plan category.
2degrees leads the way for SIM only plan satisfaction
No longer are you restricted to buying a plan with a new phone on a contract or going the prepaid option where you have to worry about ‘credit’. SIM only plans represent a solid middle ground and are great if you want a new plan, but are happy with your current handset. Many plans are available on a month to month basis, meaning if you’re not happy with your service at the end of the month, you are free to leave and choose another provider. This beats having to be tied down to something for two years where your needs and handset desires inevitably change! Indeed, nearly one in five (19%) SIM only customers have switched providers for a better deal, our survey found.
It seems that SIM only plans offer the best of both worlds and they are well worth a look into the next time you’re coming to the end of your contract, or you’re just shopping around for a better deal. Seeing that 44% of surveyed consumers said their phone has had a positive impact on their lives, it’s little wonder that many of us rely on our provider to give us a great deal to drive that satisfaction. But who can you trust?
It’s a lot more than just a cheap price that Kiwis want. We’ve also come to expect outstanding network performance, great customer service, and a provider that makes the whole process as easy as possible. If we’re forking out a fair bit of money every month for our mobile phone plan, it’s more than reasonable to have high expectations.
For Canstar Blue’s inaugural customer ratings for postpaid SIM only providers we surveyed Kiwi SIM only mobile phone plan holders to see what company stands on top of the pile, and 2degrees was a clear winner with five stars in each category.
Let’s find out what’s on offer from 2degrees in the BYOD plan space, as well as what Spark and Vodafone bring to the table.
2degrees offers a pretty large range of postpaid SIM only mobile phone plans. Generally, what you can bundle with a phone can also be bought on a SIM only basis. You can usually get unlimited texts, a few hundred call minutes and 1GB of data for less than $30 a month. For less than $50 a month, you can expect to at least double down on your data while receiving unlimited calls and texts in New Zealand. Evidently a lot of Kiwis are happy with these prices and inclusions as 2degrees rated five stars in the value for money stakes.
Spark achieved fairly solid results, earning four stars for overall satisfaction and indeed in most other categories. Spark’s range of BYOD plans is a little limited compared to that of 2degrees, with its 1GB plan costing nearly $40. You can get a whopping 15GB of 4G data for just under $100 though, suggesting Spark could be the go-to provider if big data usage is your intention.
Vodafone achieved a pretty mixed bag of results. It achieved three stars for overall satisfaction, and achieved three stars in most other categories except for network coverage. So if you want solid coverage, Vodafone may be a good option but be mindful that our survey panel did not score them well on other categories. Out of the three telcos in this review, Vodafone seems to offer the largest range of plans, with some SIM only deals available on a 24 month contract, and some available month to month. Generally, you are rewarded for sticking with the company for two years, with the longer term plans often resulting in the best value. Pay just under $100 a month and you’ll receive unlimited calls and texts to New Zealand and Australian phone numbers, while also receiving 7.5GB of data. For monthly options, expect its 1GB plan to cost just under $40 a month. For plan choice, Vodafone seems to be a leader, but it’s what’s on the side that really counts.
Who should you go with?
No matter what provider you choose, it pays to assess your own budget and needs first. While 2degrees did produce the most satisfied customers across New Zealand, there may be a plan that satisfies you with one of the other major telcos. In this regard it’s helpful to shop around and always be on the hunt for a better deal. With many SIM only postpaid plans delivered on an ‘open term’ or monthly basis, customers are afforded the flexibility to move around when they spy a better deal. Postpaid SIM only options represent great value and great flexibility so it can pay to always be on the lookout for a better deal.
Canstar Blue commissioned i-view to 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 an active postpaid SIM only mobile phone plan and they pay the bills – in this case, 321 people.
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 alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.