I’m moving next month and since all of my upcoming roommates have cellphones, i’ve decided to get one too as opposed to paying for an entire landland on my own. I’m not the best comparison shopper and with at least four major players in my market I’m a bit overwhelmed. I’m not on the phone all that often, mainly using it to arrange meet-ups rather than for long converstaions, so I don’t need a huge amount of minutes. What’s the best cellphone provider/plan for somebody like me on a budget. i really don’t have any intention of paying greater than $25-$30 dollars a month for this. And I really don’t want to get locked into a crap long-term deal because they offered me some shiy trinket.
I use Telus Mobility and I’m happy enough with it. Like you, I don’t spend lots of time on the phone. I mainly keep it in the car so Mrs. RumMunkey can track me down whenever she wishes.
I have what they call the “Talk 20” plan. It comes out to closer to $30 per month (with system licensing, etc.). I don’t think I have ever even come close to the 200 minutes I am allowed each month, so for me it’s a good plan.
I’ve never really had problems with coverage. If I go over to the US, it seems to work well into the Buffalo area, I even made a call from Florida once and it worked (but that one was expensive, IIRC.) I’ve found some spotty coverage up in the north (up in the Port Elgin area), but I didn’t want to be bothered by phone on vacation anyway, so it worked out.
We’re on Telus too and very, very happy with both the service and support for customers. My ex, Sniffs_Markers, works in the film industry where cellphones are a must. She’s used other provider’s in the past and this one is her favourite by far.
They also must have some kick ass partnerships. When on holiday in the U.S. she still got signals way out in the boonies where her friends cell got no signal.
I also had pretty good luck last year during the blackout and managed to be able to get a signal when most providers weren’t able to cope with the extraordinarily heavy demand.
There is also Rogers ( :mad: ) – anyone I know who has used their service has had serious billing issues (bills showing up extremely late) and service problems. The customer service rep actually yelled at a friend who wanted to cancel her service with them. I was with them briefly. Could never geta a signal during rush hour. Hated them and refuse to do any business with them ever again in any way (hence, I do not have cable).
I work for a cell phone company (usually considered the most expensive). I’ve also used Telus and Rogers.
Telus and Bell share the same network, Rogers uses GSM (with older service on TDMA phones) and Fido (the smallest of the 4) uses GSM with Toronto/GTA only service (no service between major cities).
Price wise, usually goes Fido, Rogers, Telus and Bell (cheapest to most expensive IMO) but it also depends on what you need the phone for.
You’ll have to search for pricing (it’s all online). Keep in mind though that all service providers charge $6.95 SAF (System access fee) and a $0.25 911 fee. So a $25 plan = 32.20 + tax.
Bell offers an “all in one” plan but it’s $35 (200 minutes) plus tax (the SAF and 911 are included…but you can see it’s still more expensive).
Do the math and get what you want to pay. Keep in mind that contracts work both ways, usually protecting you from pricing hikes at the cost of having to complete the contract. Phones last anywhere from 1-3 years on average (depending on usage) and are easy to break so you may end up shelling out $200 a year on new hardware (with or without a renewal of the contract).
Cell phones are not cheap. Try not to “roam” in the states with one unless you get a special plan (Bell charges ~$1 a minute US roaming, Rogers (last time I was with them) charged me $0.95 a minute plus long distance roaming).
I would recommend a prepaid account if your usage is going to be ~33 or 66 minutes a month. Why? Because with prepaid, you have no contracts and it’s $10 or $20 a month ($10 = 33 minutes) that bank itself (as long as you add money monthly) and you can never owe money.
Disadvantages are that the hardware is pricy (no price break because we don’t make much money from prepaid) and that using more than ~66 minutes gets expensive fast. You also cannot roam unless you pass a credit check.
Hit a local mall and visit all 4 stores. See what you like.
Oh yeah, and mcbiggins, if you work for a large company (or are a member of a union/association or even a large club) you should check to see if we have a Corporate Plan available for you. Most of the large cell providers offer group discount plans for large companies.
If you work for a bank, the city, or someone large you might qualify. If you want, post who you work for (the main company if possible or the subsiduary) and I’ll see if we offer a special plan for them.
Hey badmana, have they changed the expiry of pre-paid minutes yet? I had a pre-paid account years ago (on the old Rogers/AT&T network) but switched to a plan because of the expiry clause.
Personally, if I buy minutes I expect to use them whenever the hell I want. I paid, they’re mine. It’s not like I’m renting them. If they must expire, the 30 or 60 days they offered was too short.
Badmana, I work for Indigo, and haven’t heard anything internally about a cell phone plan. My roommate has a nice student deal from Fido he got through Travel Cuts, but I’ve been out of school for a couple of years now.
I was looking at Bell initially because of the inclusive billing, but $35 for 200 minutes was looking pretty steep. Right now I’m look at Fido because of the promotion they’re running with unlimitied local incoming calls, 1000 evening/weekend, and 100 weekday for $25+6.95. The coverage issue worries me a little, but i rarely can afford to travel outside of the GTA these days so it won’t be a big issue. i’m going to go paw some demo phones in the mall during my lunchbreak, as I have all 4 providers’ stores within a 5 minute walk. Thanks everyone for the advice so far.
Yeah, although I haven’t done Customer Service for a while, I know it’s still $10 - 30 days, and $25 - 60 days until it expires. I don’t know why they do it that way. But for some people, using an automatic withdraw of $10 a month plus topping up when needed works fine. I think cell companies don’t want to have people adding in $10 only to use that per year…it costs a lot of money to even rent out the cell number from the government.
Chapters seems to have some sort of deal but it doesn’t look that good. At best you’ll get 200 minutes for $20 + saf. See a dealer to confirm because my abiliity to use our new billing system is pretty limited (Rogers switched to a new billing system and we followed…and we’re having the same lovely problems. If you think Windows is bad, our new billing system program is worse).
Basically you’ll pay a bit more for Bell for the wider calling area. Like I said, Telus rents our towers so you’ll get the same with them. Rogers, I don’t know much about since my last phones with them were TDMA.