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New Zealand Spark Prepaid SIM Activation Guide

Activating your Spark NZ SIM
The SIM card is preloaded with the '$19 Big Value Pack' which includes 500MB of data, 100 minutes of National calls (within NZ), and 'Non-stop' SMS (within NZ). 

That is enough to get most started, however should you require more data, or like to add an international call/SMS pack - you can do this before you leave, or at a later date whilst in New Zealand, as you please.

IMPORTANT Update [late 2014] :
Telecom NZ has re-branded to 'Spark'
The 'telecom NZ SIMs' dataGO has sold still work exactly the same.
The best method (actually has always been quickest way) to check your balance, is to download the "Spark NZ" App (see below).

Alternatively, you can always contact them direct via multiple ways (online chat, phone or in their physical stores):
http://www.spark.co.nz/contactus/
They have consistently provided fast and efficient customer service in my experience, which is kind of a rarity when dealing with telcos!

How to add extra credit or packs
The steps below show how to add extra credit or features in addition to what is included. These steps worked from Melbourne, Australia, and we believe should work other countries also.

Main thing is to have an unlocked phone :-)

Step 1 – Connect to network
Take out your existing SIM and insert your Spark NZ SIM.
-> This starts the 30 days to use your credit.
Note: you won’t be able to make calls using the SIM outside of NZ, as roaming/international calls aren’t included in the preloaded ‘$19 Big Value Pack’. This requires extra credit. It might also show ‘Balance $0.01’ – this is because it is the ‘Big Value Pack’ that is preloaded, not $19 of credit.    
   
The SIMs are preloaded and don't require any activation if being used in an unlocked phone in NZ. They can just be used straight away in NZ (or dial *333 to check your balance to kick it off).

Some people like seeing the SIM working before they leave home.
The SIMs used to automatically activate/authenticate even outside of NZ (eg in Aust) if you had the Spark App downloaded, and you could see it connect to the roaming network partner- they now won't automatically connect, you have to have the App (see below) register the SIM via the app with the SIM in and an SMS confirmation code should be sent thru. It will then ask for the code that was sent via SMS and for you to set the password. We have had a report that not always will that SMS come thru. Don't panic, as the SIM should function just fine in NZ, as mentioned it really isn't necessary to be logging into the app prior to arriving in NZ.

It may also be worth turning your phone on/off  (or airplane mode on/off) on arrival in NZ to make sure appropriate settings are loaded.

Step 2 – Add credit & monitor usage

There are three options for adding credit:
1) Through the Spark NZ App [recommended]
2) Online [currently disrupted]
3) By Phone

The App or Online are the easiest two options.
An extra advantage of doing it via options 1) or 2) is that you will then easily be able to monitor usage.

Option 1 - Through the Spark NZ App
The best method (actually has always been quickest way), is to download the "Spark NZ" App in the:
Android Google Play store OR 
iTunes App for iOS devices (iPhone or iPad)
Then follow the prompts described above in the online method > Register...

Main advantage of the App- is that there is a bit more display and native functionality built in to the process which makes it easier to add/monitor credit (not have to zoom in on a small screen).

    

Option 2 – Online 
[As per update above - best method is via the App, the online method has been disrupted with the changeover to the new name 'Spark' ]
1.     Go to www.telecom.co.nz/ytmobile
You can do this on a computer, or phone connected to WiFi. If you connect over 3G (in NZ) on your phone or device you'll be logged in automatically.
2.     Click on bottom option “First time logging in” – click ‘Send new password’

Picture
3.     Enter mobile number. The number is on the front label of the envelope packaging starting with 027… Press continue (NB, if you can’t find the number call a number Caller ID, or send a text to a mobile).
4.     Enter the ‘Validation Code’ that will be sent to your SIM
 
5.     Enter a new password
6.     Re-enter new password and click continue
7.     You should get a “Success” result and click 'Finish'
8.     Close and go back to main Login (if it doesn't do automatically) - then enter Ph and password

    

You can then proceed in adding credit, and then using that credit to buy an international calling or data pack you require in the Spark NZ portal.

NB: The "$19 Big Value Pack" is preloaded, so it is only for features or data in addition to this, that you need to add credit. 

More info on the New Zealand prepaid plans here
spark.co.nz/ytmobile

i) Login and it will display your number and balance (NZD$0.01)
ii) Click 'Top-up Now' it should have pre-selected 'Credit Card' and 'My Mobile' and select the 'Top-up' amount you wish to add ie '$20' (Minimum $10)
then 'Next'
 
iii) It will say you are about to go to their payment provider > 'Continue'

iv) Enter your credit card details and 'Top-up Now'
 
v) You should get a notification saying top-up success
Then select the pack you wish to add ie '$9 international talk and text' pack in this case, but you can whatever option suits you- maybe one of the data packs available

vi) After selecting a pack, it will ask to 'Confirm purchase'
 
vii) It should confirm your request to submit the pack
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Option 3 – By Phone
Now you just need to add credit and tell them which plan you would like. When adding credit via phone as they have no problem accepting international credit cards.
Call using an Australian phone number for free call using;
1800 730 064 or
1800 881 640 or
1800 551 164
Check out this contact page (http://help.telecom.co.nz/app/answers/detail/a_id/8021/) for free numbers when calling from other countries. It does go to a call center (Philippines), but we found no issue understanding/getting through to staff. I guess 10-15 minute wait is reasonably standard these days, but we only waited 2 minutes.

Listen to the call prompts, but we used the following;
1) Pressed "#"
2) Pressed "#"
3) "Billing and payments", press "1"
4) "Other", press "6"
5) Hold for operator

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Contacting telecom NZ in New Zealand
Or if you are calling to add credit in NZ 
General enquiries 
123 /OR 0800 800 123 
Mon-Sun 7am-9pm
OR from an overseas (billed at international rates); +64 3 374 0253
 

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Other Information for the telecom NZ SIM: 
Network Frequency
GSM 850/1800  W-CDMA 850/2100

APN (to allow data – but it should load automatically)
APN: internet
user name: (blank)
password: (blank)