Telecom companies and I have a direct conflict of interest: they want as much of my money as they can get in the form of paying for their services, and I want to give them as little of my money as possible. The best possible solution for me is to find the balance of service and price that keeps me happy and keeps as much skrilla in my bank account as possible so I can use it to buy bikes and flannel that hold much greater value to me.
Insider tip: corporations are not loyal to you. They just want your money.
So when my contract with the Bell Telephones ‘n’ Shit Company came to a sad end, I searched around for a way to lower my bill below the $61.02 I was paying monthly instead of the snazzy $85/month offer they were trying to hand me, even if I kept my phone instead of upgrading. Turns out that Koodo Mobile is the way to go for a cat like me.
Here’s the great things about my current set-up:
- I keep the phone I already have. It still works just fine. I got the one with the removal battery so it’s never the issue. I wanted to upgrade to a phone with a better camera but instead I just bought a nice camera. If you want a new phone, just buy it outright instead of getting the contract, you’ll still save money.
- There’s no contract. Which means it is prepaid. If I get pissed off at them, I walk away whenever I want. The onus is on them to keep me happy. There are no data overages. When the money runs out, the data just stops. This requires a bit of forethought to make sure you’ll have enough, but this isn’t a huge issue (see below).
- The Add-Ons don’t expire. Most prepaid plans force you to add data and voice calling on a monthly basis for a fee that quickly add up. With the Koodo prepaid plans, you add what you want and it is there until you use it. This was the “holy shit really?” moment that made me go with this plan over any other.
So how much are you saving here, Ace?
Bell wanted me to sign up for $85/month plus tax which comes to $96.05 after tax. Over a year of paying this, we’re up to $1153 and over a two-year contract comes to $2305. Of course this comes with tons of data and unlimited texting and lots of voice minutes as well as your “hey it’s been two years here’s a huge effing phone with some new stuff to solve your first world problems” phone.
So that’s a bit extreme, I’ll admit. My coworker just dropped down to a $50/mo plan with Koodo with 1Gb of data and something like 500 Canada-wide minutes of calling. After taxes and tallied for a year the bill comes to $942. That doesn’t include phone or anything either, so with that you’re just getting the pleasure of texting and reading my bl0g while you poop and calling Gran from the bus so everyone gets to catch up with you and Gran. That’s still way too much money for those things.
THE NERD ALERT PHONE METHOD
If you buy the paid subscription to my bl0g I will gladly tell you how much less I pay for my cell phone bill than you. If you don’t subscribe, I will also tell you:
Last year I spent a grand total of $265.55 on my cell phone needs, which equates to an average of $22.13 per month tax included. Here’s the breakdown.
- $16.95 per month for unlimited texting.
- $62.15 including tax for 1 Gb data top up since the June prior.
That’s it. I still haven’t plowed through the last time I bought 500 minutes, so that’s a non-issue. So that’s it. That’s all. Compared to that Bell plan I saved $887. Compared to the Koodo contract plan I saved $412. I can buy some cool pieces for my bike for that much money, and easily pay off my camera in a couple of years (and it’s a really kick ass camera).
Smaller print: To make this work, a few small changes were required on my part. First, I don’t use data like some tweenie kid trying to carry out a face-to-face interaction. I use data like a 35-year-old who would prefer to have a half-hour conversation without being interrupted because your phone is “blowing up”. My phone connects to WiFi at home and at work, which are the main places I use my phone. For mapping I use Here Maps, which downloads the maps and doesn’t require data on the road (unless you need to look up something that isn’t pre-recorded in the map). I bring an eReader if I know I’ll have to wait or (god forbid) I’ll just sit patiently and take in my surroundings and secretly wonder who around me would look best naked (hint: it’s me).
For voice calling there’s an app called FonGo or something like that which will allow you to use voice over IP (VOIP) calling, which is free on a WiFi connection. Personally if I’m planning to make a call I use a headset ($15 on sale) and Google Voice, which you can use from within a GMail account. So my planned voice calling is all free if I sacrifice mobility and five cents a minute on the bus but only dickheads talk on the phone on the bus so no problem there, right!
I realize it’s not for everyone. But it’s for a lot of people, and I like seeing people I know having more skrillas in their pockets, and the Rogers “We’re Totes You’re Buddy” Coropation have less. So do me and them a favour and stop giving them so damn much of your money.