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ONE has not been able to phone or text on her phone since Jan 13, the other works fine. Got a hold of someone at Petro yesterday who informed me that there were no funds on account, it had all been used up. Child has not gone over her minutes since Jan 6. Cust service kept on talking about 1. I could not get her to tell me if it was included in the If it is extra why is one phone up to date in funds and the other not?

I refused and asked that it go higher up for an answer. Sounds doubtful that I will hear from anyone. Would anyone know why it has all worked well up until now and now one phone service does not work? Any ideas? Wish there was a local phone shop that I could just sit till figured out TIA for reading and hopefully a few ideas bbbreezy. That rate increase sounds absurd. I agree with you about transparency or lack thereof. BTW thanks for the detailed info on the above article. Same issue here. But at least you can carry the balance forward as long as you top up.

Here is an interesting twist. Am I missing something? So perhaps the increase does not affect you as long as you top up? I have been using Telus pay and talk for years. It is the most flexible plan around. You do not need to buy dollar card to have yearly expiry. If you buy a 10 card and use the addon feature 5 dollars for texts.

Any month you have more usage need you can upgrade to unlimited text voice and data, and let it expire after 30 days. I primarily text so for dollars a year, i manage my cell use. I can always upgrade my phone when friends upgrade theirs. You are a Saviour! Thanks for this extensive comparison, and also for venting about how hard it is to find information. BTW, every time I call Rogers to clarify the features we have grandfathered on our family plan, I got different answers…. Incoming standard texts are FREE.

Great reviews! Very useful! Thank god my contract is up now! They are crazy. I hope Verizon comes up here and shakes everything up. Come Verizon, come! I am more or less stuck with them. I would like to change phones. All I would really like is to have wifi, take and send pictures, sync if possible my calendar from my ipad and occasionnely use gps or web by the minute. Phoning Virgin is a waste of time. Their web site truly sucks. I would like a phone like the Razr v. I would appreciate any help I could get. You should be able to upgrade at any mobile shop or Virgin kiosk.

I bought the Nexus 4 which comes unlocked from Google, so I can switch anytime. You can donate the money by text message to various charities. Virgin has their own charity called Regen which you can find out about on their website. There are many more charities, try Google search for Donate by Text. So I asked them to change it to a plan. They did and took my monthly amount from the accumulated funds till iyt went to zero.

I love the idea of no bills, no worry, and usually have lots of minutes remaining. I took advantage of it immediately, as it was about time for me to do so. Unfortunately, the blue tooth on our car used my phone as a connection rather than my husbands phone, and now I am out of minutes, and looking to buy Pay as You Go again. I rarely use my phone, text occasionally, and very few people have my. What do you suggest? I just started with wind prepaid.

Call quality is spotty at times, and on certain occasions, even with perfect call clarity, the phone will drop calls. I blame the network because with the same cell phone with it never dropped calls. I will say the call quality is awful and not good for business at all. I get all the info I need for 1mb and I find myself aimlessly surfing to use up my mb for the day.

The unlimited incoming is the bonus. I will probably sell out my airtime to another wind customer as I can port out my credit to another Wind user. The usual stuff. They have a pay-per-use talk plan with no monthly fee. Their rates are very reasonable. This is very pathetic.

PetroCan on the other hand appears to have proper online access to the usage via monthly statement. Usage and balance are different. Only way to do that is to keep track of calls on cellphone as you dial out or receive calls and texts. But since this will only close out in October, I may wait to see what Verizon will bring. Does anyone have any thoughts on Mobilicity? Most of my calls are long distance, and I want the option of adding data for skype and social media. Using Skype can make it even cheaper for me. Purchased my phone at a SuperStore, phones were available through customer service.

Epincall international calling cards, offers lowest international calling rates, webcall option is very simple too because it offers calling right from your browser, epincall sells calling cards, phone cards to India, China, Ukraine, Pakistan and more. Perhaps if you are close to the border look at a US carrier, I know my brother who lives in the Vancouver area, has an unlocked phone, and slips across the border and buys pay as you go card which is good N America wide, at a fraction of what the bandits up here charge.


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I live near Vancouver and go to the states around once a month. I sympathize with all the Canucks on the bad pre-paid programs. They roll over minutes and you can extend phone service times. But come to Canada and look for a pre-paid and I made the mistake of picking Bell Mobility at a Bestbuy store. How hokey. The website is total crap, and slow, and full of way too much scripting and big-brother stuff and the cookies expire.

And then the clincher is trying to setup some way to get a block of minutes to use. But Canada? No wonder standard of living in Canada sucks. Even us tech types that do real hard core kernel stuff and get paid the big bucks down in Silicon Valley balk at Canuck pricing. You folks have a LONG way to go to advance into mobile civilization. And here I thought the US mobile pricing features were monopolistic. And if you think the federal government should legislate cell phone rates — that is the opposite of a competitive market, which is what many of the posts suggest lowers costs in other countries.

The profit they are making from your phones makes their share prices and dividends go up consistently. Anyone who bought Telus shares 3 years ago has had free cell phone service several times over. And for those who suggest we would be better off being in the U. Lots of countries with smaller populations have more competitive pricing. Most rankings put both in the top 10 but it changes year by year. There is more to life than mobile computing. Couple things.. That being said.. I have used wind for 2 years unlimited long distance and found like all carries, some places good, some bad.

Have a child on Koodo and this is who I will go for next because of coverage. My job takes me to rural locations now and koodo offers free roaming where wind does not. The best plan i have found is with fido. Again would stay with this but the rogers net work is week in rural where they have placed lower watt towers.

CDMA works better in this case. GReat review of plans and I think I am going to go with the pc plan and pay the fee. I found a iphone with telus so this looks like the best way to go to have a phone that has a number that I will not give out. Best route for a phone for my kids when they go out I thing as well. Thanks again.. Fido rogers will lower your rate if you call and talk to customer support before switching. They will also lower your rate if you say you are switching away from them as well.. Pity you Canadians.

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My poor third world country of the Philippines telecom companies all of them do not charge incoming calls or incoming text messages and no charge for tethering data. So you pay only for the data when you need it. Oh by the way, no roaming charges or long distance charges for the entire country if call is mobile to mobile regardless of the telecom company. They just use your airtime minutes for the call or pay per use per minute. Long distance charges apply only if you call from landline but only the caller is charged.

I never used the number provided by PC Mobile. In my country that is already 10GB of data! Coming from a country where 80 percent of subscriber are prepaid, it is frustrating getting a prepaid n Canada. So far, the cheapest that can give my needs is PC Mobile. You mean M not G correct?

That still 7x more expensive than in the U. Since calls within your area code are all local even if you have an area code that is split across a large distance , in addition to some normal cross-area codes that would be considered local. Additionally, none of your calling charges change no matter where you are physically located.

People with a phone cane make and receive calls while located in Vancouver exactly as if they were present in Toronto — calls to Toronto are local, calls from Toronto are local for the caller. For long distance, I just use a calling card with a local access number — much cheaper than any long distance plan with only a minor hassle of having to pre-dial an access number.

Also useful when making calls from payphones or work. I am with wind and if your inside the zone, you pay no long distance as long as it is part of your plan. And what does our spineless government do…. But our government feels the need to get their sticky little fingers into everything from interest rates, wheat prices, where a person can sell their wares, and so on. You forgot to mention one company, videotron. Let me tell you something PC mobile offers for I use prepaid because I hate committing to a contract.

I recently upgraded and changed to Telus. Either way it seems much cheaper than a contract. I have used Chatr a Rogers subsidiary for a very long time. I am not signed up to any plan. I also have text messaging available, but as I rarely text I have no idea of how many I can do monthly, although I seem to recall something about texts per month.

Great discussion, very helpful. I live in the country side and coverage is an issue. Petro Canada uses the Rogers network. I used Fido prepaid for the last few year. Two years ago, The battery of the cell phone were getting bad. The problem is, can not be used in US. While I travel in US times annually, this is very inconvenience.

From your forum, it looks like Rogers will offer the call from US. Is switching to Rogers a better way or simply get a second phone from across the boarder is the best? Marianne — Montreal. Petro Mobility is exactly like speak out its all rogers. Hello, I have been with Chatr wireless for about 3 years now and I have had absolutely no issues with it. I am somewhat of a simpleton, though. I have unlimited text and talk. If I want to send or receive photos or video, I have to buy the data plan. All I really need is Canada-wide long Distance, text and talk.

If anyone wants to send me photos or videos, they can send it to my email. I went through the same process about a year ago when I bought a Chinese android phone which is a great way to save money yet use a full featured smartphone. I remember coming across Sears Connect and was surprised they even existed and even more surprised by reasonable prices. I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with them and would share their thoughts. One thing I really wish they would offer is pay-by-the-megabyte data usage. I decided to go with Koodo based on current rates. Thanks for a great synopsis.

In researching for a possible new carrier I discovered all the things you did. Just a couple more things you could add is the cost of long distance, fees and incoming call costs. Not every carrier has them. What I would really like is to see is the expiry of prepaid minutes abolished. After living in several other countries I moved back to the one I was born in. And I have to say. I find it laughable they had an add online recently stating canadians pay less for cell phone coverage in canada than USA. But they forget to mention they pay less and get less. But of course the canadian citizen will brag about it with no knowledge of the true facts.

The consumer gets ripped off here on every aspect. Even payless shoes I never used the plastic crap even in USA but they charge The consumer in Canada always hears an excuse of shipping or cost of cell phone towers etc.

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So basically, Canada wants to make as much money in sales as the USA off of less citizens. Do the math. Thus corporations are very greedy here. And use government bullying to force canadians under some stupid regulation to pay it. Even Food is outrageous here. I took images of prices and sent to my friends around the globe. And all had same comments. And truthfully speaking I had better cell phone service and rates in developing nations.

Now that is sad. Very sad to say… Good luck on finding decent prices that you are looking for on cell phone airtime.

It just wont happen. Only not coming back foolishly after 25 years gone. Well said! I agree, this nation is full of corporate rip-offs at every turn. You should let the United Nations know this. Hi there! If u buy a Dollars prepay card with day expiry would u be able to get unlimited calls from people or u have a certain limit on that too. Also can u use your home wifi with that? Thnx in advance. No minimum annual deposit. If I buy a prepaid phone from say future shop or target which has gsm of mhz, can I use a sim card to activate it?

Petrocan is best for me. That is about what I use in a year. The only improvement would be auto refill on expiry of minutes rather than auto refill on a certain date. Have had them now for 4 years, and no problems or troubles. Got my sister, my daughter and my brother to switch to Petrocan as well.

Hey, throw out the phone fee as a Christmas present from your spouse, great idea eh? If I will be away from the home phone and expect an important call, I call forward my home phone to my mobile at no charge except for the incoming call. This has been quite helpful so thx! I have been with Speakout for 4 years now and quite happy until recently when they got rid of the unlimited browsing option. I bought my phone second hand on kijiji galaxy s2.

A note for prosepective customers though. All topups as said above are good for days. BUT when you top up again, the remaining amount rolls into the next days. It does advertise itself as an actual Data plan so pretty much any smartphone app will work with it. But the data cap is pretty small. What a fantastic article although I do have a major criticism. As with any website that allows people to comment the whole purpose of the article has gotten distored. The purpose of the article was to discuss the absolute cheapest way to be able to have and use a cellphone for emergency purposes, not the cheapest to have a data plan and texting etc etc.

This was a great article and I would suggest to everyone that the best way to save money is by being informed. I would be inclined to take advantage of different technologies and services in the same way that Ed has above although combining services from too many companies may be confusing for some people. There are some details about some of the services with Wind that I might try to clarify. Since Wind still appears to include unlimited incoming texts and calls, although not really advertised , I would also use a callback service to turn outgoing calls into incoming calls.

The service that I would use would be something like callwithus. There are some programs available for smartphones to automate the callback process and callwithus. Something to check into is if text messages can be received on the Fongo number or not. Another service which will be available now will be the Blackberry messenger service for various smartphones. Another item to mention is that some users should consider using the services of a third-party long distance provider instead of paying the long distance company service rates. A company that I might suggest might be one like keepcalling.

They have a few different local access numbers for use in different parts of Canada and the USA as well as some toll-free numbers that can be used in some of the rural areas for a small surcharge. Although Wind has free incoming calls in their Wind zones, it is good to understand something about SIP settings that can be inserted into some of the voip calling applications available on many smartphones today.

The trend now is for more and more places to be offering free Wifi as a value added service for their customers at many shopping malls, coffee shops, fast food places, etc. This is something that you can take advantage of to help save on your airtime minutes. Thank you for the thorough detailed information! I discovered your very informative article through a Google search.

I found that very few other articles that popped up even mention the existence of the PC, PetroCan or cell phone plans. I was looking for an inexpensive emergency cell phone and found that having 2 SpeakOut pay-as-you-go cell phones works for me and my fiance. The base Alcatel cell phone has more features than we will ever need or use as well.


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  • To be activated by Dec. I am thinking about replacing my aging phone which I bought at a self serve kiosk at Superstore. They had a couple of 4 year old phones in the customer service department and that was it. Apparently in order to get a new phone, I need to go to the North Vancouver store or the Metotown store. Hello, the pc sim cards are sold in the superstore Fredericton NB Isaw 9 of them just yesterday. They have a prepaid counter and a moblie shop in this store. I am looking for a cheap phone for my son, he has an ipod but wants to be able to call when not in a wifi area.

    Where is the phone from?? Thanks for the great review of Canadian pre-paid cellphone packages. I did quite a bit of research myself a few months back, and I finally settled on Koodo pre-paid. But there is a trick to it. Thanks so much for this info. I have researched all of the prepaid plans and I will be going with Koodo. Thanks for the info, greatly appreciated. Sorry, I forgot to mention this in my previous post. I live in Newfoundland, and I should point out to customers in this province that Rogers only has coverage on the Avalon Peninsula.

    If you live on any other part of the island and possibly Labrador , Rogers, Fido, Petro-Canada and any other provider that runs on the Rogers network are not an option for us. Can they not just charge a nominal network connection rate without draining the entire account? Of course they can. Not quite the same huh? I seem to recall Telus did this with landlines and long distance a long time ago.

    It was good until too many businesses started using the service and Telus felt they were losing to much profit by allowing business and industry to get such a good deal so Telus then changed the plan to minutes of long distance a month instead. Blame business and industry just like everything else they do in this country. Ruin everything for the customer and the people. I use Telus pre-paid but will now be looking to change to since they more than doubled the price of both incoming and outgoing calls from 15 cents to 50 cents a minute. Would be great if the minutes were pooled between the couple.

    Excellent information on this page, greatly appreciated. Very difficult to get straight informative answers about cellphones, so keep up the good work. I currently travel extensively the world and there is NO country I have come across , that is sooooo expensive with prepaid. Most of the people here in the forum complain all about local call minutes, yet in rural areas one will almost always need to make long distance calls.

    NOT to mention fees for incoming calls!!! This is the greatest ripp off ever and also non existent in other contries. This is a great offer and NZ has only 4 mill people vs 36 in canada!!! I look forward to extend my travels as long as I can. Oh and did I mentioned that it will be dial up Internet again?

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    And dont think the fees would be low for such a slow internet, it cost as much s high speed. If I complain, the provider says, it is my fault alone that I choose a rural area to live in. Anyhow a pay as you go phone would be really for emergency protection only, when one drives into the nearest town for shopping. Since this happens only x a month, a day expiry term is the only way to even use a cell phone. I think the complicated plans are simply a strategy to make comparing plans difficult.

    That is the problem with Canada — too much land to cover and not enough people to pay for the service. Great article. It answered several questions and has made my decision easier. I do have a question. First, some background. Thus, I have cancelled my Bell mobility account. It might be enough.

    I understand that they carry micro sims, but not a nano sim. I guess I have 2 questions, first, in your opinion which should I choose, Petro Canada or ? I just posted with a related question about the nano card for my new unlocked iPhone 5. Any other suggestions? Cell phone users in Canada should be rioting in the streets given how the telecoms are ripping off consumers. The websites and literature from the companies are confusing and incomprehensible and the explanations from the clerks in the stores not much better.

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    I was in similar spot last year. I asked friends if they or could help find an unused cell phone that I could use for a month or so. I had three SIM phones offered within 24 hours. Lots of people keep their older phones. One of the people with a phone said it was easy to unlock this particular unit LG? Hope this helps. I got an unlocked iPhone 5s for Christmas and have been researching pre-paid plans.

    I have encountered all the frustrations mentioned here. The clerk was useless. Many thanks. Get iphone 4s which uses micro sim. Speakout sells micro sim. I did like the bell coverage and I still get it with PC, since it is carried on the Bell network. I keep my usage down by using my free call display to send all but a couple callers to free voicemail and retrieving it on a landline later.

    Tip: buy it when Superstore has their no sales tax promo. I found your article by accident and I likely have the wrong place for my question. However, I cannot seem to connect with Telus. I use Telus pay as you go and have a Samsung phone. It makes no sense! I did get someone at Telus sounded like a telemarketer and told him about this problem. He just said that that was how it was set up.

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    I asked if there were anyone there who could explain this to me and he said no — that is just the way it has always been. I asked if he had a supervisor I could speak with. He said no. Have you ever hear anything like this? You can also use justdial. You need to dial the local access no. After reading all of these post.

    I am sure is the way to go. I can sacrifice the data for a good saving. After all. I will be making some serious adjustments. Thank you all for your contribution. Thank you so much for all of this information. I lived in Washington state and I am with virgin mobile. I definitely need data and a smart phone for navigation. It was crazy looking at the outrageous prices! Wish I could find that service plan where you can buy time in the states for a Canadian phone. Having gone through the article and all the comments, I appreciate knowing that I am not the only one in the situation.

    I live in the U. The price to use my own phone is pretty bad so have been looking to get a sim on PAYG just to use when I am there — as described by many above its a nightmare trying to find anything and it seems Rogers is the only thing that works in this area. I love Canada but feel so sorry for you as regards being ripped off like this. Or when the top up runs out do I also loose the telephone number I presently have? Any help much appreciated.

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    This is a useful site for newcomers to payasyougo though in the end the options in Canada are limited and none are cheap. As of now, Speakout still offers days for all prepaid amounts. It looks like they will keep this to present themselves as the industry leader. This is why I am with them. If they were to change to be equivalent to all the others, I would probably leave. Because, historically speaking, Petro Canada had better phones to offer. Thank you sooo much for all this info!! Well done! To joanne…. They will not let you talk to a supervisor. HST for MB data sufficient if you have home internet , min day time, free after 6pm and on weekends, unlimited text messaging, caller iD and 3 voice mail.

    Pay as you go is a good idea if you have a work phone. So did you end up losing your number? I thought most cell phone companies pay for the transfer of the number for you? While i hate signing onto contracts for 3 years, i really felt this one was worth it. Returns Reaper Thanks!

    FrugalTrader Thanks for posting this topic! I found the information and the comments to be very helpful. After being on Rogers for almost 10 years, I decided to bite the bullet and switch over to one of the new providers, Mobilicity. Yes, there are issues with Mobilicity mostly coverage and the fact you have to get a phone for full price that works with them , and only limited to the major cities in Canada, but I feel it is worth it as there are no contracts, and you can leave whenever you want.

    The service is like Fido when they first started. After struggling with Telus a number of years ago, I will never sign another cell phone contract. The service provider is with FIDO. I also changed over to the Speakout phone and am very happy with it. I am with Verizon. I have the family plan, shared minutes. I am in a similar boat. I have a smart phone provided by the office and I keep a pre-paid phone as mine. I had the phone from about 6 years ago and I did not feel like changing. Never owned a cell phone myself.

    The comparison shopping, negotiating etc. Even if get a good deal, costs still add up. My wife and I have one cell phone between us. We hardly ever use it. Other people we know spend hundreds per month on iPhones and usually laugh when they see our text-unfriendly Nokia. But then I see the wheels turning in their minds when I tell them we make about four calls per month and what they cost.

    The other service providers eg. You may want to factor in how convenient it is for you to get these vouchers when you need them. But then they probably all offer preauthorized payment plans to automatically top up when you are running out of credits. Elizabeth: The downside to pay as you go with a smart phone is that you have to buy the phone. It makes paying for the phone up front well worth it in my mind. Also when you buy the phone, you have the option of purchasing an unlocked phone, giving you the freedom to switch to other providers if terms change.

    I bought a Google Nexus One over a year ago from the google webstore, which was shutdown since. For some reason the unlocked Fido Nexus S is less expensive than the unlocked Nexus S phones from other providers. I tried in vain to get Bell to match this plan but after 4 phone calls no success so switched to Rogers. It took over 4 months to get a refund from Bell and several more phone calls and emails. Customer service needs to happen even after cancelling service if they have any hope of switching me back in the future. Or I buy it when I travel to Toronto every few months.

    So again its a non-issue. Wish I got in this discussion before everyone.