Tag Archives: Fido

Breaking Down the “Free” Phone Offers

Almost every add, from every cell carrier, comes with the promo line of getting a “free” phone. Well…not so much. What it actually comes with, if you read the fine print, is a two year locked in contract at a BIG price.

Not paying for a new phone up front has no connection to “free” over those two years. Plus, all those contracts come with BIG early termination penalties. I would never sign one of those. For me, it’s always critical to stay being a free agent!

My current carrier is FIDO. They are the 2nd tier small sister of Rodgers. Because they just sent me this “free” offer, I’ll use them as an example. All other 2nd tier carriers will be about the same. All first-tier carriers like Telus, Bell, and Rodgers will be similar, just more expensive.

My cost is $40 a month because it’s an old month-to-month plan. New customers who bring their own phone can get it at $45 a month right now. The current promotion is double the 1 gb date to 2 gb, which is plenty if you do not live on your phone with youtube or watching movies. It’s unlimited texts and talk.

You can get a $15 a month plan if you bring your own phone. It has a tiny amount of data (250mb) enough to check stocks, short google searches, the weather, or hockey scores a few times a day. It’s unlimited texts but no call minutes – so you’ll pay 50 cents a minute.

That’s the baseline: $15 to $45 for no contract plans. Now let’s add the so-called “free” phone. In FIDO’s case, their promotion is the new iPhone 11 Pro. Pay for it up front and its $1,200. To get that you must sign an XL plan at $105 or more per month for two years. Yes, it comes with extra data, but $105 vs. $45 is $60 x 24 months or $1,440 for the phone.

Do the math on any plans with any carrier and it’ll take you less than a minute to see if your free is actually free…it isn’t – anywhere from anybody. There’s no such thing! How much you want to pay is up to you and your wallet.

Last week, I bought a new (new for me) iPhone 7. It still has six months of warranty and I paid $300. THAT lets me stay a free agent for at least three more years. I saved $800 over a new one, it’s in mint condition and saves me $60 a month not having a contract. $800 up front and $60 for the next three years is a total saving of $3,000! THAT is how you win at the cell game.

Oh, and I’ve mentioned them before: I get mine out of Winnipeg from TB Cellutions. Here’s their link on eBay Canada again:

http://stores.ebay.ca/TB-CELLUTIONS

A Cell Phone Rip-Off Warning

Starting next month, if you’re a FIDO cell phone customer, you will get charged a so-called mandatory fee to call them. You’ll get charged to call them if you need anything done on your cell plan that you can or should do online. That includes making a payment, changing your payment type or credit card, password reset, updating information and the likes.

FIDO is the 2nd tier carrier of Rodgers, so you can bet they’re starting it, too. And if Rodgers is implementing this rip-off fee, Telus and Bell have, or will match it. Their average call time is around three minutes. So even if one agent only handles 12 calls an hours at $10 per call, that’s $120 profit less their $15 hourly pay. They’ll make more money on this rip-off than they do on your cell bill!

George Boelcke – Money Tools & Rules book – yourmoneybook.com

Some Cell Phone Insights & Tips

Strange, but true, one of the most common email questions I get is about saving money on cell bills. Part of that is probably because I keep harping on insane $100 or more plans.

The big three carriers in Canada are Rogers (almost 11 million clients), Telus, and Bell, both at around 9 million total, which includes all their subsidiaries. To me, those three are for businesses and rich people. Rogers second tier carrier is Fido, while Telus has Koodo, and Bell has Lucky and Virgin.

My current plan is with Fido at $39 a month for tons of calling minutes, unlimited text, and some data – enough for what I need. But that plan is now $45 a month and that’s not competitive in a market where rates are dropping, Fido is increasing theirs. If your plan goes up, call them – as I did. Do you want to keep me? If so, lower it back to what it was. or I’m gone. That can only be done if you are not handcuffed by a horrible contract – something I’d never sign.

Telus now has a third-tier carrier for the super price-sensitive people. It’s called Public Mobile and everything is online. There’s no 800 number and everything is on their web site – period. It drastically cuts their expenses and some of that is getting passed on to customers in lower rates.

 

Public Mobile has unlimited talk text, and 500mb of data for $30 a month. But there’s a trick in the fine print: The unlimited talk is only province-wide! So if you ever call outside the province you’ll need to also add an $8 Canada long distance plan. The lesson? The headline cheap price isn’t always it. You need to read the details on their website.

Freedom Mobile, owned by Shaw now, isn’t ready for prime time yet – we’ll skip that for a few more years.

Koodo has massively increased their rates from a year ago. I have their rate list from both years. Now it’s $50 for the cheapest plan with unlimited calls, texts and any kind of data (it’s 1 GB). That’s up from a comparable $30 last year!

Lucky Mobile is the pre-paid plans, lower-end carrier for Bell who also has Virgin Mobile. Lucky is available in 17 areas, and only rolled out in December, so be careful that you’ll have coverage. They’ll give you throttled 3 G coverage on their 4G network. You can find them online and through Walmart. You can get a $40 plan with unlimited calls and text plus 1 GB data. Hello, Koodo? That’s 25% less than your new rates! And it’s only $45 with 2 GB data. I couldn’t find any mention of whether they’re compatible with iPhones.

There are two lessons: NEVER sign a contract – always stay being a free agent, and shop around at least once a year, just like you would or should on your insurance.