General Terms

There are three parts to our Personal Terms. The first part is our General Terms – they’re the terms you’re reading right now. These apply to everyone receiving Spark services for personal use and they cover key things everyone should know about. The second part is our Technology Terms. There will be a set that applies to you, depending on whether your service runs over fixed lines like copper or fibre, or whether your service uses our mobile network. The third part is our Plan Terms. Some of our plans have a set of Plan Terms to tell you exactly what to expect when it comes to the plan you’ve chosen.

When you sign up for, and use, Spark services, each of us agree to these General Terms, along with the Technology and Plan Terms that apply to the service you’ve chosen.   

Look out for bold words. There are some words in these terms that have specific meanings. You can see what these bold words mean at the end of the document.  


1. Using our services

When you use our services, there are some things we’ll commit to doing and some things we can’t take responsibility for. 

  1. Our commitment: We’ll take reasonable skill and care to provide you with services in a reasonable timeframe and we will take all reasonable efforts to ensure our services do everything we say they will. We’ll do this as best we can, but there are some things we can’t control, such as systems and technology we don’t own. This means we can’t promise or guarantee that our services will be available everywhere, always suit your needs, work all the time, never break or that speeds will never vary. 
  2. Problems with your service: If you let us know about a problem with our services, we'll do our best to fix it as soon as possible. This may mean that we need to arrange for a service technician to visit your place. If the technician finds there are no problems with our networks or equipment, you may need to pay the cost of the service technician to be sent out. We will let you know in advance what the cost will be. 
  3. Your security: Because we can’t control how you use our services, we can’t ensure they’ll always be virus-free, private and secure. We’ll work hard at our end, but you’ll also need to look after your privacy and security. 
  4. Your privacy: When you use Spark services, you often need to share some personal information with us. Our Privacy Policy tells you what information we collect and how we use, share and protect it, and it applies whenever you interact with us or use our products and services. Read our Privacy Policy here
  5. Monitoring: We have legal obligations to monitor what’s transmitted over our networks. We’ll also share information when we consider it necessary to satisfy a law, regulation, code, legal process or government agency request. And we may edit, remove or block some information when we have a legal obligation to.    
  6. Third parties and their equipment: We’re not responsible for any transactions between you and other parties, or for the services or information you receive from them. If you use equipment on our networks that we haven’t said is ok to use, we won’t be responsible if it doesn’t work, gets damaged or is found to be illegal. We also do not have to make it possible for you to use our services with equipment from other parties. 
  7. Content disclaimer: We aren’t responsible for the content, information or other material you access when you use our services. This includes content inaccuracies and delays. It also includes faults, damages or losses that happen because you accessed the content. We’re also not responsible if the content you hold on your devices or send using our networks becomes damaged or lost. The content and information you transmit, send and receive using our services is your responsibility. 

 


2. Your responsibilities

When you use our services, there are some things you’re commit to doing. 

  1. Use our services for yourself only. Our services are intended for your own personal and household use. So you must only use them like that, unless we agree it’s okay for you to use them differently (in which case, other terms and conditions might apply). 
  2. Keep your information safe. When we talk with you, we’ll rely on things like your account number, Spark password, login details, PIN, username or other kinds of identifiers to make sure it’s really you. You must take great care with this information and keep it private. If you believe someone has accessed your account without your permission, got hold of your personal information or has endangered your security in some other way, you need to tell us as soon as possible. 
  3. Respect others. When using our services, you must not interfere with anyone else's equipment or services, and you must respect Spark's and others’ intellectual property rights. You must also respect our staff, and not threaten, bully or harass our staff, or anyone else (when using our services). 
  4. Respect our networks and equipment. You must not do anything or introduce anything, like a virus, that could interfere with, damage or harm our networks or equipment. Don’t connect anything, like a phone or modem, to our network unless it has a telepermit or Spark label on it (or we tell you otherwise). If you lose, steal or damage any part of our network or equipment, you might have to pay the repair or replacement costs. This will also apply to you if someone you’re responsible for or someone using your services causes loss or damage to our network. It’s up to you to make sure your in-home wiring and non-Spark equipment doesn’t interfere with the services we provide to you.   
  5. Follow the law: Make sure that the things you do when using our services are legal and above board.
  6. Fair use by you: You must use our services fairly. This means you agree to use them in a way that’s not overly excessive or unreasonable. This policy is based on how most people use the service and helps us make sure everyone using it gets to enjoy it. If we, acting reasonably and in good faith, believe your use is excessive and unreasonable, we might need to restrict the service or stop providing it to you. 
  7. Follow our instructions: If we give you instructions for using our services, you must follow them. 
  8. Be responsible for others using your Spark services: It’s up to you to make sure everyone using or interacting with your Spark services knows about your responsibilities in the Personal Terms and meets them. If someone uses your account without your permission, it’s your responsibility, unless we’re the ones who caused it to happen, or couldn’t foresee this authorised access happening. 
  9. Don’t onsell: Don’t sell the services you have with Spark or commercially exploit them. 
  10. Don’t suggest that Spark has endorsed or sponsored you: Take care not to imply that Spark has endorsed or sponsored you in any way, unless we’ve agreed to this.  
  11. Intellectual property: You don’t have any title, interest or intellectual property rights in the networks we use or any part of them. This also applies to the services we provide and anything we or our partners make available to you when we provide you with services. You have some obligations about intellectual property too – see 2.3 above. 
  12. Usage meter: The Spark usage meter lets you check how much data you’ve used. It’s important to remember that the usage meter won’t show your usage in real time – this means it won’t show your usage from the past six hours.  

 


3. Billing and support

This section tells you what to expect when it comes to your bills, how we’ll get in touch with you and how you can find support.

  1. Paying your bills. Unless your service is prepaid, we’ll provide you with monthly bills by email or post or online. You’re required to pay your bills. You’ll need to make sure you pay your bills by their due date, otherwise we may:

(a) Charge you a late payment fee. This fee reflects what it costs us to recover the money you haven’t paid, and you’ll be automatically charged this;

(b) Restrict the service or stop providing it to you. If your service is suspended, you’ll need to pay a reconnection fee. We explain this in 6.10 below; and

(c) If you’re disconnected, we may pass your debt to a debt collection agency. We or the debt collection agency may charge you what it costs to get help recovering the money you haven’t paid. For example, this cost may include legal fees. 

  1. Paying your bills by credit card. When you pay your bill using a credit card or charge card, you’ll also be charged a surcharge. This fee depends on the type of card and whether it’s a recurring payment or not. You’ll see this fee on your credit card statement as a separate charge, called Payment Card Surcharge. When you top up a prepaid account, we won’t charge you this extra fee. Find out about ways to pay
  2. Sometimes we offer services for free – so this section doesn’t apply if that’s the case.

Interest free payment terms  

  1. You may be able to buy certain devices from us on deferred payment, which is interest free.  To be eligible, you need to be at least 18 years old and pass a credit assessment. You can only do this on certain plans we offer. You can only have one device per plan on interest free with us at one time. 
  2. Depending on how much the device is worth, the length of your interest free term, and how your credit assessment goes, we may ask you to pay an amount upfront when you buy the device.
  3. Goods and service tax (GST) for the full cost of the device will be charged on your first bill, so the GST amount will seem like a lot. But after that, your monthly charges for the device won't include any GST. You might notice that the monthly charges are slightly different from month to month. That’s due to rounding and the total amount you’ll pay over the interest free term won’t be more than the cost of the device (including GST) when you signed up. 
  4. Your interest free payments will appear on your monthly bill. You need to pay your interest free payments by the due date (as we’ve said in 3.1). If you don't, we may charge you a late payment fee, and we may pass your debt to a debt collection agency and you could be charged for any collection costs.
  5. You’ll need to pay off the device with payments each month over your interest free term, e.g. over 12, 18, 24 or 36 months. You can’t make your interest free term longer or shorter while you're paying off the device. But you can choose to finish it early by paying off the full amount you owe in one payment.  
  6. Sometimes we offer discounts on interest free payments for certain devices when you’re on a certain plan. If you move off that plan (e.g. if you downgrade your mobile plan) you will lose that discount from that point onwards. You also might lose this discount if you pay off your device early, decide to leave Spark, or if your services are suspended or disconnected. 
  7. If you sell or lose your device before it’s paid off, you still need to complete your interest free payments
  8. If you leave your eligible Spark plan or we stop providing you service (e.g. because you’ve stopped paying your bills) before your device is paid off, you’ll need to pay the remaining amount straight away. If you don’t pay it, we may pass your debt to a debt collection agency and you could be charged for any collection costs.
  9. We may sell or assign our rights to receive your interest free payments to another person at any time. This won’t change your interest free payment amounts, interest free term length or the way you pay. If this happens, we won’t contact you about it.

Credit checks

  1. You give us permission to run credit checks on you occasionally when we think, acting reasonably, that it’s appropriate. If you don’t meet our standard credit check requirements, we might restrict your service or stop providing it to you.
  2. Credit reporting agencies may record some information about you in their databases and share this information with others who’d like to run a credit check on you. This information could include your past credit checks, repayment history and any times you’ve missed a payment to Spark.  We'll also keep this information for our records.

How we’ll contact you

  1. Sometimes, we’ll need to get in touch to give you billing information or to tell you important things about your service. We’ll do this by text, email or post using the contact details you’ve given us. If you’ve provided us with incorrect details, or if you haven’t updated us with your new ones, we won’t be responsible for you not receiving notices or billing information.  

4. Changing your services

Sometimes, we may decide to change our services, prices or our Personal Terms. And you may sometimes decide to change your services or technology. This section tells you how that works.

  1. Changes to our services, prices or Personal Terms that are positive or neutral: When we reasonably think changes to our services, prices or Personal Terms are going to be neutral or good for you, we’ll make them straight away. We won’t necessarily tell you about these changes. If this change means changing our Personal Terms, we’ll update the Personal Terms on the Spark website. 
  2. Changes to our services, prices or Personal Terms that disadvantage you: Sometimes we will make a change to our services, prices or Personal Terms, and that change will disadvantage you. If that happens, and the change is within our control, we’ll give you 30 days’ notice of the change by post, email or text message (unless the changes are outside our control, in which case we’ll tell you about it beforehand if we can, or as soon as we can afterwards). We might also update the Personal Terms on our website if we need to. We’ll act in good faith and be fair when we’re deciding if a change will disadvantage you. If you’re on a fixed term contract and you want to end it because of a change that disadvantages you under this clause, we won’t charge you an early termination fee. If you think this might apply but you’re unsure, please ask us.
  3. Changing your plan: If you want to change your plan, e.g. downgrading it to a different plan, there might be specific terms that apply. For example, there might be a transfer fee if you’re on a fixed term contract. It’s a good idea to check your Plan Terms and Technology Terms to find out what’s involved.
  4. Changing technology – your choice: You may want to change the technology that your service runs on. For example, you might want to swap your fixed line service for a wireless service. To change technologies, you might need to change plans too, so if you’re on a fixed term contract you may be charged a fee for changing. It’s a good idea to check your Plan Terms or ask us if you’re unsure. 
  5. Changing technology – our choice: Sometimes we might change your technology too. If that happens, we’ll try to make sure the change impacts you as little as possible. If you want to leave us because of this change, you’ll have to pay us an early termination fee if you’re on a fixed term contract, unless this change has disadvantaged you under 4.2.
  6. When we stop providing a service: There may be times when we decide to stop providing a service or plan to you and other Spark customers. If this happens, the agreement you have with us will stay and we may move you to another service or plan.  We’ll let you know about the change 30 days’ in advance by email, text message or by publishing the change on our website. We might also update the Personal Terms on our website if we need to. Often this will be to your benefit (e.g. we might move you to a new plan which includes more data).  If you want to leave us because of this change, you’ll have to pay us an early termination fee if you’re on a fixed term contract, unless this change has disadvantaged you under 4.2.

5. Liability

This section talks about our liability to each other. 

  1. Nothing in this section affects any rights you have under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 and the Fair Trading Act 1986, except if you’re using our services in a way that the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 refers to as business use or for business transactions, then you acknowledge the provisions of that Act won’t apply to the services we provide to you.

Your liability to us

  1. If you breach the Personal Terms, you’ll be liable to us for it, except to the extent that we caused the loss. For example, if you haven’t paid your bills, you’re liable to us for the money you owe.
  2. You agree to take reasonable steps to avoid or minimise any loss we could suffer from providing services to you.

Our liability to you

  1. If we breach the Personal Terms, we’ll be liable to you for it, except to the extent that you caused the loss. This might mean we have to put it right, or sometimes, that we owe you money. We’ll also be liable to you if we breach the law, e.g. where you have rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 or the Fair Trading Act 1986.
  2. We agree to take reasonable steps to avoid or minimise any loss we could suffer from providing services to you.
  3. Subject to 5.1 above, we won’t be liable to you:

(a) if we need to temporarily disconnect wiring or other equipment at your place to restore your services or provide goods and services to you;

(b) for any loss that is caused by event that we don’t reasonably control, for example, because of an act of God, earthquake, terrorism, strike, shortage of suitable labour or materials or any third party network provider; or

(c) for any indirect or consequential loss, or for any loss of profits, revenue, data, business, goodwill or savings.

  1. In this section, Spark, our and we means Spark New Zealand Trading Limited. It doesn’t include any company related to Spark New Zealand Trading Limited (e.g. a company we own), network operator, third party supplier, or any of our respective officers, employees, contractors and agents, or other person. This means only Spark and none of our connected companies, partners or suppliers will be liable to you for loss or damage in connection with the services or our equipment. 

Limits on liability

  1. Subject to 5.1 above, our liability to each other for breach of contract, negligence or any other circumstance arising out of or in connection with the Personal Terms is limited to:  

(a) $5,000 for any event or series of related events; and

(b) a total of $10,000 in respect of all events in any 12-month period.

  1. These limits are the maximum amounts payable (they’re not automatically payable if one of us does something wrong), and any claim for loss must be made within 12 months after the person making the claim becomes aware of the event. 
  2. The limits outlined in 5.8 don’t limit your responsibility to pay any outstanding charges you owe us under the Personal Terms. They also don’t apply when it comes to any loss or damage caused by you or us for fraud, wilful breach or wilful damage 

6. You or Spark ending your service

This section tells you when and how we can each end your service.  It also covers what will happen if we need to pause or restrict your service

If you end your service

  1. If you’re on a fixed term contract and decide to cancel your service (including using the process referenced in 6.2 and 6.4 below) we may charge you an early termination fee. If you’re cancelling because of a change that disadvantages you (under 4.2 above), an early termination fee won’t apply.
  2. It’s up to you to let us know if you want to cancel your service with us. Once you’ve told us, you’ll have to pay us for the next 30 days. After then, our agreement will end and we’ll stop supplying your services. However, if you don’t want to stay with us for those 30 days, you can choose to have your service end straight away, but we may charge you a notice period fee. If you’re cancelling because of a change that disadvantages you (under 4.2 above above), a notice period fee won’t apply.
  3. If you’re cancelling because of a change under 4.2 above, you’ll need to do this within a reasonable timeframe of being notified of the change (in order to not be charged an early termination fee or notice period fee). We’ll tell you how long you have to make this decision. After that time period, these fees will apply again.
  4. If you want to transfer your mobile, landline or broadband service to another service provider, you’ll need to ask your new provider to request the transfer on your behalf. We recommend doing this 30 days in advance to ensure continuous service and avoid duplicate billing. Your service will need to be active with Spark for your new provider to request the transfer and we'll stop billing for your current services at the end of your notice period, or on the date of the transfer if your notice period has already lapsed.
  5. If you’re unhappy with our services, you may be able to cancel without being charged an early termination fee. But it’s something we’ll need to discuss with you so please get in touch about it.

If Spark pauses, restricts or ends your service

  1. If our networks aren’t available, need to be reconfigured, are congested or we need to work on them, we may pause, restrict, end or slow the performance of your services. Sometimes we may need to do this straight away, especially if we need to do so to improve the experience and services for our customers. We may also do this if we’ve reasonable grounds to believe: 

(a) It’s necessary for operational or security reasons;

(b) It’s necessary for us to protect our networks or manage traffic over our networks., including where the usage of our services is excessive or where we need to prioritise certain types of traffic over other traffic at times of congestion;

(c) You or someone using your service is breaching the Personal Terms;

(d) You or someone using your service is doing so in a way that risks us breaching our arrangements and agreements with others, or our legal obligations; or

(d) There's a risk someone could be harmed.

  1. We may also pause, restrict or end your service straight away if you:

(a) Harass, abuse or threaten Spark staff.

(b) Harass, abuse or threaten members of the public when using our services; or

(c) Complain about us multiple times without a reasonable basis and if you keep complaining without a reasonable basis, even once we’ve asked you to stop.  

  1. We can also pause, restrict, or end your service in other circumstances we’ve mentioned in the Personal Terms (for example, if you don’t pay your bills, as we’ve covered at 3.1). 
  2. If we do need to pause, restrict or end your services, you can ask us to refund you an amount at least equal to what you’re legally entitled to, including under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993. Though as we said above, we won’t be liable where you’ve caused the issue or breached any agreement we have with you. 
  3. If you don’t meet your responsibilities and we temporarily disconnect you (sometimes called a suspension), we may charge you a reconnection fee. If we permanently disconnect your service, you’ll still need to pay for any usage and other charges incurred up until the day we disconnected you. 

7. Resolving disagreements

This section tells you what can happen if you have a dispute with us.  

  1. Come to us first: If you have a concern or complaint to make about us, please get in touch with us first so we can do our best to try and resolve things for you. Read about our complaints process
  2. Telecommunications Dispute Resolution: If you have a dispute with Spark and we can’t agree on how to resolve it, you can go to an independent body called the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR). The TDR will work with both of us to resolve your dispute promptly and without bias. Before approaching the TDR, you need to have first made a complaint to Spark using the process at 7.1 above. Read about TDR

8. Other important things

This section has a few more important things you need to know, like when our Personal Terms apply and which terms take priority over other terms. 

  1. When our terms apply. If you join Spark on or after 29 November 2019, the Personal Terms apply from the moment you submit an order with us, you’re connected to our network or your service is installed. If you were already with Spark on 29 November 2019, these terms apply to you from that date onwards.
  2. Our terms are governed by New Zealand law. New Zealand courts will have exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute arising under the Personal Terms.
  3. Transferring our part in these terms. We may transfer some or all of our rights or responsibilities under the Personal Terms to someone else and we may not need you to agree before we do so.  Before we do this, we’ll tell you at least 30 days in advance – unless it is a transfer of our right to receive interest free payments or we are restricted from telling you by any confidentiality obligations.  If this happens (subject to the exceptions above) and you’re on a fixed term contract, if the change disadvantages you, you can end your services without incurring an early termination fee.
  4. Transferring your part in these terms. You can’t transfer your responsibilities under the Personal Terms to anyone else unless we agree to it.
  5. Severability. Each term of the Personal Terms is separately binding.  If for any reason a term isn’t legally effective, all other terms will still be binding and we can replace the ineffective term with one of similar meaning that’s lawful and effective.
  6. Waiver. If either of us fail or are slow to enforce any rights or power we have under these terms, it won’t mean we’re waiving those rights or power. And if either of us do decide to waive any breach of the Personal Terms, it won’t mean we’re waiving any other or subsequent breaches.
  7. Priority of terms. If there are any differences between our General, Technology or Plan Terms, here’s what will happen: Our Plan Terms will take first priority, our Technology Terms will take second priority and our General Terms will take third priority. 
  8. From time to time we may send you sales and marketing information about Spark products and services. You can let us know at any time if you do not want to receive sales and marketing information by contacting us. You agree that the sales and marketing information we send electronically need not include an unsubscribe facility.

 


Definitions

Here’s what the words in bold mean. 

Early termination fee is the fee we may charge if you’re on a fixed term contract and you cancel your service or your service is ended part way through your term. For reference, in the terms and conditions for our old mobile postpaid plans, this is called a ‘disconnection fee’. 

Fixed term contract means the contract you have when you agree to purchase services for a minimum length of time, such as 12 or 24 months.

General Terms are the terms you’re reading right now. These apply to everyone receiving Spark services for personal use and they cover key things everyone should know about.

Interest free term means a term over which you’ll pay off your device in equal payments, without being charged interest.

Interest free payments are what you pay each month for the cost of your device when you buy a device on an interest free term.

Late payment fee means the fee we may charge if you don’t pay your bill by its due date. Find out about late payment fees

Networks and our networks refer to the communications infrastructure owned by Spark and others we work with, like Chorus. This infrastructure is used to provide you with services and includes our fixed line network and our wireless network.

Notice period fee means a fee we may charge if you want to end your service straight away. This fee is for the price of the service for another 30 days, starting from when you tell us you want to end your service.

Plan means the pricing you’ve agreed to pay monthly in return for services. If you’re on a plan it means we’ll charge you after you’ve received the service, by way of a bill which needs to be paid by its due date. Prepaid packs and plans are charged differently – see the definition for prepaid below.

Plan Terms are the particular terms and conditions relating to plans. There are no plan terms for prepaid – you only need to read these terms, the Mobile and Wireless Terms and the details of your prepaid pack or extra available when you purchase them. There are also no plan terms for most of our Pay Monthly plans (just these terms, the Mobile and Wireless Terms, and the details of the Pay Monthly plan available when you buy it).

Personal Terms are all the agreements that apply to you, including these General Terms, your Technology Terms and your Plan Terms.

Prepaid means a service that’s paid for before you use it. This includes packs, extras (like data, texts or minutes you can buy with a prepaid pack) and other services you can buy with a prepaid pack.

Reconnection fee means the fee we may charge you to reconnect your services after we’ve disconnected you. Find out about Reconnection Fees

Services are any service we provide provide and include any goods or equipment we provide to you, including as part of the services.

Spark, our, we or us aren’t bold throughout this document, but when you see them, they refer to Spark New Zealand Trading Limited or any related company or approved agents of Spark New Zealand Trading Limited.  

Technology Terms are the Fixed Line Terms and the Mobile and Wireless Terms. If your service runs over fixed lines like copper or fibre, the Fixed Line Terms apply to you. If your service uses our mobile network, the Mobile and Wireless Terms apply to you. 

Transfer fee means the fee we may charge if you’ve agreed to a fixed term contract and you decide to change your plan to another Spark planRead about transfer fees for fixed mobile plans

You or your aren’t bold throughout this document, but when you see them they refer to anyone who receives Spark services or has set up an account with us.