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Information Echo » A Colossal Rip-off - Mobile Data in Canada.

Mar 05 2007

A Colossal Rip-off - Mobile Data in Canada.

Published by Mark at 1:13 am under Frustration, Mobile Data, Money, Ponder, Technology

As I’ve complained about in the past, one of my pet peeves about the Canadian cellular providers is the lack of competition, and the high prices that result from such - especially when it comes to the cost of mobile data.

My interest in this topic results from my unhealthy addiction to constant net connectivity. I quite enjoy owning a device that allows me to connect to the web, stay on top of my email, and do other things that requires the internet - anytime, and anywhere.

Yes, I’m addicted, and I’m willing to admit it. I may even brag about it to some.

My current device feeds my addiction for only $20 per month, but the device (and associated plan) was recently discontinued, and replaced by the following nightmarish data plans instead. I’m grandfathered for as long as my hardware lasts, but I know eventually I will have no choice but to “upgrade” to a new device, and with it, a new data plan.

For reasons you will soon see, I’m not looking forward to the day.

Although voice plans have become more competitive over the years due to some amount of pressure amongst carriers to keep up with each other, what has steadfastly remained a huge rip-off on the Canadian side of the border is mobile data.

I define mobile data as internet access in a mobile environment - the most common being a PDA (Blackberry, Treo), or a notebook using a cellular wireless card.

I thought I’d sit down recently and do a (entirely unscientific or professional) price comparison of available data options here, and then compare that to the USA.

The rip-off we are enduring quickly becomes evident.

This post amounts to a huge rant and was written over the period of a month or two. I’ve sat down at various points in time, gotten upset about the subject all over again, and angrily typed some more. It has languished in my drafts folder for far too long, so polished or not (and it’s not), it was time to publish this post.

Most information here is factual based upon the best information available at the time I was pissed off. It’s all based on reality, though - as frustrating as it is.

It’s possible that some plans have changed slightly since I captured most of the following screen shots, but I doubt any changes were terribly significant.

Your mileage may vary, take at your own risk, no warranties expressed or implied, side effects may vary, wash, rinse, repeat, wipe hands on pants.

Read more if you wish, but if your not interested in this subject as a whole you may want to just skip this blog entry, if you haven’t stopped reading already…


In Canada, we have four major cellular carriers in Canada - Bell, Fido, Rogers, and Telus.

Fido is owned by Rogers despite the fact that they maintain separate identities as far as the consumer is concerned. Their prices are becoming increasingly similar despite some continued differences.

I’ll keep the comparisons simplistic - I’ll show the costs from the various carriers here, add some witty (and not so witty) comments, and then post the available USA options afterwards. No “Per Kilobyte” breakdowns or technical calculations of the differences between carriers - the differences between Canada and the USA are so dramatically different that the differences are clear and the deficiencies here are laughable.

For anyone from the USA reading this, you’ll probably see my issue after you see the first few images below..

For any Canadians who don’t know better, perhaps this will be an enlightening topic.

I personally use about 75 too 125 megs of mobile data myself each and every month, so I’ll base my opinions based on the requirement of at least 100 megs.

First, Fido.

Picture 1.png

Fido does not offer *any* PDA data solution at this point (not even the Blackberry) so this is pure notebook based data using their PCMCIA data card.

[EDIT: Fido introduced the Nokia E61 recently as well as Blackberry support, however the data rates for such remain the same as those quoted before.)

So, $60 for 25 megs, or $100 for 200 megs. We need at least 100 megs, so we are looking at $100 per month.

Ouch.

Fido used to have a mobile data device that offered unlimited data for only $20 per month. They also used to offer unlimited notebook data via a PCMCIA card for only $50 per month. Not surprisingly, money hungry Rogers (the now parent company since a takeover a year or so back) has killed both of these options.

Want another kick while your down? Read the fine print - if you don't subscribe to a minute plan along with their data plans, you get charged another $6.95 "access fee".

Not the worst gouge of all the carriers, but expensive.

Rogers:

Rogers offers a variety of mobile data solutions - notebook connectivity, and Blackberry / Treo solutions. Rogers doesn't even classify mobile data as a consumer level service, so you can only find any mention of it on the business portion of their website.

First, Blackberry and voice packages.

Picture 2.png

$95 for 350 minutes and 50 megs of data? Not a deal.

Blackberry data only? (No voice minutes whatsoever)

Picture 4.png

Ok, assuming a reasonable data usage of 100 megs per month minimum, this would require me to subscribe to the $100 plan.

Only a few months back Rogers used to advertise an "Unlimited" data plan for $100, however when you read the fine print "Unlimited" was actually only 25 megs. They had the gall to put a disclaimer that "Data usage beyond 25 megabytes per month is considered abusive" and then quoted some asinine per meg data rate (I believe it was $7 per extra megabyte) for usage beyond 25 megs.

Either through ridicule or (more likely) irate customers, I see they have reworded it, as per the above screenshot.

[EDIT: "Unlimited" that wasn't didn't go unnoticed. There was plenty of others who were pissed off, unsurprisingly...]

I also see they have increased the data to a more reasonable 200 megabytes for the $100 plan.

But why is it still $100?

Do you want just mobile data on your Laptop?

Picture 5.png

The plans are similar to the new Blackberry plans, but it’s not clearly mentioned if any proprietary compression schemes are in place to control bandwidth use.

For anyone seriously using the internet, we can all agree that on a notebook 200 megabytes is a minuscule amount, even if you are just dealing with email and visiting a few sparse websites each day.

So, you don’t want a Blackberry specifically, but don’t want to carry your notebook either?

Well, Rogers offers some alternative all-in-one’s. The Treo and Ipaq are two notables.

However, what will the data cost there?

Well, the Rogers website isn’t terribly clear on what plan is actually designed for these devices, but after digging and interpreting the wording of the multitude of data plans listed, this seems like the plans aimed at these devices:

Picture 6.png

Confusingly, it seems like if you want to use a device other then the Blackberry, your going to pay a serious premium - $90.00 for the “Max” plan, which includes a ridiculously low 25 megabytes of data per month.

I’m sure there’s nothing quite like owning a powerful device like a Treo, and then having to count every kilobyte in order to avoid the asinine $5 Per Megabyte overages charges.

Enough with Rogers.

Bell Mobility.

Bell mobility, a subsidiary of the national telephone carrier Bell Canada, is the main competitor to Rogers.

Much like Rogers, Bell offers a confusing multitude of different data related plans. Some plans include voice minutes, some do not. Some are for the Blackberry only, and some are strictly for the Treo or PPC options.

There are far too many options available to list here. It’s downright confusing. Why is data not just data, plain and simple?

Picture 7.png

To avoid the confusion, lets deal with strictly a Blackberry, and my earlier statement of needing at least 100 megs per month.

Once again, if you want a “Combo” plan with minutes included on your blackberry, the prices for the data somehow change - you get less for more.

The voice and data options:

Picture 8.png

$90 for 350 talk minutes and a mere 30 megs of data?

Sheesh.

Blackberry data only?

Picture 9.png

So, $60 for 30 megs, but $100 gets you 250?

250 megs for $100 - a better deal then Rogers…but is it a deal?

Hardly - wait untill you see the US data rates.

To summarize the rest of the data options with Bell, no matter if you use a Blackberry, Treo, or a notebook with a data card, they are priced very similar.

Unlike Rogers which charges much more for data on some devices versus others, at least Bell seems to think that it shouldn’t matter what device you use - a kilobyte is a kilobyte.

Still no deals, though, but a significant improvement from either Rogers or Fido.

Telus.

Telus is much larger in Western Canada then they are elsewhere, but in a cellular aspect they are a player, especially with their push-to-talk “Mike” handsets which are extremely popular with businesses.

Picture 10.png

From a strictly data standpoint, you can get a signifigant amount of data for a comparable price to the other carriers:

Picture 11.png

(There is a $60 plan, but as with all the other carriers it includes a useless amount of data - only 30 megabytes).

But once again if you want to mix minutes with your data, Telus (much like both Rogers and Bell) suddenly seems to think that you no longer need much data:

Picture 12.png

Every single “minutes and data” plan (including this $155 per month plan) includes only 25 megabytes of data.

Need laptop data?

Picture 13.png

250 megs for $100 - look familiar? Again, if you were actually using your laptop like you do at home and surf freely, 256 megs isn’t going to last a month.

As you can see they also offer a one gigabyte plan for $375.

More useful for someone using a laptop, but again, you would still need to surf carefully to make that last an entire month when you compare it to how much people use while surfing freely at home.

So, we’ve covered Canada.

There are more cellular carriers in Canada, but most of them are regional carriers that only cover some areas of the country. Regardless, with no exceptions that I know of, the data rates for their cellular offerings virtually fall inline with the rates from the carriers shown above.

Let’s look at the USA. For the purposes of my example I’ll use T-Mobile, Cingular, and Sprint - three carriers that I frequently see television commercials for here in Canada.

The first thing I always notice is that mobile data in the USA is considered a consumer level service - it’s not hidden away in the “business” portion of the website, leaving the “consumer” with nothing.

Mobile data in the USA is a widespread service available to everyone at a reasonable cost, not just corporate professionals who can afford it as is the case here in Canada.

First, Tmobile.

Blackberry plans:

Picture 14.png

Strictly unlimited data? A mere $29.00!

1000 talk minutes and unlimited data for only $59!

Add an extra 500 minutes for only $20 more - $79.99.

Need your laptop for data on T-Mobile?

Picture 15.png

Unlimited for only $49!

Cingular:

Blackberry data only:

Picture 16.png

Not as good of a deal as T-Mobile, but once again compared to Canadian rates, $34.99 for unlimited data is a steal!

Are you a smartphone user? (Treo, iPaq, etc)

Picture 17.png

$19.99 - Unlimited. Add any minute plan you want to this at rates much lower then anything in Canada.

Tell me again why on the Rogers network 25 megs of data (and a mere 350 minutes of talk time) costs $90?

Want laptop data on the Cingular network?

Picture 18.png

Telus wants $375 Canadian for one gigabyte. Rogers wants $100 for 200 megs.

Cingular? $79 for as much as you want. Only $59 if you subscribe to a minute plan along with it.

Any Canadians out there starting to feel sick about this yet?

I know I am.

Sprint?

Based on their website, Sprint doesn’t seem to offer any smartphones like the Blackberry on the consumer side of their website, but they do offer mobile laptop data for consumers:

Picture 19.png

Deal!

I’m going to stop here despite the fact that I could go on about this for hours.

The facts are clear - mobile data here in Canada is simply unrealistically priced, and until the carriers clue in to this fact and providing pricing more along the lines of what is available in the USA, it will continue to stifle their own growth.

….and people like me (and others) will continue to grumble about it.

66 Responses to “A Colossal Rip-off - Mobile Data in Canada.”

  1. Mike Agaron 05 Mar 2007 at 9:14 am

    I’ve wondered if the roaming rates for a T-Mobile plan would still come in under a Rogers offering. Zip down to Buffalo, get a new SIM, and roam in the GTA.

    Just a thought…

  2. Markon 05 Mar 2007 at 9:43 am

    It has crossed my mind but unfortunately people have tried this and discovered that US based carriers have clauses in their contracts that prevent “permanent roaming”.

    It may work for a few weeks, but then apparently the service is disconnected.

  3. Lucon 05 Mar 2007 at 6:51 pm

    Yes, it certainly seems like we are getting hosed by our Canadian cellular carriers. Is there such a difference in our Canadian networks compared to US networks that can justify such a difference in prices? I would love to see something comparable to any of the US plan here in Canada. I think I would be signing on for a nice unlimited data plan. As it is now I have an unlimited mobile browser on my Bell Mobility cell phone but it is WAP and it sucks. Its slow and incredibly awkward to operate. Not really practical but its included in my cell phone plan for free so I’m stuck with it.

  4. Justinon 07 Mar 2007 at 1:41 am

    The best deals are the Telus and Bell $100 plans: They offer 250MB on-device PLUS 250MB for laptops on the same plan. In other words, you get 500MB of data for $100.

    However, I still would not pay $100 for anything short of unlimited! It’s just ridiculous!

  5. Drewon 11 Mar 2007 at 8:56 pm

    I just got a blackberry and have found this info disturbing. Looks like im using my BB as a phone period. will they hopefully take thier heads outta their asses… hope so!

  6. Martin Cleaveron 12 Mar 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Having just been charged $51.20 for 1 Mb of data off-plan, I’d like to invite the US and European mobile carriers into Canada.

    This country has rich pickings and lazy incumbents that need external pressure to stop colluding and start competing.

  7. T-rexon 16 Mar 2007 at 12:27 am

    Now Rogers and Telus are offering unlimited music downloads, as in the “Load up your 4GB MP3 phone” for $20/month ads. If you were to pay their regular data rate of 5 cents/kb for this (hey, it’s all 1’s and 0’s), the cost would be:

    $209,715.20

    Let’s see, buy a home or fill up my phone with data… Or get functionally the same thing for $20 if I just download music…

    It makes no sense.

  8. daveon 16 Mar 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Agreed. It is highway robbery. I am moving to Seattle.

  9. Colinon 19 Mar 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Cancelled my Blackberry data service with Rogers out of frustration about 4 months ago (due to a high volume of spam emails which were driving me crazy). Was on an “unlimited” data plan for $90 per month, which of course is no longer available. Considered coming back on-line with a data plan, but now I will just keep the status quo and stick with my voice only plan until rates come down to earth.

    On a related note: voice plans with Canadian carriers are really cryptic, and it irks me to no end that the Customer Service departments never suggest switching to a more economical plan (would go a long way to securing some long-term business!)

  10. kellyon 20 Mar 2007 at 8:33 am

    I signed up for the fido unlimited data plan a few years ago - $50 for unlimited. Use it for my windows mobile phone/ laptop (via bluetooth) internet access. I average about 300-500 megabytes a month, since I typically have a wi-fi link available, but still a good deal for $50. If I was paying the $0.05 per kb, I’d be paying an awful lot!

  11. Paul Rousseauon 20 Mar 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Why not just get an unlocked dual mode phone like the Nokia e61 and use wifi for data…while you cannot use this everywhere, it may reduce your total bill

  12. Markon 20 Mar 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Right now I’m satisfied with that I have for $20/month unlimited…but if/when the time comes the E61 will be on my list.

    Fido “conveniently” offers the E62 - same phone, but with the WiFi (unsurprisingly) removed.

    It will be a last ditch effort though if the time comes as everything I’ve heard about the E61/E62 doesn’t sound very slick compared to the Hiptop.

  13. Ianon 21 Mar 2007 at 9:49 am

    I have been wanting a BB device for years … and every few months, I look into getting one and then realize why I don’t have one: the data plans are horrible. I keep thinking that this will change, but so far it hasn’t improved, and with the removal of Fido’s unlimited data option, it has gotten worse in fact.

    I truely believe that if anyone came out with even a simple plan like 25 MB for $25, everyone would be all over that. At least anyone who needs light e-mail usage. I wish there were unlimited plans similar to those in the US, but even for now, we are offered 0.5 MB by Rogers for $25. Half a MB is comical.

  14. Joseon 28 Mar 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Funny thing,
    but they offer for “Consumers” a 2MB data plan for $5.00, and for “Business” customers they offer 1.5MB for $15.00, or 3MB for $25.00. Where is the logic here, other than trying to cheat you?

    I hope that a wave of competition starts invading the Canadian cellphone market.

  15. Martinon 04 Apr 2007 at 8:15 pm

    I too am absolutely disgusted by the dta charges by Canadian telcos. So what can we do?

    I guess emailing complaints to the 4 telcos is a start, but they’ve got a cartel going on here so why would they change anything.

    The CRTC has its hands tied, because it does not have governance over cell phone services or charges.

    The only other thing I can think of is contacting politicians. Oh lordy! But if enough noise is made to enough politicians then maybe one would pick up the baton make it a cause to further their career (excuse the cynicism).

    Any other ideas?

  16. Amriton 05 Apr 2007 at 2:00 am

    I have a BB and I am using it just as a phone for last 2 years, spent 500 $’s for just a phone? I was always looking for unlimited data plan to check my emails all the time, but prices are rediculous, nothing comparable to US. I wonder buying a plan in US and using in Canada would be cheaper.

  17. Science Library Padon 05 Apr 2007 at 6:01 am

    more on Canadian cellphone data charges…

    I had a question from the US asking why I didn’t just get an unlimited cellphone (Internet) data plan for about $30. The answer is, there are basically no unlimited cell data plans in Canada. With Rogers, you can maybe…

  18. Information Echo » Further proof..on 10 Apr 2007 at 9:31 pm

    [...] Science Library Pad: I had a question from the US asking why I… [...]

  19. Ginger Blythinon 07 May 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Mark, I know you know me from the airshow side of things, but by day I am actually a Mobile Data Specialist for a Telus dealer here in Niagara. Depending on what you are trying to do, there are tricks to getting the most out of your connection. Some devices ’sip’ at data, others ‘gulp’. Even how you access your favourite sites can affect things. You can spend $100/month on data to process a credit card transaction or $10/month, depending on how you structure things. And if you need truly unlimited throughput there is a little-known way to do that too….

  20. Markon 07 May 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Please enlighten us, Ginger. Me and (as you can see) many others are waiting. ;-)

  21. Joelon 17 May 2007 at 3:33 pm

    anyone out there interested in pooling resources to get a big fat corporate plan with a data bucket with discounts? i’m sure it would be cheaper than a whole lot of individual accounts… anyone in?

    ;)

    J

  22. Joe Guedeson 21 May 2007 at 10:45 am

    If you guys think that all of the above horror stories suck — Well don’t leave North America. I was recently in Europe and the Bahamas and got ripped off big time on my data services. Rogers claims that it’s whatever the local carriers charge. There has to be a way of circomventing this, otherwise you face a bill after a week away of over $ 500.00. How do we avoid being being at the mercy of these “gougers?

  23. Mikeon 14 Jun 2007 at 5:02 pm

    I agree 100%. I am currently a Tier 3 Data Tech rep with AT&T, and I have a GSM phone with Rogers. (Yes, it does burn me a little to talk to people every day that have unlimited data, but at least we have better health care… :) )

    I had heard that the CRTC has plans to open the borders for outside companies, like AT&T for example, but we can only hope.

  24. XNon 24 Jun 2007 at 12:07 am

    “…But now SetNet is taking its technology and creating its own free mail service, supported by advertisements in outgoing e-mail. The company plans to make the free service available in the United States in a few months, following its release in Europe. “Freedom Mail is for the rest of us, for those who don’t have Blackberries but still use e-mail in everyday life,” says Fodor, a computer programmer and the CEO of SetNet.”
    http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/18721/

    :( Probably not going to make it to Canada, like all the other cool services we don’t get to enjoy.

  25. [...] As I’ve ranted about many times in the past, mobile data in Canada is simply unaffordable for the average consumer. [...]

  26. Tanya (aka NetChick)on 16 Jul 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Bravo on a very well-thought-out post, Mark. I too, have a very serious issue with the lack of choices we have here in Canada under tight CRTC rules. It’s so frustrating to have lived in LA, and gotten US-Wide service for next to nothing, yet, come back to BC and pay through the nose.

    I’ve recently looked into data plans again, thinking that perhaps things have improved.

    They haven’t, they’ve gotten worse. How obnoxious.

  27. [...] Thomas Purves Mark in Oshawa Roland Tanglao Boris Mann Mobile Muse [...]

  28. Herbon 19 Jul 2007 at 10:55 am

    Thanks for the great analysis. I’ve only heard gossip about this subject but this brings it all into perspective. I’m glad I got Wifi in my PDA :P

  29. Cecilleon 20 Jul 2007 at 8:47 am

    I’m on bell right now. I was thinking of switching my phone for a moto Q and when I went to buy it, I was told that I needed a data plan. Currently I’m on the family plan and I do have what they call the $5 unlimited data plan. So I said I had one. Oh…but wait…apparently there’s a difference between what you get on the cell phone and what you get on the other data plan. I was not told this until I actually had the phone in my hand to buy, despite asking questions that should have led to them telling me this multiple times. The question that I was asking was why it was that I couldn’t receive java packets on my cell phone when I was using bell’s proxy. Were they filtering? No one even grasped the question, let alone could answer it. On the other hand, you CAN get java packets if you change to a third-party proxy. It does claim to be a 1x network. I think what it happening is that they essentially are using the same infrastructure, but the cell phone service is passed through a filtering proxy that blocks certain content. You can bypass this by bypassing their proxy server, but they WILL NOT sell you a PDA style phone without a data package.

  30. StringNotFoundon 20 Jul 2007 at 12:44 pm

    I have recently run in the same problem. Having the Unlimited Mobile Browser 5$ option. Which, is of course according to Bell, now 7$. http://www.bell.ca/shopping/MBUN.details With out it would cost 0.05$ a KB or 51.20$ a Meg (1024kB). So you see it can add up. They even have a link on that page showing you just that. The problem with using other applications is that is all goes through the Bell proxy with limited features and limits they decide. Good thing is, you can change proxies and do what ever you want. I can then only assume that the Blackberry, etc. run on a different proxy with more features. And I love how Data can mean so many different things to a telco then just 1s and 0s.

  31. [...] Information Echo » A collossal Ripoff - Mobile data in Canada. My interest in this topic results from my unhealthy addiction to … as good of a deal as T-Mobile, but once again compared to Canadian rates … Considered coming back on-line with a data plan, but now I … http://www.oshawapilot.ca/?p=439 [...]

  32. [...] Information Echo — A Collossal Ripoff - Mobile Data in Canada [...]

  33. doesntMatteron 25 Jul 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Almost Everything in Canada is monopolized or a rip-off .. Even things in Manhattan are cheaper..

    cell phone / cable tv plans here just frustrate me..

  34. Gingeron 31 Aug 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Mark, just a quick update on the Data plans for Telus. We now have a $100/1GB plan. It’s pretty nice having the extra MB (it used to be $100/250MB) now because there’s been an upgrade recently on Telus’ network to EVDO Rev A:
    I figure with the faster speed and lower latency that’s now available, the temptation is there to use more throughput.

  35. [...] A colossal ripoff — mobile data in Canada. I used to think the telcos were screwing themselves by pricing themselves at such unaffordable rates, but they’re not. They rely on the customer having no alternatives, but credit enough left on the credit card. The similarity in the cost of the service across providers HAS to make you wonder about the issue of collusion and price-fixing, which would be easy strategies to pull off in a market where only 3 providers exist. [...]

  36. Kevinon 09 Sep 2007 at 1:15 am

    How can we do something about it? where do to complain to gov about the monopoly? how do we let roger knows this is not ok. 2 time more? more by . 100x more? 1000x more? why? I’m not stupid. even undeveloped country has better rate. This is insane.
    Where do we start complaining? How do we get the gov to realized the problem and get more competition in?

  37. pmbearon 11 Sep 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Yeah… what can I say… I have been seriously had by the Bell, who failed to send me any info about my former 100$ a month “unlimited” plan. I do not think it is unlimited anymore. After incurring a $2500 bill over 3 weeks when I was away from home, which I dutifully paid, 7 weeks later they hit me for another $800. I intend to call the Bell tomorrow to find out WHY my bill is huge.

    I will admit when I was away I abused Voyageur nightly, and was moving quite a bit of data over my laptop and BB.

    But I removed Voyageur (in my mind it is the greatest money pit ever invented for the Blackberry) and again somehow or other, less than 2 months later I owe them 800 bloody bucks.

    I am thinking now screw the BB until prices come down. When you say “on-device use”, does that mean e-mails in/out and any sites visited on the browser? Cuz let me tell you now… BB and Facebook are a recipe for bank account destruction. I am real pissed off.

    And I know that ignorance is no excuse. I feel like I am alot to blame, but again, I was sure I had an unlimited data plan, back in 2005 when I signed up.

  38. pmbearon 11 Sep 2007 at 11:56 pm

    PS, on an aside, I am really looking at wi-fi, and the Nokia N800 or possibly even the new iPod Touch to surf, and/or check e-mails. Even a Palm TX looks like a better option, once I get hooked up with a few hotspots.

  39. [...] There’s still a big problem, though - the cost of mobile data in Canada. [...]

  40. Gingeron 25 Oct 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Some neat developments on the data pricing plans on Telus. These are for aircards & tethered PCS phones:
    - Connect 60 promo $60/1GB per month plus you can add $25 for US roaming
    - Connect 75 promo $75/unlimited per month (in Canada)
    - Connect 100 promo $100/unlimited per month (in Canada & USA)

  41. Gingeron 24 Nov 2007 at 11:11 am

    Mark, I can’t believe what I’m seeing on the mobile data front for Christmas 2007 …. here’s the scoop on the best deal I’ve seen with Telus as of this morning:

    TELUS will now be including unlimited mobile browser as a bonus on the Unlimited Personal Email & IM 15 promotional features
    Unlimited mobile browser will be included as a bonus for clients activating on Unlimited Personal Email & IM 15 promotion features.

    Unlimited Personal Email & IM for the BlackBerry Pearl will include:
    Unlimited Email and IM 15 - BB @ $15/month
    Email (BIS only) Unlimited
    Instant Messaging (BB Messenger only ) Unlimited
    Mobile Browsing Unlimited

    Unlimited Personal Email & IM for HTC Touch and HTC S720 will include:
    Unlimited Email and IM 15 - HTC @ $15/month
    Email Unlimited
    Instant Messaging
    (Windows Live Messenger) Unlimited
    Mobile Browser Unlimited

    Here is the link back to the Telus site.
    http://www.telusmobility.com/on/plans/pcs/email_15_smartphones.shtml

    The unlimited browsing is great. This is not a plan for people who are tethering their device to a laptop though and it is specifically for consumer lines not business accounts.

  42. Gingeron 24 Nov 2007 at 11:17 am

    PS - I was looking at Cecille’s comment. I have a couple of data devices that I can sell without a data package on Telus. Perfect if you need a PDA as an organizer and want it to be a phone/text messaging device too. The catch? Neither one is WiFi enabled.

  43. addicton 15 Dec 2007 at 1:37 pm

    “**Unlimited Email and Web promotion
    New clients signing up before December 31, 2007 on a 3 year contract term with select data plans can enjoy unlimited email and Web browsing for 3 months. Existing clients can also take advantage of this offer when renewing their contract term. Simply call Client Care or visit your nearest dealer to select an eligible data plan.” - you mean the 3 month thing?

  44. Qik It Up A Notch « PR for the Peopleon 03 Jan 2008 at 4:51 pm

    [...] Just another reason why Canadian providers need to really step up it with their mobile options, and I’m not alone when thinking [...]

  45. [...] based on the response to my past posts (one of which has attracted nearly 50 comments, and is the number one hit topic on my blog, according to my logs) this is a hot topic. Spend any [...]

  46. Ericon 11 Jan 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Still nothing has changed with rogers. I just got a $450 bill from rogers for using 19 MB. WTF? I have a 5 MB plan for $5. So the most you would think it would be is around $20? Now why would that make any sense at all. It’s time to stick it to Rogers.
    But wait it gets better.

    I have a bandwidth usage tracker on my phone and up to that bill I only used 7MB. hmmmm….. scam? ok perhaps they are charging for dropped packets?

    Is there any type of lawsuit or anti-monopoly suits going on now? I would join it.

  47. P Johnstonon 07 Feb 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I travel to the USA weekly for work. I only have one of Bell Mobility’s North America voice plans.

    I “very” seldom turn on my PPC-6700’s data functionality due to exactly the reasons stated in this blog.

    Unless a reasonably priced unlimited plan becomes available, I’ll never bow to the Canadian wireless carriers’ existing data plans.

    Too bad for me the US wireless carriers won’t sell me a cellular plan due to only having a Canadian mailing address.

  48. Qik It Up A Notch | PR for the Peopleon 11 Apr 2008 at 9:06 am

    [...] Just another reason why Canadian providers need to really step up it with their mobile options, and I’m not alone when thinking [...]

  49. [...] hashed over the former pricing structure before here as well as many of the changes for the better that occured late last [...]

  50. [...] regulations that allow them to maintain their own pricing. Another good analysis points out the astonishingly high charges for US data [...]

  51. [...] store local map info on your handset. This is especially important for Canadian wireless customers who are being colossally ripped off for mobile data, and absolutely crucial for international travel with Fido, where such data costs 5 cents per [...]

  52. [...] store local map info on your handset. This is especially important for Canadian wireless customers who are being colossally ripped off for mobile data, and absolutely crucial for international travel with Fido, where such data costs 5 cents per [...]

  53. Pierreon 27 Aug 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Really great post! Sad state of affairs we are in. I refuse to be gouged by these idiots. The government has to step in and either regulate or deregulate and allow international competition.

    To get an acceptable level of service this is what I do.

    1. Buy an unlocked Nokia e61 or higher smartphone with wifi. (The n95 is really nice). This’ll be a hit of 300-500$ but you’ll make it up in the first 4 months.

    The thing about these nokias is that they do voice over ip (voip) very well.

    2. Register with a voip provider ex. vbuzzer.com and get an incoming number in your area code. This is the number you give out to people.

    Set up your phone to work with the voip provider. (simple instructions available online)

    Bang.. now you have 1 cent/minute in/out calls when you’re in wifi range (which is 90% of the time for most people.)

    4. Get pay as you go and a sim card form a mobile carrier.

    5. set up forwarding at your voip provider to your cell number for when you’re not connected over wifi

    Now you have a single number that you can be reached at at all times. If you are in wifi range the call will be routed over your voip connection and if you’re not in wifi range the call will be forwarded to your cell line.

    I rarely go over 20$ a month on my cell and the plan from vbuzzer is piddles.

    Hope this helps.

  54. warrenon 04 Nov 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Well, Bell Mobility now advertises an “unlimited data package” for $30. I wonder if it’s really UNLIMITED. Or if it’s unlimited except for when you reach the limit. I hate all cell phone companies.

    Especially Rogers. I think they screwed me for thousands of dollars during the term of my contract for the stupid Razor phone that got me locked in for THREE additional years. Evil evil evil. Die die die. Hate you Rogers. Hate you hate you hate you.

    Warren

  55. Porkbreathon 17 Apr 2009 at 6:26 am

    Funny how they advertise ‘Unlimited’ browser but it’s actually very limited by their filtering.

    Overheard in a corporate exercise room:
    “Okay everyone, with me now:
    Suuuuck . . . . and . . . . . Blow,
    C’mon guys keep up, and again,
    Suuuuck . . . . and . . . Blow,
    three more times.”

  56. [...] a revolution in the last 12 to 18 months on both the voice and data fronts. No longer does it cost $100 for 200 megabytes of cellular data - quite to the contracy, I now have a data plan which offers me a generous 6 gigabytes for $30 per [...]

  57. A Fon 03 Oct 2009 at 9:59 am

    I believe that mobile data should be included in the price of home internet.
    Whats so special about mobile internet anyway, that you have to pay more??

    >>>People should not have to pay twice for the same internet, just because they are accessing it on a mobile device.

    I already pay $30-40 bucks per month for ‘highspeed’ internet at home. Lets say I go to Rogers and ask them I want an iphone…ok, that’ll cost you another $20-$100 per month just so you can check the weather, use facebook, or read some emails on your mobile device. C’mon are you serious Rogers?? Whats funny is that a lot of people actually accept it.

    I just bought a new iphone 3gs (unlocked) for $950. I obviously have no data plan. So I turned the device on, a few minutes later I looked at my data usage, and it said I sent and received a total of 1MB. I did the math and I now owe Rogers another $15-20 (depending their current rates) just for turning on my device. I called Rogers and I now have my mobile data completely BLOCKED : ) I’m happy now.
    I suggest everyone else do the same, you’ll feel a lot better, trust me.

    Me- 1 Rogers- 0

  58. Donon 29 Dec 2009 at 9:21 pm

    The reality of the telecommunications game is that it is entirely stacked in favour of the corporation. The worst offender by far is Telus Communications.

    To describe Telus as hostile, parasitic, predatory, fraudulent, coersive and borderline criminal would be not only putting it mildly but a gross understatement.

    The system of payments as detailed through Telebanking and through payment at the financial institution you deal with is where the fraud begins, and when one examines the actions of Telus that is what they are doing fraudulently billing amounts of monet not owed and charging interest not only not owed but charging interest on monies not owed. Once your payment is made through telebanking or in person at the bank there is less than 48 hours elapsed before Telus receives its funds through the bank it deals with, the Royal Bank. At this point, once Telus has the funds the Royal bank sometimes takes 3 to 10 days additionally to apply the funds to your account. Any questions raised aboout the whereabouts of your money and Telus simply points its finger at your bank as the party responsible for the delay. Then,as a result you the customer is not given the benefit of interest paid and owed on your money in addition you are then charged interest and fees on your outstanding balance. The reality is that few people know about this manipulation and Telus has been running this policy for years. It has made Telus millions and millions of dollars, defrauded from its customers.

    More dangerously and to the detriment of its customers safety and financial security Telus has sold all your personal information to call centers in the Phillipines. Every time you call directory assistance or customer service with Telus you are directed, 97 percent of the times called, to a foreign call center where non- Canadains have access to all of your personal information including all your banking information and your address. In recent months and years since this outsourcing has taken place hundreds of Telus customers have had their bank accounts and credit cards looted by employees of these foreign call centers. This is done with virtual impunity as none of the Canadian laws regarding theft, fraud and the theft of personal information applies to foreign Telus workers. The senior corporate echelons of Telus are well aware of the criminal acts commited against its customers as a result of its outsourcing and negligence but have taken a “hush-hush” “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. The numbers reflect that thousands of Telus customers have been defrauded with no recourse against Telus.

    In short the service at Telus has gotten worse and worse. The Telus corporation has now embarked on one of the most grievious acts of censureship possible. When a website appears that is highly critical of the fraudulaent and negligent actions of Telus, the internet ip address of that website is placed on a “no show” lisrt. This means that when you try to access it or do a Google search using Telus as your ISP the website will not be listed. Thsi is Big Brother in action and is commonmplace at Telus daily.

    In short, your best interests are not served by Telus. They rountinely place your safety in danger by selling your personal information. Telus has covered up and continues to cover up the thousands of customers harmed by its negligence.

    Do not do business with Telus. It is something you will regret

  59. TookRogersToCourton 19 May 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Do what I did. I sued them in small claims court — successfully.

    I am living in Toronto and bought a phone, but tried to return it when I found out what a ripoff it was. They claimed 30+ minutes of use when it was not true (I had the bill to prove it). They hit me with a $400 cancellation fee, a month of service I did not use, and reneged on their “no activation fee” promise.

    I tried emailing, phoning, mailing in, going in person, but it was one big waste of time. Eventually they said they would revers the charge, but sent it to a collection agency instead. This lady Alana Leung, threatened to make thing s “difficult” if I didn’t pay. P.S. the credit agency is METROPOLITAN CREDIT ADJUSTORS, their office is 6811 Century Avenue in Mississauga.

    Realize that if people stood up to these scam artists, instead of just b****ing about it, things would probably change

    I fought back, and they settled right away, and I am $300 richer.

    SO IF THEY RIP YOU OFF AND WON’T FIX IT, GO TO SMALL CLAIMS COURT

  60. Rustyon 31 May 2010 at 1:51 am

    This is what I wrote to Rogers today:

    After I subscribed to Pay-as-you-go service I received 6 spam text messages which costed me 2 dollars (!) each. I contacted customer service and asked to turn off sms feature so that I don’t receive any such messages again. I was promised that sms would be turned off. For 2 days I was happy because I did not receive any sms. But yesterday I received again the same message which costed me another 2 dollars. Moreover today I received a “devastating” spam message which costed me 15 (fifteen) dollars. Can anybody explain to me what is going on? I guess this is the trick used by Rogers itself to rip off the clients. I did not give my telephone number to anybody. Then who is it who gave it? In general I lost 30 dollars. Who will compensate this money? Waiting for your explanation.

  61. Winon 05 Aug 2010 at 11:04 am

    Canada is governed by corporations. Gov does not want to piss off it’s political bread and butter, therefore giving the cell companies free reign. Competition in Canada doesn’t exist. Canada is worse then a third world country when it comes to consumer technology. I operate a small home based bus here in Sask. With our local telco Sasktel you can’t even have an iphone ??? Hunh… How bizarre considering they boast themselves as a leader in the field.

    Corporations run Canada not the people and definitely not the gov.

    My 2cents…

  62. raymondon 21 May 2011 at 11:34 am

    I have a Rogers plan 30/moth for 150 day and night minutes. normally this isplenty but last month I exceeded my plan and got hit with an additional $200 for exceeding the 150 wireless minutes. No notification, call or offer to change my plan.

    I called rogers and go some CSR that felt he was my friend and kept calling me Raymond and feeding from their canned speech about it was a valid charge.

    As to my complaint about no notification I was told that I could have checked my usage online.

    They have computers tracking your usage on a second to second basis. They could have send notification by phone or text or email as they do for ads to sellyou more stuff.

    I propose a class action lawsuit to forcecell phone providers to provide their services at the lowest possible rat vbasedon thier pans and to automaticly move you from the current maxed out plan to the next level temporarily and back down if your usage calls for a cheaper plan.

    We can ask the court to order this and then ask that all excessive charges be refunded to customers for the last 10 years.

  63. [...] Data plans are a ripoff. No matter where you go in the Western world, it seems that companies are raring to gouge their customers on mobile data usage. With our increasing reliance on cloud computing, it’s utter nonsense that we should have to rely so heavily on such an outdated business model. Google’s already toyed with a solution to this aggravating problem; one which might solve the spectrum shortage and the data plan issue in one fell swoop: White Space. Of course, that proposal’s been in the works for so long that it’s difficult to tell when- or if- it’ll launch. [...]

  64. Loydon 27 Nov 2011 at 12:20 am

    Rogers and others do this is because they can. If nobody was buying their uber-overpriced data plans, they would go bankrupt. Stop complaining and boycott. Hotels, airports, planes trains have WiFi and your cable provider provides a complimentary WiFi at many coffe shops and libraries. I don’t want to answer my emails while sitting at the toilet and will consider mobile internet when it’s comparable speed and price as my cable. My pay-as-you-go Speakout cell phone service costs me around $150/yr and that includes “extras”.

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