At Electric Kiwi, we like keeping things simple and fair. But we've noticed a problem in the broadband industry that's making things tricky for customers – notice periods and exit fees.

The Notice Period Challenge

Currently, broadband customers looking to switch often have to give 30-days notice or pay a fee to leave. You might think this is just the norm, but we don’t understand why this is necessary. We don’t have notice periods in energy - if you want to switch you can do so within a couple of days. We think notice periods are causing unnecessary complexity, especially when people are moving house.

Moving House Hassles

Moving is already a headache, and a 30-day notice period just adds to it. If you don't plan more than 30 days ahead, you end up dealing with the internet stuff twice – first with your old provider and then with the new one after the move. This almost feels like a trick to stop people from thinking about changing providers when they move, which we know is a key time that customers shop around and look for better deals.

Double Charges and Worry

If you don't know about the notice period and switch to a new provider, you might get charged twice. It's the last thing that people want to deal with when they’re trying to save money by switching retailers, and makes people worry about whether they'll be double-billed. To help our customers avoid this, we set up our system to default to a 30-day switch, but we’d much rather you could switch on the day you wanted to without any of this sneaky stuff!

The Customer Journey

Last year, we commissioned a survey into Broadband switching in New Zealand and it showed that switching isn't always a breeze:

  • 50% had to tell their old provider 30 days before switching

  • 20% had to pay extra fees

  • Almost half found the whole process daunting.

  • 66% had to talk to their old provider to get things moving

  • 25% had to contact their old provider more than once after stalled transfers

  • Preparing meals early during off-peak or shoulder periods, as appliances like ovens and kettles consume considerable power.

  • Avoiding the use of power-hungry appliances during peak times and using Wi-Fi switches to turn them off.

Despite these challenges, 90% of people were happy they made the switch, showing that a smooth process is crucial.

Because of these issues, Electric Kiwi has formally complained to the Commerce Commission, asking them to look into why notice periods are necessary for internet providers. We think getting rid of them would make things easier, encourage fair competition, and make customers happier. We’ll keep you posted on how things progress.

While the Commerce Commission is still looking into the problem, we're not just sitting around twiddling our thumbs. After all, we wouldn’t be Electric Kiwi if we don’t do something cheeky! Here’s a comic strip we made which you’re more than welcome to use when you decide to break up with your Broadband provider - or any provider, really.