Telecom charges for over counter payments

Telecom is charging customers an extra $1.50 if they choose to pay over the counter at New Zealand Post agencies.

Telecom's head of corporate communications Richard Llewellyn said the "over the counter charge" started on Monday and all Telecom customers were made aware of the charge through information provided through previous bills.

"The extra $1.50 charge covers the post shop charges and related costs. Such charges are not uncommon. Meridian is already doing it," he said.

Timaru Telecom customer Terry Kennedy believes charging an extra $1.50 is not right, especially for people who have already stretched their resources.

"This business [charging $1.50] is downright robbery. It is the principle behind it that I think is wrong."

Llewellyn said a customer has various free options available to them without resorting to paying over the counter.

"There is the online option and a customer can also pay via direct debit and phone banking. A charge applies only if it is paid over the counter."

He believes the idea behind encouraging customers to pay online is it's cost effective, convenient and environmentally friendly.

Kennedy, who started getting his accounts in printed form three months ago, has no intention of going online.

"I have always done it this way. I have no intention of changing the way I pay."

The Timaru Herald