Wireless Plans & Pricing

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I'm a Trusted Contributor
Posts: 402

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

A $15 Lesson Learned on my Wireless data usage and overage charges: 

 

If you have a hydro power outage (6 hours in our case), phones are no longer using WiFi but LTE.

Either keep your Cellular Data off until you need it or think about turning it off when the hydro goes off. 

 

It isn't something you are thinking about when you are looking for candles. Smiley Wink

 

 

 

 

 

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 12

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

@BS paranoia is certainly an apt term when it comes to mobile data usage. After nearly 50 years of computer experience, having repaired countless PCs, built one or two, installed a myriad of Linux distributions etc etc I thought I had seen everything. Not so with mobile phone data.

We also have an unshared plan - one phone only. I would have preferred Talk and Text (no data) but we couldn't get a  T&T plan that was cheaper than one with data included - not when you toss in the cost of the phone. Rogers has to make money some way and I think by adding in the data to your plan they are pretty sure you won't be able to control your usage and you'll ante up some more cash for their coffers as a result.

My wife is happy because she can now text friends and family. I am happy because I never have to use the dam' thing. Data is OFF for the foreseeable future.

I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 2,054

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

@foodtech46  You sound just like me - I have never understood the design of consumer cell phone and internet services, other than they keep telling me I need more and want me to pay more.

 

So like you, my wife is happy with her plan, she manages it, and since she is the primary earner in our family, she runs her phone and if she goes over, I say nothing (after 37 years of marriage, I understand my place) - it is her money - if she asks how to avoid it, I try to help her, but I have also taught her to go nag tech support and CSR's.

 

Me, I am on fixed disability, so I like you wanted only T & T, as I have had for almost 2 decades now.  I got lucky, my phone I did manage to convince them to give me my basic T & T, no data and got the phone for discounted front end price. My wife they tried to move her up to shared data plan, 15,00 per month t&t with 500 Mb data, when we had just set up an unshared plan identical for less money - they did manage to find the lower unshared plan with 500Mb and subsidized front end phone.  As I heard her say, what do I need a 2GB shared plan for, I currently use 500 MB, and we are un unshared plans, so I am going to share that with "who".  Took some time, but they found it.

 

Glad you found a solution that works for you.

 

Ahh, aren't phone data plans the most confusing things you have ever worked with - amazing how I never dealt with any of this stuff when I set up business internet access and phone plans for staff.  It was straight forward, but like you, I can understand any business set up, no how to set up a router to load balance use of data, even knew how to have two different internet feeds coming in, one up and one down, and load balancing services to use the most appropriate speeds to optimize performance and minimize costs.   And even then we had tools that allowed us to easily monitor and guide our staff in all their device and data and cell use, yet as consumers, it took the CRTC to put a lot of these features in place for us.

 

Ah well, life goes on.

As always, glad I could be helpful. I am totally confident you would have figured it out on your own, but glad to help.  I like your term, the nuclear option.

 

Bruce

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 12

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

@Bruce In my small Eastern Ontario town there are a lot of seniors. I have become the de facto (and pro bono) IT guy in our graying neighborhood - installing and configuring networks, setting up new PCs, getting rid of malware - basically saving people from themselves. Everybody has to have a wifi network and tablet and laptop these days - not many know how to fix things when they go wrong.

And if the local IT guru has problems like this - well I wonder how some of my "clients" survive.

 

I'm a Trusted Contributor
Posts: 402

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

Another Lesson Learned:

 

Turn on your data alerts for wireless.  

Unfair Wireless data alerts.png

You need to get the text message alerts if you want to avoid going over or "add data". Once you are over you can't "add data". I had not turned it on until I was close to my limit. My bad.  The text message alerts for wireless also appear to be in real time compared to the data alerts for internet data. 

In my case I was at 99.6% used for my internet data when I got an alert that I was at 75%.  I calculated that I should have got the 75% used warning at least 10 days earlier for the internet data. Live and learn. 

I also noted a thread in the Community Questions and Suggestions area called "Idea for Wireless Data Plan Improvements" that suggested being able to carry over unused data from month to month. This idea should be supported to make the Data Plan more fair.

I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 2,054

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

@foodtech46  Like you, I would call myself the local guru, although a bit outdated on some things.

 

I called in yesterday because our tracking for messages was not working and I wanted to make sure that we were on the plans we thought we were on, after having corrected a total of three mistakes of the proverbial, oh the codes are very close to each other, easy to make a mistake - as I used to say when I designed user interfaces for health care services (you don't want errors in that environment - period), if someone said that to me, I immediately put in a change order to my suppliers or my staff, and said, make these codes more distinctive, and I will retrain staff in the meantime to be extra careful until you change it.

 

Learned there are a total of at least three codes for International text - Internation text 25 sent only, unlimited received - 4.00, international text unlimited with preferred international rate at 5.00 and a special at 1.00, and per use text and calling rates, and one other - can't recall - I am lost - I have been on three of these codes in one month, when we changed our plan from having - get this International text unlimited (no pictures), and preferred international rates.  So you have to wonder why the person reviewing the account would select 25 text sent only, when we use about 200 to our daughter in the states, other than as they said, a very common and easy error, the codes are right beside each other.

 

And when the change is made, you can't monitor for a month - so when I was told last night, trust me, it will be correct on the bill.  I had just corrected the overage billing on the error a week before, so hard to trust.

 

And I think I actually understand it all.

 

So, I call in, and the person informs me that I get preferred long distance internation, but pay for all text - I go looking on their web site - no suce plan under log-ons - it does exist, but she misread what plan I was on, finds the correct one, yes we are on unlimited texts to us, internation, preferred long distance.  And I am a senior, who has failing cognitive abilities, PTSD and anxiety, and I can tell you the last month has been pushing my patience to its extreme - amazingly, I have held it together.

 

So, I am glad that you provide local guru support, because as you said, I think I actually understand this all, and when it comes to technical stuff, I still can manage myself well, and a total of 3 chats and 4 phone calls.

 

And at the same time, they offered a deal for me to buy a tablet and add a tablet data plan to my share everything plan.

 

I politely said, I don't have a share everything plan, just set up individual plans last month, so I don't qualify for this offer.

 

The next time I was trying to clear this same issue up, they offered us a special offer of 2 GB data at a certain rate and low second user on a share plan, when just the day before I had declined that very offer, same price and structure and decided on single non share plans as described earlier.  I politely said no, please mark that offer as declined and note that I don't want to hear about special offers - I will ask if I am interested - I don't want to hear about offers that I just declined weeks before - I get the feeling that these are just set out into the account management systems for CSR's to market, without ever considering how that relates to our needs - can I say, would you like fries with that order?

 

Then, my next story is that I am moving all my services for home to a local historical tv, phone, Internet provider - they still sell Channel Master antennas, tuners, and PVR's (anybody remember Channel Master antennas with the rotor with the box on top of your TV, or three antennas, and three way switch, - well they are still out there), so because I can't stand dealing with error in communication, and can't afford cable anymore, they are doing a full antenna system, PVR/tuner with four tuners, network broadcast to receivers in the house, and wholesale pricing on Internet and they provide and support VOIP systems to thousands of commercial, large and small and residential and municipal offices in the region, so I am happy to turn over the tech to them and have one single point of contact of three people (one sales, one tech, and one issue management).

 

So I now hire my local guru.

 

I still know my systems fairly well, but without the forum, and my own abilities, theoretical knowledge, and learning by trial and error like @User14, I would be lost.  I have yet to figure out how a company can make so many errors with one customer on the most basic of service delivery, and how often I have to tell them, I don't understand what you just told me and they get frustrated with me because I don't understand, so I have one advantage, I can state my disability and point out that they must accommodate me in my ability to understand and if they can't, give me someone else - we all have that right as a consumer, but I also have a legal right that defines how customer service companies support me.

 

Keep supporting your local people, they need your help - maybe, next time I am confused, I will contact you first.

 

Great stuff - keep it up.

 

p.s. I know there is a fair amount of rant here, but on the other level, everything I have put here are good information for customer service support improvement, simplifying systems to avoid errors, and suggestions that really should be thought through to adapt for the reality that there seems to be a lot of people coming here who are frustrated because they can't understand their services and sometimes get caught with a financial hit (a painful learning experience).

 

Oh well, as I keep saying now, I have had my say, I will move on until the next thing I have to deal with and life goes on.

 

Bruce

I'm Here A Lot
Posts: 5

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

Price Increases & Hardware Costs - Wow!

 

Okay, seriously? Was just going through some old bills - back in 2016, I was paying $95 for 6GB of data on premium tab and $55 for the additional line. Think it was a loyalty plan - iong story why I'm not on it anymore. Then not so long ago to get 1GB of data on premium tab was $90.... 1GB, plans that would come with a comfortable about of minutes for most individuals and the ability to add on like $5-$7 for LD even in-market were around $70. Loyalty has nothing at all even close.

 

I can't believe this....to add an additional line is now $70, a while back it was $65. Going over your data, now $70 per GB instead of $50. Roam like home just went up to $6 from $5.

 

When the 3 year contracts changed to 2 years, now the plans have gone up with no extra data, and the phone costs have gone up too. On a Premium Tab the cost for the Samsung Note 8 is $749, with taxes $846... that's so ridiculous since we are already paying way more than we were before.

 

It sounds ridiculous but I'm thinking about going with one of the US providers a few of them now offer unlimited data and talk in Canada/US.  Would suck for people having to call me. Take this comparison:

 

With Verizon I can get for $60 USD ($75CD) with 22GB of Data and roaming CDN/Mexico:

$75 Plan + $40 ($50 CDN) per month for Samsung Note 8 = $125 w

$60per line/3 lines  https://www.verizonwireless.com/plans/verizon-plan/

 
 
 
$75 (x24) + $75 (x24) + $75 (x24) + $1203 phone = $6603
 
With Rogers I can get 20GB of data and unlimited canada wide calling only for $180
$180 (x24) + $846 + $60 (x24) + $60 (x24) = $8046 /24 months
 
So, for a family of 3, I would be savings almost $1500 over the course of 2 years and that doesn't even factor in the fact that with my Rogers plan I'm charged whenever going to the USA
I'm a Trusted Contributor
Posts: 402

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

Another lesson on overage charges (from my August 2017 bill):

Trying to read your wireless bill became another forensic exercise. Here's what happened for my experiment.

Our shared everything plan is broken down by each number. For the prime number we pay the main rate.  

1. $90/mo

The next cell phone is added for a lower monthly rate.

2. $65/mo

ipads, mini ipads and such devices are added for an even lower monthly rate

3. $10/mo

Here is the interesting part.  Your data is charged per device (minus your 12% for bundling + tax) but when you go over the limit, it is the prime number that is charged the overage fee.  The billing gives you lots of detail and you might miss it. It is located under your prime number. (I tried to include an image of that portion of the bill, but it was edited out.)

 

Wireless overage charges.png

 

So here is the bottom line on my overages experiment related to wireless versus internet data overages. Even though I only went over on the 2GB wireless data by 12.33 MB (yes... 12MB)  I had to pay for a full Gig of wireless data for $15.  The bill says 6.8MB but that is just the overage for that phone line. 

 

Compare that to the internet data side where I have a 25GB data plan and went over it by 836 MB of data. The Total Usage only shows 25.23 GB because they subtract 600MB, yet compare it against 25,600 MB.

 In this case I seemed to have squeaked in under the 25000 MB total usage allowance by 370MB and was charged $0!    I feel like I won!!  Now - I wish I could have transferred the unused 370MB from my internet data to cover the 12 MB I went over on my shared wireless data. Heart   

This is a real situation that I hope explains what is actually happening with data overage charges between internet data and wireless data.  Going over on the internet data side is only $1.50/GB, not $15/GB and it has an extra 600MB buffer that works in your favour! 

 

This is the Internet data usage I captured up to Aug 18, 2017 showing the 600MB buffer and the two Total Usage rows. 

 Total Usage (MB)

25,836 MB

 

  

Total Usage (GB)

25.23 GB

  

Usage Allowance

25 GB (25600 MB)

  

Additional Use

0 GB

  

Usage

$0.00

I'm a Senior Advisor
Posts: 2,054

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

@User14  You could write a how to on how to monitor and control data, but you would have to edit it with each change.

 

After a month of my wife turning her data on to receive or send a picture via text (data has to be on to do that), checking and sending a few social media Facebook messages or posts (not pictures) - videos turned off on the Facebook feed, and notifications turned off - all background activities of apps are restricted to WIFI only.

 

She says there is always a couple of MB of data show up when she turns it on - darned OS just needs to talk to servers.  When we had no data, obviously it could only access data via WIFI, and the phone functions, so why they don't set it so the OS and related apps can only communicate on WIFI only, don't know.

 

Bottom line, half way through a month she has used 100 MB of her 500.

 

So the process of turning data off when you don't need it, turning it back on as you need it works very well.

 

I miss the days of BBM data which included  full BBM and social media for 25.00.  And to think I thought that was a huge jump from my no BBM and social media when the plan for us was 20.00 and 15.00 on our other family plan phones - that was no Canada wide - we had free calling to each other anywhere in Canada, and limited text plans.  Only got Canada wide and other things when we added an add-on to communicate to our daughter in the U.S.  

 

Those were the days when phones were basically pick and pay the features you wanted.  Now you have everything but the kitchen sink, and you don't have to monitor limits on minutes, where you are on long distance (5.00 to go Canada wide), but you have to watch the data as it clicks on by.

 

I am one of those lucky people who is never far from home, and we live in GTA with a coffee shop within 2 minutes in any direction, and restaurants and many speciality grocery stores we use that all have WIFI.

 

I face to face video call family all over the world using Facebook now, have no need for WIFI calling (don't have it because I don't have data anyway) and our phones don't work for MMS on WIFI anyway.

 

I miss my One Number thought, WIFI calling does not replace the feature set except for the long distance.

 

Ahh, the joys of trying to stay within a budget of money, plus the services we buy.

 

Again, thanks to all of you for helping my wife and me learn how to live in the world of limited WIFI and keeping our prices down and how to monitor our usage and deal with overages if we end up having to in an emergency - that is my motto, I want availability to a service for emergencies, and will pay more for it when needed, and for the rest of the majority of my life, but don't need to pay "insurance" just in case I go over.  With the CRTC caps on overages, that is the insurance policy for me now.

Great discussion everyone.

 

Bruce

I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 12

Re: Wireless Plans & Pricing

Just reviewed my data usage for the month of August (this is only since Aug 12.) In that time I used 1.07 GB of data in 2 days until I turned it off. Wifi data is close to 1 GB and this is strictly app updates and system updates. My wife has only used the phone for text messages and phone calls.

All this shows me that there be dragons out there for the unwary who do not control their mobile data. The very least you could expect to use with data switched on all the time would be close to 2 GB per month.

Given that Rogers starts you out with 500 MB this must be seen as a classic bait and switch theme. Get that extra $50 and then move the sucker on to a more expensive plan.

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