Today Spark has today introduced two new products for New Zealand seniors: the first nuisance-call blocking home phone (landline) available in New Zealand; and the cheapest advertised pay monthly mobile plan on the New Zealand market - tailored to the needs of those over 65 years. Both of the products help strengthen Spark’s offering to the senior generation and help them win big in a digital world.
Spark Product Director, Tessa Tierney said that by 2032, about 21% of New Zealanders will be aged 65 years and older, and so it makes sense for Spark to work on solutions to address the needs of this age group.
Call Screen nuisance-call blocking technology
Call Screen is designed to empower customers to protect themselves from scams and other nuisance calls as it allows them to decide who they talk to by screening incoming calls, reducing the fear of becoming victim to scammers.
While it looks and plugs in like a normal home phone, when an unknown caller rings, they are prompted to announce their name and the receiver can decide whether to accept or block the call. Saved contacts, on the other hand, are put straight though.
“Call Screen can help completely block the call from coming through because scammers, unwanted business callers and even autodialing machines either can’t or won’t record their name, which means the phone doesn’t ring, saving customers time, lessening stress and making them feel more secure,” said Tessa.
Over the last few years, the number of phone scam victims has grown considerably with some people losing thousands of dollars after falling for the seemingly legitimate ruses. As avid landline users, many of those who have fallen victim have been seniors.
“In an increasingly digital world, we know scammers are becoming ever more sophisticated in their attempts to rip people off. Spark is continuously working on ways to help empower members of the public to protect themselves against phone scams. Call Screen puts some control back into the hands of the user, letting them decide who they want to talk to and who they don’t.”
Mobile plans tailored for New Zealand Seniors
Today Spark has also introduced two new pay monthly mobile plans tailored for and available to those over 65 years.
The new and affordable Gold plans - Gold Basic and Gold Talker - are designed specifically to meet the needs of those aged 65 years and older, giving them less of what they don’t need and more of what they do.
“We know that those in the 65 plus age group tend to use less data, calling and texts than other age groups and that seniors are keen to find a plan that is more suited to their needs and kinder on their pockets,” said Tessa.
The Gold Basic plan offers unlimited landline minutes and unlimited Spark minutes, another 50 minutes to other NZ mobiles, 50 NZ texts and 100MB of data for $12.99 – making it the most affordable advertised pay monthly mobile plan in New Zealand. Gold Talker offers Unlimited calling to mobile and landline, 500 NZ texts and 500MB of data for $22.99*.
Both plans’ data allowances are automatically capped to help users avoid any casual rates being charged if they accidentally exceed their allowance.
Over 65’s can also purchase Spark’s unlimited pay monthly mobile plans, including the group plan, with a $10 discount.
Call screen is available at all Spark stores, over online chat, over the phone by calling 123 or via the online form available at spark.co.nz/callscreen.** New and existing Spark customers with SuperGold cards can get a $30 account credit upon purchasing the Call Screen Twin Cordless Phone by presenting their card and photo ID in a Spark store.
Basic and Gold Talker pay monthly mobile plans are available to those aged 65 and older. More information on Spark’s Gold plans can be found at spark.co.nz/shop/mobile-plans/gold-plans
*To sign up to the Gold plans, you must be aged 65 years or older and show a valid photo ID. Max two Gold plans per Spark account.
**Call Screen Twin Cordless Phone is available for purchase at $139.99 however, if you are a new or existing Spark customer, are 65 or over and have a SuperGold card, you can get a $30 account credit when you purchase Call Screen in store. You do not have to be a Spark customer to use Call Screen however, you will need to ensure you have a landline plan with a provider and that you have the caller display network feature. Spark is offering caller display for free to all new and existing Spark landline plan customers who purchase a Call Screen phone.
Gold Basic and Gold Talker plans: Rollover up to a total of 3.5GB and 500 mins. Standard NZ numbers only.
$10 Gold Discount: Available on the $79.99 Unlimited Plan and the $99.99 Unlimited Group plan
Unlimited Mobile plan: Unlimited texts of person-to-person text messages (SMS) to NZ and AUS numbers only. Excludes text messages to short codes. Max speeds reduce after 22GB. No tethering or hotspots, unless you buy a hotspot extra.