Why we Switched Our Cell Phone from Rogers to PC Mobile

I’ve been a Rogers cell phone customer for over 10 years.  Up until last month, everything was great.  I had  a robust plan for a value price, mostly due to negotiating with their customer retentions department on an annual basis.  I had 250 minutes, unlimited rogers to rogers, unlimited after 6pm, unlimited text/picture messages, 100  long distance minutes and caller ID/voice mail – all for $30/month everything in.  As it was our primary cell phone with relatively heavy use, it was a plan that worked for us.

However, when I changed careers in 2009, the new company offered me a smart phone, which meant that our regular cell phone faced significantly reduced minutes.  Even still, the 10 year old phone number was widely known among friends/family and the monthly fee wasn’t unbearable.  Heck, the long distance minutes came in handy as we don’t have free long distance on our home line.

But everything changed once I received a Rogers bill that more than doubled my monthly rate.  No longer was $60+/mo worth it for a regular cell phone without data!  So what did I do?  I called customer retentions to negotiate a new deal like I’ve done for many years prior.  The first offer was a similar plan for a few dollars more, but I had to sign up for 3 years.  That didn’t work for me as being in a long term contract really kills the ability to negotiate for a better deal.  I told the rep that I’d think about it and call back with any questions.

By this point, I’m a bit discouraged as I normally close a deal with Rogers with a single call.  But I decided to swallow my pride and call back again to see if they can offer me a better deal.  Second time around, the offer was even worse with a higher monthly rate and again, a long term deal.  As I hung up the phone, I decided that it was time to switch providers.  Something with more flexibility for low usage, likely something like a prepaid wireless plan.

As mentioned, the phone is now for occasional use, which pushes the “pay by the minute” plans into contention.  What sweetens the deal is that the prepaid wireless plans typically include caller ID and voicemail, two features that we consider essential.  After going back into my article comparing the various prepaid wireless options, we decided that PC Mobile fits our situation the best.

Compared to other prepaid plans, PC Mobile offered the lowest minute rate in addition to the option of buying a $100 prepaid card for a full year usage.  Most other plans require a top up every so often throughout the year, but having the ability to use a phone for the year for one price was a big plus.  As luck would have it, Loblaws was having a promotion on their phones along with offering tax free on everything in store.  We received a $20 coupon on any phone so the $100 phone went for $80 taxes included and a $100 tax free phone card to boot.

Our plan includes $0.20 per minute, $0.15 per outgoing text (incoming is free), free caller ID and voicemail and one year calling card for $100.  Providing that we don’t go over 500 minutes in a year, the cost averages out to be $15/month in year one, and $8.33/month in year two and three for a total cost of $380 over three years.  If I were to stick with Rogers, the cost would have been $1,080 over the next three years not including the fact that I needed a new phone.  Essentially cutting our wireless bill by more than half.  For the occasional cell phone user, prepaid plans are hard to beat!

So that’s my story. Which wireless provider are you with?  How much do you pay per month?

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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5 years ago

Rogers is the worst company and be careful they will tap your phone. This is not a joke and it happened to a lot of people without realizing it.

Marvin Miller
6 years ago

I pay $8.30 per month for my cell phone with no contract. This includes Voice Mail, Call Display, Call Forwarding, 3-Way Calling & Incoming Text Messages. Per minute rates are .20c each.

For me, this is by far the best way to go as I hate contracts.

I bought the phone (LG Smart Phone w/Android) on sale for $60. The battery lasts several days. I unlocked the phone so that I could put it on any carrier at any time. This is in keeping with my anti-contract/lock-down philosophy.

I buy my minutes in $100 chunks which last me all year. Hence the $8.30 per month cost.

So my annual cost is, literally, $100. Minutes last 365 days and if I top up at the end of the year all the remaining minutes (usually quite a few) roll over to the next year. In addition, each year I stay with them they award bonus minutes on an increasing scale.

I’ve pretty much got it down to a fine line and it’s a fixed cost. No contract, no nothing and unused minutes are rolled over at $100 per year.

Who am I with?

President’s Choice (aka SuperStore/Loblaws)

8 years ago

My head hurts finding a plan for our two smart phones. We are moving back to Canada from France. I have to say that France is known for making simple things complicated (they move paper and mail for the most trivial of administrative tasks that Canadian institutions do electronically or over the phone). However, when it came to choosing smart phone plans we signed up with a company called Free.fr (I think a subsidiary of Orange?) for a flat 22 euro a month and end up with unlimited everything… unlimited talk time to any mobile or landline in France, unlimited texts, unlimited data, unlimited long distance calling to mobiles and landlines in 40+ countries (including back to Canada/USA/UK). I must say I miss that simple flat fee for a plan that is a no-brainer. Looking at Canadian plans now and my head is spinning.

8 years ago

Finally I gave Rogers the middle finger =)

First I tried Mobilicity but their coverage is still pretty poor.

Now I am using WIND Mobile with $29 plan I get unlimited calls, text and data. With my wife we get $5 off the total bill.

Coverage is very good except a few spots that I occasionally come across.

The data speed rivals Rogers and I have no problems.

Recommend WIND to everyone

8 years ago

I had the exact same situation with Telus. Except that I am still shopping for a new provider and zeroed in on Sears Connect and PC. Also, I have to agree that the prepaid offers the best deal if you don’t use your phone a lot. My experience with Telus customer relations was similar to yours with Rogers. However, I have to add that in the past i was able to negotiate more successfuly. I guess they started to not care very much about existing customers

9 years ago

It is definitely not uncommon to experience the MEGA frustration associated with negotiating a cell phone deal with the big cell phone conglomerates!…

Since realistically there is such an wide variation in cell phone pricing plans, I decided to set up a website called Dealboasters (smartphone edition) to give those premier negotiators out there a forum to boast about their best hard fought negotiated cell phone deals. In turn, everyone else can have a frame of reference to help in the dreaded re-negotiation process! Please drop in to share your incredible cell phone plan negotiation stories…After all, inquiring minds (especially those who are paying through the nose for their own plans) want to know!

Bilal J
9 years ago

Again, my recommendation is to go for Public Mobile in Toronto region. The reception is perfect and you literally pay $15 + HST for Unlimited Province Wide Calls.

9 years ago

We were with AT&T for the longest time, and just this year we decided to finally switch companies, we opted to go with T-mobile as their prices looked much better compared to what we were paying. Ironic how one month afterwords AT&T was buying out T-mobile. We have a family plan, and hopefully we wont see too much change in our monthly bill in the near future, we pay around 110 dollars per month for a total of 4 lines, which also comes with a texting plan.


9 years ago

I would recommend Moblicity with their $25 unlimited voice and $35 unlimited voice & data. You cannot get a better rate. The only problem is their poorer wireless coverage. That is why I am staying with Rogers until they fix it. =)

9 years ago

We use Virgin Mobile PrePaid. Phone was $50, then use $100 top up valid for a year…..by the end of the year we have about $30 left….bought a couple of ring tones. It’s our emergency use cell. When I bought my parents an emergency use cell, I hadn’t heard of the 7-11 one….that would have been best for them. Instead I got them the Virgin one.

My problem now…..kid’s going into grade 9. Figured we’d get him a phone for high school — told him we’d give him $50 for a phone, and $100 for a year of billing. He’s got a flyer route, so if he wants to upgrade, he can. Problem is, what type of a phone and plan to get him?!?!? His friend has unlimited talk & text — phone was Nokia 6C, plan looks like $35/month (who knows what the data fees are). That’s too rich for us…..even he says that’s too much. He’s getting a stupid phone, as the smart phones are too expensive (cool, but too much). But the “cheap” plans aren’t that great….$15/month for 50 minutes & 50 texts with Fido/Koodoo/Virgin. I’ve heard horror stories of texting fees…the best I’ve found so far is $18/month with SaskTel for unlimited texting and 50 minutes. I’m looking everywhere…..but for a non-emergency phone, cell phone plans suck!