Spark welcomes the Commission’s recommendations today for how mobile service providers can continue to provide better and more useful information to our customers about how they use, and engage with our services.
Spark already provides customers with monthly information on their usage of voice, and text services, as well as hourly, daily, and monthly usage information on data services for a 12 month period, all of which customers can access through their Spark app or MySpark account.
But we’re always looking for ways we can improve our customers’ experiences so in light of the Commission’s views, we will assess with our customers whether providing historic usage for SMS and calling would be valuable for them, allowing for the fact that the vast majority of our plans in market include unlimited SMS and calling.
It is also important to note that our customers choose plans on factors beyond just data, SMS and calling – including the value added services we offer in a number of our plans (such as Spotify and Netflix), which are very popular. As the Commerce Commission recognised, it is difficult to factor that value into an analysis like this.
The Commission’s expert Aaron Schiff also notes that his analysis excludes customers who switched mobile service providers during his sample period (September 2018 to August 2019). As a result of these study limitations, and the changes we have made to our mobile plans since that sample period, the savings quoted by the Commission should be treated with appropriate caution.
As we mentioned in our strategy update yesterday, simplifying our services, and delivering more personalised and intuitive experiences for our customers, is a key focus for Spark over the next three years. As we reduce the number of plans we have in market and move customers off legacy technology onto newer modern technologies, we are engaging with customers and advising them of their options to help them identify the most suitable plans available to them. For example, for customers who are on capped mobile plans and often get charged overage fees we have suggested they move to our Endless plans for unlimited data and price certainty.
We will respond to the Commission’s letter and will continue to work with the TCF to identify pragmatic ways to further increase transparency for consumers over time.