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Mixed reaction to Big Time

14 Oct 09

Telecom says the response from consumers to the July launch of its new no monthly data cap plan Big Time has “exceeded all expectations”.But feedback from ConnectMe’s sister title Telecommunications Review has highlighted a backlash from consumers using Telecom’s old no monthly data cap plan, Go Large.Go Large consumers commented that Telecom had contacted them highlighting the company would no longer be offering the older plan, which cost $49.95 per month, and offered them the opportunity to move onto the Big Time plan on a three month trial at the Go Large price, before moving to the Big Time pricing of $59.95.Comments made by concerned consumers pointed out they felt they were being charged an additional $10 for a near identical service.Concerns were also raised in regards to the speed of the service. Telecom has highlighted that Big Time customers’ traffic will be shaped during peak hours (3pm-10pm), whereby by both download and upload speeds are likely to be slower than those on data capped plans.However, consumer feedback reported that speeds during peak hours were comparable to dial-up.But as Telecom was the only broadband provider offering a no data capped plan, consumers felt they had little option but to take what was on offer.While consumer feedback highlights a skeptical view of the Big Time plan, Telecom spokesperson Emma-Kate Greer says the plan offers significant improvements on the older Go Large plan.The company has been working on the Big Time plan since it discontinued selling the Go Large plan in February 2007, she says.“We have invested in new equipment which provides us with increased capability and visibility when managing traffic on the plan,” she says. “Caching across our network, optional interleaving and ADSL2+ optimisation on unmanaged traffic will all contribute to Big Time providing an even better experience for customers.” She says the company has also tried to make the transition between Go Large and Big Time as smooth as possible by offering a three month “try-out” period priced at the original Go Large rate of $49.95.Any customer not happy with the plan could then change to any of the company’s other existing broadband plans. However, this does not include Go Large.The additional $10 cost was also offset by Big Time being optimised for ADSL2+, whereas Go Large was not, she says.Although specific Big Time uptake numbers were unavailable until the next quarterly results, due in November, Greer says the response has been “fantastic”.