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Chinese buffet rules work for telcos too

When I backpacked around Australia in the mid-'90s, I was quite partial to the all-you-can-eat buffets in Chinese restaurants.

When I backpacked around Australia in the mid-'90s, I was quite partial to the all-you-can-eat buffets in Chinese restaurants.

They were just the thing for a hungry traveller, especially when washed down with a cask of plonk!

Now, in the world of telecommunications, we have something similar: the all-you-can-eat plan.

Australia seems to have had it, or something like it, for years. Although, in many cases it was necessary to check the small print.

Now in New Zealand we can pig-out too. The fledgling 2 Degrees mobile network has launched what it calls "all-you-can-eat", costing $149 a month!

But is it really a "stuff-yourself-silly" deal?

Again checking the small print, we see there is an "acceptable use" policy.

It seems if you eat too much, 2 Degrees will contact you and ask you to consume at a more acceptable level. Data is also restricted to 250MB a month.

But perhaps this is necessary given the experience of Telecom NZ, which for a while offered unlimited broadband. Some Telecom NZ customers were too greedy and this caused constraints on its systems, leading to complaints of poor customer service and Telecom withdrew the service earlier this year.

It is like those Chinese restaurants from days gone by. If you went back to the buffet several times or filled your plate too much, you would get some uncomfortable stares. You really can't eat people out of house and home. Because who really wants to be the pig at the all-you-can-eat buffet?