I'm an Aussie who moved to Ottawa, Canada in 2008. I'm always having a moan about something. This is where I moan and whinge about things. Enjoy.

Wednesday 21 October 2020

Canadian Phone Prices

The prices for phone service in Canada are a fucking joke.

I'm with Freedom/WIND, and have been for almost 10 years. It will evidently be 10 years, in a month..

They aren't great, but bearable, since I'm on a $30/month plan, and would pay about $35/month for my account/SIM card, or I would, if they didn't keep putting bullshit "pay per use" charges on my bill, like $22.30 this month, for 358MB of roaming data, which I used because I was 300km away from home, camping for the weekend a couple of weeks ago.

Great security there. Prompt me for the same phone number that is displayed in full on the screen next to the field you want filled in?

I've been using the same SIM card since about 2010, which I just cut down from mini to micro, with a pair of scissors, when I changed to using my OnePlus One, since I refused to pay $10 or whatever they were trying charge me for a new micro SIM card, which is the same SIM card just pre-cut down by them. Ridiculous. Anyway..

I have been thinking about using one of the 4G/LTE modem/routers I have, as a backup Internet connection, and maybe for routing my DNS/IP phone other low latency/low use stuff through.

(Or maybe I could even take it with me when I go travelling, since it might be cheaper than Freedom's ripoff roaming fees?)

So I figured I would look around to just find a cheap (LOL!) prepaid, data only SIM.

Surely there's something like T-Mobile had in the US 15 years ago when I started travelling, where I could just chuck $20 credit on there, and it would last for 6 months or so, and/or until you used it all up, and you just bought more to recharge it, and extend the validity by another 6 months.

Here it is 2020, in Canada, I can find NO SUCH SIMILAR THING.

Everything is a fucking monthly subscription, a minimum of $10/month (plus taxes and bullshit, because you can never include the taxes and bullshit in the price of anything in Canada), and it will get you something piss poor like 250MB of 3G data. WTF?

There's absolutely no prepaid options with an expiry of longer than one month, that I can find at least, and some of them are even worse, with only 15 days.

Meanwhile I still have my Australian phone number, on a postpaid, no contract plan, with Vodafone, so I only pay when I use anything, and therefore don't pay anything when I don't use anything, and after almost 13 years living in Canada, it just works whenever I put it in a phone, and then I pay for whatever I used, at the end of that month.

If it didn't cost about $20/MB for roaming in Canada, then I would just use that.

Here's a guy who travels full time, and he did the research a few months ago to do things as cheap and reasonable as possible: https://www.traveltomtom.net/destinations/north-america/canada/best-prepaid-canada-sim-card

Look what he came up with:

First of all, 3 NON CANADIAN companies, absolutely no fucking surprise there. Second of all, the prices?!

$40 for 2 weeks of fucking data? So only $80/month.
Or $70 for 2 weeks, or $140/month, with less data.
Or $80/month..

What in the actual fuck? How are these the "best" options for data in Canada, unless you want a contract, which is another complete load of horseshit.

Let's look at "local" providers, vs exploiting using some international roaming agreement..

$35, for one fucking gig of data, for a month?

Telus? I'll Telu something, you're a fucking rip off.

Only $45 for 2 gig of data for a month..

Only $55 for 2 gig for a month on fucking Smell, err, Bell. Almost twice what they charge via Virgin, on their own / the same fucking network! (We'll get to that..)