CFN – Cell phones have become a part of our lives. It’s hard to work or play without them and the new Smart Phones have so many features you “virtually” can have your whole office and life on one.
Many times I’m in the field and can file a story with my phone.
One of my associates shot fire footage on his iPhone and loaded it to CFN from location.
So it is with me, a busy guy running a busy newspaper.
After I had problems with my Blackberry Torch and wrote about it a few years ago my provider, Virgin Mobile here in Canada contacted me. I’d had a three week run around with their customer support, but their Hello division reached out.
They made me happy; but slowly but surely started to behave in ways that made me feel less than loved.
The final straws were taking away discounts without notifying me and essentially nearly doubling my rate.
Also, I lost my beloved iPhone, which is my own fault, but the manner in which this has all occurred has changed me from someone that recommended them to friends and family to someone that’s now writing about what options I and you dear viewers have in Canada, which is of course not a real open market thanks to our government not allowing real competition.
In unison the cell phone companies seem to all be pushing 2 year contracts; probably because the CRTC is limiting contracts to….2 years. The rates have gone up as have the discounts on phones. And again, it all seems in unison?
My plan for Virgin was $40 per month with unlimited minutes and long distance. Also included was call waiting, caller id, voicemail, and texting. I was only given the option of paying for floating data which bloated my bill by another $15 or $20 per month.
That was sorta ok. Now that has changed. When I lost my iPhone they asked me for a $345 upgrade fee. That I wasn’t that cool with because there were other fees depending on which phone I decided to purchase. Yes, I could pick up a used phone on Kijiji, or an unlocked phone online, but I really didn’t want to go that route.
Scanning Virgin today there is no plan like my current one available.
Their Silver plan for unlimited minutes is $50 per month + $10 for 1 GB of data. That gives me $200 of the inflated retail prices on $12 worth of plastic and metal.
Gold plan is $65 including 1 gb of data, but I get a $300 credit on a phone. Platinum is $85 with 1 GB of data but up to $700 off of a phone. Do you get the idea that you’re paying for the “free credit” in your monthly rate for 2 years yet?
Koodo’s offering $60 + $10 for their unlimited plan with 1 GB of data. For another $5 per month I can get a medium tab which means a $300 tab balance instead of $150
It’s like you need a university degree to figure out the best deal on a phone nowadays!
Fido is $65 per month for unlimited with 1 GB of data. Fido will give you a 4s iPhone for free with a two year plan. $130 for the 5c or $230 for a Gold 5s.
Rogers, Telus, and Bell, parent companies of Fido, Koodo, and Virgin all are more expensive options as well to varying degrees.
The irony is that the big three spent millions advertising and whining about the potential of big bad Verizon entering the marketplace.
Clearly it shows that there is little to no competition in Canada and that prices are artificially being propped up thanks to the CRTC.
What do you think viewers of CFN? Who do you use and who do you recommend? You can post your comments below.
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