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Looking at a new prepaid cellphone service provider

Started by ssfc72, January 19, 2023, 09:20:20 PM

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ssfc72

So, my long time use of PCMobile as a prepaid cellphone service provider is about to end, this Feb..

This summer they changed the structure/pricing of their prepaid service.  I had bought in Feb 2022, a $100 card for prepaid service that was good for 365 days. I paid a per minute of voice  and a per text message charge.
In about June they changed their Contract wording and started to charge a $10 per month fee, even if I did not use any voice minutes or text messages. I filled a complaint with the CRTC with this change in Contract terms, during the 1 year of my prepaid service.
The new PCMobile service now only has a prepaid service that starts at $20 per month, with unlimited talk and texts but no Data.  One GB of Data costs an extra $10/month.

Edit: I am now looking at the luckymobile.ca (they use the Bell network)  which has a $15/month prepaid plan which includes 100 minutes of outgoing voice (Canada Wide), unlimited incoming voice (Canada Wide), unlimited texts and 250 MB of Data.

Koodo has a prepaid plan of $15/month which includes 100 minutes of outgoing voice, unlimited incoming voice, unlimited Canada texts, and 250 MB of Data.

Looks like I will probably go with Koodo, but unfortunately I will have a different cellphone number.  :-(
Edit:  apparently with Koodo you can transfer your telephone number to your new account with them.

Edit: The Data speed for both prepaid services is 3G.

Mint 20.3 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MXLinux)
Cellphone Samsung A50, Koodo pre paid service

William

What happens after 100 min of voice or 250MB of data limit?  Do you get kicked off, and have to wait for next month?  Or, is it deducted from next month's allocation?

ssfc72

#2
Hi William. I think on LuckyMobile the voice just stops working unless you topup for another 30 days. The Data will still work, at a very slow speed, when you run out of your Data amount. If you choose automatic topup, another $15 is charged on your credit card or bank account. There is something called a Service Pass which you can buy for $3 or $5, for each service such as voice or Data or text, for 30 days, if you run out of voice or Data.  Not sure why you would want this, rather than just topping up for another 30 days?

With Koodo, I believe that if you use up your 100 outgoing voice minutes, then you would get charged 70 cents per minute for outgoing voice, until you paid for the next 30 days service. With the Data, Koodo will send your warning messages as you near the end of your limit and then will pause your Data when your limit is reached.
Mint 20.3 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MXLinux)
Cellphone Samsung A50, Koodo pre paid service

Jason

#3
Quote from: ssfc72 on January 20, 2023, 06:20:50 AMHi William. I think on LuckyMobile the voice just stops working unless you topup for another 30 days. The Data will still work, at a very slow speed, when you run out of your Data amount. If you choose automatic topup, another $15 is charged on your credit card or bank account. There is something called a Service Pass which you can buy for $3 or $5, for each service such as voice or Data or text, for 30 days, if you run out of voice or Data.  Not sure why you would want this, rather than just topping up for another 30 days?

With Koodo, I believe that if you use up your 100 outgoing voice minutes, then you would get charged 70 cents per minute for outgoing voice, until you paid for the next 30 days service. With the Data, Koodo will send your warning messages as you near the end of your limit and then will pause your Data when your limit is reached.

I believe that's correct, Bill. I read it in the fine print.

One thing to warn you about Koodo that I found out the hard way. If you upgrade your plan, even temporarily, you can't downgrade back to the $15 plan. The cheapest plan you can downgrade to is the next one up at $35/month and have to call in to get it. Koodo only offered to give me a $25 plan after I bitched at them. I still wanted the $15 plan and they said they had to talk to someone else and put me on hold. After 10-15 minutes, the line went dead!

I switched to Lucky and get the same $15 plan in minutes and free incoming calls. But they also give you 250 MB of data (3G) per month for using automatic payment and after six months another 250 MB more. She doesn't need it generally but if the power goes out, it might be handy.

The other thing with Koodo is that they use an automated chat system for support, at least initially. You can get call support but the info for it is buried. Best just to type in something like "I want a callback" and it'll set you up for a time of your choosing.

I got a great deal with Koodo last year. I needed a new phone so got a plan. I switched to them from Freedom because they were offering a Chromebook for doing so. It was an older Chromebook but unlike with phones, I will keep getting updates for it until 2027.

Freedom Mobile has a plan for $129/year that gives you unlimited voice and text across Canada. $100/year if you're only making calls from within their network. Not sure if their Peterborough zone stretches up to Lindsay. They don't give you any free data although I think you can add it. And it's 4G speed.
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

William

Check Rogers's prepaid plans.  Last time I checked, they had $10/month prepaid.

William

Hi Bill,  I just checked Freedom Mobile.  They have $99/year prepaid plan.

ssfc72

Thanks for the info Jason.
Isn't it Telus or Shaw that is trying to sell Freedom Mobile to a Quebec mobile provider?  I don't think I would want to pay in advance, for a year's service of mobile, when they might wind up swiching their Network infrastucture.


Quote from: Jason on January 23, 2023, 09:22:24 AM
I believe that's correct, Bill. I think I read it in the fine print.

One thing to warn you about Koodo that I found out the hard way. If you upgrade your plan, even temporarily, you can't downgrade back to the $15 plan. The cheapest plan you can downgrade to is the next one up at $35/month and you can't make the change online. You have to call in. They only offered to bring it down to $25/month after I bitched at them (it was a nice bitching :)) but I wouldn't have it and switched her over to Lucky.

The other thing, and this might be true with Lucky Mobile too, is that they use an automated chat system for support, at first. You can get call support but the info for it is buried. Best just to type in something like "I want a callback" and it'll set you up. That's how they do it, a callback that you can schedule.

I got a great deal with Koodo last year. I needed a new phone so got a plan. I switched to them from Freedom because they were offering a Chromebook for doing so. It was an older Chromebook but unlike with phones, I will keep getting updates for it until 2027.

Freedom Mobile has a plan for $129/year that gives you unlimited voice and text across Canada. $100/year if you're only making calls from within their network. Not sure if their Peterborough zone stretches up to Lindsay. They don't give you any free data although I think you can add it. And it's 4G speed.
Mint 20.3 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MXLinux)
Cellphone Samsung A50, Koodo pre paid service

ssfc72

Thanks for the info William, I will have a look at Rogers.

Quote from: William on January 23, 2023, 12:12:29 PM
Check Rogers's prepaid plans.  Last time I checked, they had $10/month prepaid.
Mint 20.3 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MXLinux)
Cellphone Samsung A50, Koodo pre paid service

Jason

Quote from: ssfc72 on January 23, 2023, 03:00:18 PM
Thanks for the info Jason.
Isn't it Telus or Shaw that is trying to sell Freedom Mobile to a Quebec mobile provider?  I don't think I would want to pay in advance, for a year's service of mobile, when they might wind up swiching their Network infrastucture.

I believe it's Rogers that is making a play for Shaw. I guess Shaw owns Freedom; had no idea. I don't think the infrastructure would change, just the owner, Videotron, out of Quebec as you say. I think the feds were requiring them to divest themselves of Freedom to even consider letting them buy Shaw. Honestly, I think Rogers should fix their network since they had two wide-scale outages in 2 years and not buy another one. I'm hoping the Minister doesn't let them do it. We need more competition in mobile, not less.
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

Jason

Telus had a prepaid plan for $10/month - no idea if they still do. I'd be surprised if Rogers had one; they're so expensive.


Update: Telus doesn't have the $10 plan anymore.
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

Jason

* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

ssfc72

#11
Edit.  I went with Koodo prepaid, for $15 a month. They have a store at the mall in Lindsay, so I was able to talk with a person and they changed out the SIM and set the phone up for using with the Koodo service.

Unlimited incoming voice calls and 100 minutes per month of outgoing calls.
Unlimited texting sending and receiving
250 MB per month of Data when you sign up for automatic topup.

I was given a choice of different cell phone numbers, unfortunately the one I selected is continually receiving robot calls for the previous owner, from the Kawartha school board.
I don't see a way to get Koodo to block the calls, so I set my Samsung phone to block the calls but then the calls get sent to my voice mail.
Hopefully the Kawartha school board will figure out that the phone number is no longer valid. It has been going on for quite some time now, so maybe I will have to get a different phone number.
Mint 20.3 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MXLinux)
Cellphone Samsung A50, Koodo pre paid service

fox

Interesting! I have a similar prepaid plan with Koodo, but older and without the free calls or data. If I change to the plan you have, I will pay the same, add the free calls, but there is no data offer, probably because I am an existing customer. However, if I pay an extra $10/month, I get unlimited calls and 500 gb data. And if I change to a 360 day plan, I get all of the above for only $21/mo. I'm going to do the latter once I check to be sure that I don't lose my existing boosters.
Ubuntu 23.10 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 22.04 on Dell XPS 13

Jason

Did you try calling the school board, Bill? I'm sure they'd happily remove you from the list and you'd be doing them a favour since they're likely paying an outside company to do those calls.

I'm surprised the Robocall itself didn't leave information about how to get removed from the list.
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13

Jason

Quote from: fox on May 05, 2023, 08:04:11 AMInteresting! I have a similar prepaid plan with Koodo, but older and without the free calls or data. If I change to the plan you have, I will pay the same, add the free calls, but there is no data offer, probably because I am an existing customer.

Perhaps that's because you're not paying by auto-payment? Bill noted that was why he got the data. Surprised you're not getting free incoming calls, though.
* Zorin OS Core 17 and Windows 10 Pro on a quad-core i5 3.2 GHz Desktop PC with dual 22" displays, 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and Geforce 1060 6 GB video
* Motorola Edge (2022) phone with Android 13