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HomeFrom the EditorFrom the Editor October/November 2016

From the Editor October/November 2016

Helen Perry, Editor

To say I was annoyed when I received my recent Vodafone bill would be an understatement – I was ropeable. And really it wasn’t all Vodafone’s fault, just some of it.

I recently changed our landline, internet and Sky television accounts to Vodafone which gave me a slightly discounted rate on what I had previously been paying. However, I was cross, as I am every month regardless of supplier, to see I had racked up $22 in toll charges….to Pukekohe!

I’ve long griped about this. Pukekohe is part of the Auckland SuperCity and really shouldn’t be subject to national toll charges. Former mayor, Len Brown said he wanted to see this toll done away with but it never happened.

Frankly, I believe national tolls should be scrapped altogether. As I understand it, exchanges became digital in the 1980s, and since then national toll calls haven’t cost Spark a cent because everything is operated by computer software.

It seems that tolls are a leftover from mechanical exchanges when it cost more to phone further afield. These days, if those costs are non-existent why are we paying for them?
Perhaps,,Kiwis are, victims of their own apathy. We should be protesting such charges instead of meekly accepting them believing there is nothing we can do.

Furthermore, when I questioned another aspect of my account I learned I could have had five ‘best friends’ and therefore avoided the toll charge altogether, well, to the numbers chosen at least.

Why I wasn’t advised of this when making the changeover I have no idea although it was interesting that I did have two ‘best friends’ listed – one being my husband’s cell number (all good) and the other (wait for it) our landline number.

Now, I’ve never heard of a landline calling itself, impossible I would have thought so the little gremlin in the Vodafone office who thought to give me the home line from the home line as a best friend surely needs to go back to school?

As it was, when I popped to our local Vodafone store, a personable young man dealt to all my problems in a jiffy. He explained the added charges that had originally stumped me and he added four new ‘best friends’ – the Pukekohe numbers of family which I ring often – so, hopefully, no more toll charges there.

And what a joy that was because, initially I had rung the customer service line. After listening to much music, I finally spoke to someone in another country who couldn’t pronounce my husband’s name (Roger) and then wouldn’t talk to me about the account because it was in his name.

No matter that I had it in front of me, could answer any questions about it and was by far the better person to talk to than man about the house who finds all things digital a challenge! None of that counted.

It’s not often I’m happy to pay more when I can pay less but in this instance I would have been happy to pay more if that off shore call centre job could go to a local resident in New Zealand. Just another thing that gets me hopping mad but I’ll leave that issue to another day.

P.S. What great news – Franklin councillor Bill Cashmore has been named deputy mayor – congratulations Bill!

-Helen Perry

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