Pistols at dawn for Telecom and 2degrees

2degrees_sim_pack2degrees Mobile has given Telecom a gloveslap and is set to lodge a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority over two newly issued Telecom brochures because it believes the claims are “misleading and deceptive”.

Bryony Hilless, head of corporate communications at 2degrees, says the company asked Telecom to withdraw its Telecom Discover Brochure Nov/Dec 2009 and its Telecom Discover Prepaid Brochure Nov/Dec 2009 of its own volition.

But Telecom said no and, as a result of this “unsatisfactory response”, Hilless says a formal complaint will be lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority “first thing on Monday”.

2degrees mobile’s big cheese Eric Hertz says Vodafone’s prices are included in the brochures but 2degrees prices aren’t, therefore implying “that 2degrees pricing may be more expensive and that its pricing may be unfair to customers”.

According to a press release, 2degrees believes the brochures breach both the Fair Trading Act 1986 and codes published by the Advertising Standards Authority. And it proudly quotes the Commerce Commission’s Telecommunications Market Monitoring Report, which says: “For the first time in the Commission’s analysis, a New Zealand prepaid plan is priced at less than the OECD average.  The 2degrees plan is significantly cheaper than the other New Zealand plans and below the OECD average for prepaid plans for all the baskets.”

The press release claims that if Telecom had provided a true comparison it would show that a 64 second call on 2degrees Mobile costs the customer $0.88 compared to Telecom’s charge of $0.95 and Vodafone’s charge of $1.78.

StopPress has called Telecom for a comment on the feud and is waiting for its response.

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