Expensive Phone Bills in Canada

Recently, an article came out detailing that Canada has the most expensive wireless prices in all of the G7 countries.

No surprises there.

The article goes on to explain that for $30 or so, the citizens of the UK get 1,200 minutes and 1 GB of data a month.

Wifey still has her old plan with Fido where we pay $35.10 a month ($39.66 with taxes) for 400 minutes (unlimited weeknights and weekends) and 400 MB of data.

It's still better than we are currently offered. Seems every few months or so, the price just keeps going up, up, and further up.

So how can you limit the destruction to your wallet? With only 3 major phone companies, there really isn't much choice. Even with their "discount" brands, you're really paying through the nose for mobile service.

As some of you know, I'm using Fido Prepaid and my plan (which is no longer offered by Fido) costs $85 ($94 if you count the $0.75 a month 911 access fees) a year for 100 minutes a year and unlimited text messages. Data not included.

With more and more places providing free WiFi (Canadian Tire, McDonald's, certain restaurants, etc.), the need for data while you go is greatly reduced.

Of course, since we can't select the Pay by the Year plan*, there's always just plain jane prepaid plans. For $100, your money is good for a year. You just need to pay for what you use. My in-laws have a prepaid plan. They currently pay 50 cents per minute for the first five minutes and 25 cents for each minute after that each day and 30 cents per text message. With about 6 weeks to go until their balance expires, they still have $55 in their account.

Aside from that, the alternatives are to use mobile plans from 3rd parties. Like 7-11, Petro Canada, or even some controversial ones like Sugar Wireless.

As it stands now, the CRTC is trying to find ways to lower the cost of phone bills in Canada. The problem is that the big three corporations will always find a way to charge us more money.

Last time, the CRTC touted the fact that 3 year contracts were a thing of the past. The wireless companies responded by jacking up prices for 2 year contracts (and month by month terms).

So really, no matter what the CRTC does, it will not help to lower prices.

I'm not sure what the answer is to lower prices in Canada.

The previous government tried to bring in additional phone companies to increase competition. That only helped in making the big 3 bigger as the new companies were soon absorbed into the big 3 because of unreliable service, low coverage area, and unrealistic and unsustainable low prices.

Overall, the only way to get lower mobile phone prices is to not own a mobile phone or to use a prepaid plan. Both are not options for many people especially if they are connected to their emails and social media at all times.

I, on the other hand, never grew up with data**, so I'm not missing out on much.

*I believe Petro Canada has a $15 a month plan that is similar to the old Fido plan I have. Also, Rogers has a plan like mine. Only they charge $120 a year. Which means you need to purchase two $100 vouchers to access it the first time around.

**I did have data for two years with Mobilicity and Wind, but it was either extremely slow or not working. As a result, I still have no idea what having a phone with data is like. Actually, that's not true. I sometimes use my wife's phone to look up something when we're out.


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