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Drop the Rate Mate!
Ever wondered why so many people have to carry two cellphones to be able to text and talk to all their mates?
Unite has got in behind a campaign to stop Telecom and Vodafone’s rip-off charges. The campaign is called “Drop the Rate, Mate!” and it’s in support of a Commerce Commission draft recommendation demanding the Government step in to stop the Telecom and Vodafone MTR rip off urgently. An MTR is the fee charged when you call or text someone on a different network.
MTRs are far too high in New Zealand. The Commerce Commission has found that New Zealand’s high MTRs mean Kiwis currently pay far more for their telephone services than consumers in other countries – and many of us need two phones to avoid the rip off. As much as $2.5 billion has been transferred from fixed-line consumers to Telecom and Vodafone over the last decade and Vodafone’s global CEO is on record as saying that if all countries were like New Zealand he could retire early.
Worse, the excessive MTRs act as a powerful barrier to competitive new entry so that New Zealand is only now getting its third mobile operator, years behind almost every other country. This lack of competition means New Zealand has among the highest telephone costs and worst mobile services in the developed world.
“Drop the Rate, Mate!” is about supporting Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce in reaching the right decision with urgency. Unite members (and everyone else) can to go to www.droptherate.org.nz to add their name to the list of those asking Mr Joyce to act. You will also be able to text their support to 022 DROP IT M8.
Unite has joined in this campaign with Consumer New Zealand, the New Zealand Union of Students Associations, the Telecommunications Users Association, the Federation of Maori Authorities, Federated Farmers and 2degrees.