Things still up in the air

Well I’ve paid off my debt on the 12 month interest free, deposited $450 into my Spark account which will mean that by the next bill I’ll have the last bit of the phone paid off and now I’m sitting here going to sort out my GEM Visa then close it off to have instead an American Express ‘Low Interest’ which has 6 months of purchases charged at 2.99% interest with a fixed of 12.69%. Before on iTunes you could only use Visa or MasterCard but now that it is possible to use American Express on the New Zealand iTunes store it has made having an AMEX actually a viable option. Ordinarily I’d prefer to have the credit card handled by my bank for the sake of ease of convenience but having dealt with AMEX for their customer service I don’t have to worry about too many things. It comes with 55 days interest free but end of the day most of what I’ll buy will be paid back within 2 months (maybe before) so you could call it a charge card that has two months to pay it back rather than it being a revolving credit that results in debt being carried from month to month.

GEM Visa sucks, hostly, from its poor customer service, its high hidden fees that make up for those interest free deals not to mention the fact that that their website is broken so badly and buggy that it is a nightmare to use. Honestly, once I’ve got rid of the small amount remaining on that I’m going to get rid of it. So what I’ll have is a Visa Debit for those purchases I can pay cash up front for and my American Express for buying big tick items. I’ve been treated well by AMEX in the past – I pay my bill on time, my credit limit is increased and funds paid are always precessed promptly.

I’m also looking at Vodafone for their cable internet – it appears that things are back to normal but my main concern is regarding the consistent reliability issues that Vodafone cable has been having where as if I keep with Spark I get the benefit of UFB flat rate  plus the face that Spark has bought 40Mhz (2 x 15Mhz blocks and 2 x 5Mhz block) of 700Mhz spectrum for their LTE network which should mean more spectrum, more capacity and the ability to offer lower prices for more data along with the fact that the frequencies used for LTE bring them inline with Australia which should result in improved handset choices not to mention no weird compatibility quirks when travelling over the ditch. When it comes to Sky I’m better off just sticking with the status quo given that I already get great reception, it is a great way to wind down at the end of the day without having to actually think about what is on – just switch it on then veg out.

UFB 200Mbps is coming to the area in January/February so I hope that by the time it does arrive I’ll have an iPhone given that Pad and Quill are finally shipping their leather wallet/cover for the iPhone 6. Btw, I’ve decided I’ll go for the 6 rather than the 6 plus – I’ve thought about it but in the end the 6 Plus is comically too big for what I need and given that the screen size is roughly the same as my existing HTC One M8 (of which I’m satisfied with) I’m better off just sticking with the iPhone 6. The Chorus fibre has been laid and hopefully they can reuse the conduit that the traditional copper cable goes down but in terms of where the ONT (optical network termination point) can be put but I’ll probably just get it installed behind the tv next to the power point then run an extension cord from the television and SkyTV box to the outlet behind the single sofa seat. On a good side my existing wireless router modem is UFB read (Huawei HG659b) which will mean I’ll be ready to roll. I’ll start off with 100Mbps and see how it goes – I’m surprised though that Sky hasn’t started broadcasting their service down UFB.

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