Call for more free minutes for NZers during the COVID-19 lock down

I think it’s time for the Telco corporations operating in NZ (Vodafone, Spark, Skinny, etc) to put their profits where their customers are and provide more free minutes to NZers during the COVID-19 lock down.

Facetime is free, but many of our grandparents, uncles, aunties and great-grandparents don’t have smart phones to utilise this technology. 

For the mental health of the country, I emplore these organisations to consider providing more free minutes to landlines/mobiles so we can keep in touch with those who are vulnerable and lonely in isolation. Regular calling also enables us to know if something is wrong with our loved ones, ie. if they are unable to pick up we know someone needs to check on them.

Profiting from people running out of free minutes and being charged at full rate to keep in touch with their families right now is plain wrong.

Do the right thing Telcos, put exorbitant profits aside for now, and help NZers get through this time.

 

Considerations:

This petition is not calling for unlimited free minutes for everyone, we do not want to overload the network and have potentially important calls drop out.

However, inevitably, mass profits will be made after people exceed their normal free minutes and go on to pay full price for each minute. NZers are already suffering great financial insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and don’t need phone bills in the hundreds of dollars just for keeping in touch with our loved ones, who need us. If you’ve spoken with an older person recently, you know it’s not a 5 minute job. 

Perhaps unlimited minutes could be offered to customers over 70, or unlimited free calls to landlines. There are many options available.

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