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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 23rd year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Proof that electricity is overpriced

27 October 2017

In yesterday's mail was one of those "to the person in charge" envelopes that you just know is a piece of junkmail.

Normally these go straight into the recycling but this time I decided to take a peek inside, to see what kind of stuff was being pitched to the dim and gullible.

Well this time it was a brightly coloured brochure and a letter from TrustPower.

Apparently, if I switch my electricity and internet to TrustPower, they will *GIVE* me a brand new Samsung Smart TV... for FREE!

Hmmm... I was always taught that "there are no free lunches" so I decided to investigate a little more deeply.

Sure enough, depending on which broadband plan I chose, TrustPower would give me a brand new Smart TV -- varying from a 43" "FHD" model if I was on the $99 ADSL/VDSL or 100Mbps fibre plan, right through to a fancy 55" UHD 4K set if I signed up to the 200/200 fibre plan.

Gosh, a fancy schmancy 4K UHD 55-inch Smart TV for free... just for switching my power and broadband to them?

Wow... isn't that fantastic?

Well no, it's not.

That's a $2,300 TV set so even amortised over the qualifying 24-month contract, it's almost $100/month.

If we assume that TrustPower haven't suddenly become a charity, then they must be expecting to still make a profit from your power and broadband charges while you're participating in this offer so the margins on their prices must clearly include $100/month of fat.

As if the bill didn't already prove it, this concession that they can effectively give you a $100/month discount on your bill and still make a profit surely hints that the prices NZers pay for their electricity is woefully excessive.

I've written columns before in which I question just how come Kiwis pay so very much for their power, when the majority of it comes from generators that were built and paid for generations ago and which are powered by renewable sources that cost nothing.

Well here's your answer... the power companies are fleecing us to the tune of a free 55-inch UHD 4K TV set every two years.

Now I am not going to be signing up to TrustPower's offer. In fact this glossy offer has meant that I will probably *never* consider this company as a viable provider of my power and internet. Hell, they're effectively admitting that they're gouging their customers.

I'd much rather buy my power and internet from a company that simply says "we'll operate with a fair profit margin and you can buy your own damned TV set with the savings".

What do readers think?

Is this a great offer from TrustPower?

Or does it betray the outrageous profit margins that power companies are inflicting on poor, unsuspecting customers?

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