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Ulincsys

Canadian phone plans

Which do you recommend?  

7 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Which do you recommend?

    • Telus
      0
    • Virgin CA
      0
    • Fido
      0
    • Koodo
      3
    • Bell
      0
    • None of the Above
      4

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  • Poll closed on 2018-07-14 at 03:00 PM

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So, I'm traveling to Richmond, BC in a few days ;) and my U.S. MVNO doesn't operate in Canada. I've tried finding the most cost-effective prepaid plan, but it seems like every Canadian carrier I've seen is just trying to price-gouge you. Virgin CA has a $15/mo plan, but it's $1 CAD /10MB, and I'm not quite prepared to spend $77 USD per GB of data I use.

 

Does anyone know of a cheaper prepaid Carrier or MVNO in CA, preferably with a plan that prioritizes data (and that supports the 5T)?

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6 hours ago, Ulincsys said:

So, I'm traveling to Richmond, BC in a few days ;) and my U.S. MVNO doesn't operate in Canada. I've tried finding the most cost-effective prepaid plan, but it seems like every Canadian carrier I've seen is just trying to price-gouge you. Virgin CA has a $15/mo plan, but it's $1 CAD /10MB, and I'm not quite prepared to spend $77 USD per GB of data I use.

 

Does anyone know of a cheaper prepaid Carrier or MVNO in CA, preferably with a plan that prioritizes data (and that supports the 5T)?

Welcome to Canada!

Pre-paid is the worst offer you can get. Plans are better, but of course you are traveling, so you can't get that, but still awful, unless you are in a region in Canada where you have a hint of competition.

 

Sadly, the MOs here are like the ISPs/Cable service provides you have in the US. Same story, and similar tactics used. "Competition is bad for the consumer and economy, block everything!!!", and if the government regardless forces things, but reserving network frequencies to small/startup/new MO to come, the big companies immediately buys them out and they acquire the frequency. And things like that.

 

Anyway,

Koodo is owned by Telus

Fido and Chatr is is owned by Rogers

Virgin is 50% owned by Bell back in 2009, assuming it didn't go up since, and uses Bell network

Wind is owned by Shaw although it past through multiple hands before, and no one can make it work. They uses other provider networks

Videotron: Quebec only... but I should say: Montreal and Quebec City and surrounding areas only. Uses it's own or Rogers network, but anywhere else in Canada it is through other operators at lower speeds.

PC Mobile is operator by Rogers and Bell split. Pre-paid card is by Telus, and the Plans part is by Bell... yea it's complicated, and yes service quality differs based on region.

 

And the above is the full list, or near that (might be missing 1 or 2 even smaller ones) for entire Canada, and that is assuming they actually operate where you'll be, less you have the less competition you have, the little there is to start with. While there is no proof, you can be sure that they call each other to set price fixes.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Ulincsys said:

So, I'm traveling to Richmond, BC in a few days ;) and my U.S. MVNO doesn't operate in Canada. I've tried finding the most cost-effective prepaid plan, but it seems like every Canadian carrier I've seen is just trying to price-gouge you. Virgin CA has a $15/mo plan, but it's $1 CAD /10MB, and I'm not quite prepared to spend $77 USD per GB of data I use.

 

Does anyone know of a cheaper prepaid Carrier or MVNO in CA, preferably with a plan that prioritizes data (and that supports the 5T)?

Yes every Canadian carrier is trying to price gouge you.

 

Give the fact they all cost the same you might as well go with the best network which is Koodo.


They're owned by Telus and offer the best coverage and price.

 

If you have some time in Canada or a friend to help you it's possible to get a Quebec exclusive plan in another province (not sure if I'm allowed to link to other forums but just Google "koodo quebec loophole"


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks for the input!

 

I guess I've been spoiled by US telecompetition, I'm used to unlimited calls+text and 10GB of 4g data for around $45 US. Are there any burner phones/plans I could buy when I land? If not, I think I'll order a plan from Koodo, as they seem to have the best value proposition.

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29 minutes ago, Ulincsys said:

Thanks for the input!

 

I guess I've been spoiled by US telecompetition, I'm used to unlimited calls+text and 10GB of 4g data for around $45 US. Are there any burner phones/plans I could buy when I land? If not, I think I'll order a plan from Koodo, as they seem to have the best value proposition.

Fido. If you order one of their Pulse plans, you get free Spotify for 6 months and you get 5 hours of unlimited data (download their app and enable when you want to use)

Bonus: 3 extra GB currently.

 

Freedom: Limited coverage (urban areas) but 13GB data for $50 a month.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, LienusLateTips said:

Fido. If you order one of their Pulse plans, you get free Spotify for 6 months and you get 5 hours of unlimited data (download their app and enable when you want to use)

Bonus: 3 extra GB currently.

 

Freedom: Limited coverage (urban areas) but 13GB data for $50 a month.

Thanks for letting me know about Freedom! That's an insanely wide price gap between them and everyone else when it comes to data. As I barely ever call, their $50 plan seems like the best option for me, especially considering that their (remarkably limited) home network covers my entire area of need:

5b39d9e079dbd_Screenshotfrom2018-07-0202-53-09.png.ebed04fa93833d0d41325f5d8380a6cc.png

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Just an idea, see if your current plan has a a travel plan. Meaning, you pay a fixed roaming fee per day, like 3-4$, and you can use your plan in Canada data and text/call without long distance roaming fees. Might be cheaper that way, and you get to keep your current offer.

 

You said that your MO doesn't operate in Canada, but usually it switches to another network, like Rogers or Bell.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
19 hours ago, GoodBytes said:

Just an idea, see if your current plan has a a travel plan. Meaning, you pay a fixed roaming fee per day, like 3-4$, and you can use your plan in Canada data and text/call without long distance roaming fees. Might be cheaper that way, and you get to keep your current offer.

 

You said that your MO doesn't operate in Canada, but usually it switches to another network, like Rogers or Bell.

I use StraightTalk, which is operated by Walmart over the AT&T network. I get unlimited local, national, and international (to North America) calling, however they do not offer international roaming of any kind as this service is only offered in the US. The one issue I'm really running into, is that in order to buy a Canadian phone plan (at least online) you need to have a Canadian address. I wonder how my hotel would feel if I used them to get a sim card xD. I think I'm just going to buy the cheapest plan/sim card I can find when I land, what are the usual retailers I should look for to purchase a sim card? I know that Walmart has Canadian locations, but what would you recommend in terms of this?

 

 

Speaking of which, I just compared Walmart stores across Mexico, the US and Canada. In Mexico and the US, Walmart offers several hundred options for prepaid phones over various networks, whereas in Canada they offer exactly four phones :o over... Telus. It seems similar to the Television industry in the US. One the surface, it seems as though there are dozens of networks (counting the cable conglomerates) operating over hundreds of stations, when in reality there are only about 4 companies who own everything, and they can charge you however much they want. The only reason people don't pay over $400/month for tv here is because of the internet, which is ironically about %50 owned by the aforementioned TV moguls.

 

 

One a positive note, (and not to sound cliche, but) I'm really excited to try Tim Horton's for the first time! There was one open down the street from me about a year ago, but it was surrounded by three Starbucks', a Dunkin' Donuts, a Denny's and a Waffle House; so it lasted about a day.

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5 hours ago, Ulincsys said:

I use StraightTalk, which is operated by Walmart over the AT&T network. I get unlimited local, national, and international (to North America) calling, however they do not offer international roaming of any kind as this service is only offered in the US. The one issue I'm really running into, is that in order to buy a Canadian phone plan (at least online) you need to have a Canadian address. I wonder how my hotel would feel if I used them to get a sim card xD.

lo! But I think they ask for proof of address. Not sure, it has been a while.

 

Quote

I think I'm just going to buy the cheapest plan/sim card I can find when I land, what are the usual retailers I should look for to purchase a sim card? I know that Walmart has Canadian locations, but what would you recommend in terms of this?

Service providers tend to have their own store. So you can look for those.

You also have Walmart, as you mentioned and I think BestBuy (but you'll probably be ignored or get the walk around as they make serious sales commissions on expensive plans)

 

Quote

Speaking of which, I just compared Walmart stores across Mexico, the US and Canada. In Mexico and the US, Walmart offers several hundred options for prepaid phones over various networks, whereas in Canada they offer exactly four phones :o over... Telus.  It seems similar to the Television industry in the US. One the surface, it seems as though there are dozens of networks (counting the cable conglomerates) operating over hundreds of stations, when in reality there are only about 4 companies who own everything, and they can charge you however much they want. The only reason people don't pay over $400/month for tv here is because of the internet, which is ironically about %50 owned by the aforementioned TV moguls.

Yup! Very sad.

 

Quote

One a positive note, (and not to sound cliche, but) I'm really excited to try Tim Horton's for the first time! There was one open down the street from me about a year ago, but it was surrounded by three Starbucks', a Dunkin' Donuts, a Denny's and a Waffle House; so it lasted about a day.

Meh, Tim Hortons have been going down over the past couple of years. It is really not what it used to be. I guess it still fun to check it out and enjoy their coffee (even now it tastes burned, probably they use more or or exclusively Robusta coffee grains instead of Arabica. Robusta is dirt cheap coffee grains due to their burned test they provide when used in high quantity in the mix). Their Doughnut are still fine, same for the Tim bits. Just go to a big one and not one in a gas station or something small, so have the full selection of products, and not the safe small set of products. Their food are meh.

 

McDonalds tastes very similar to the US. The only difference is that they use exclusively beef (which is also from Canada) in the patties, while in the US it is a mixture of products. Chicken is the same between the 2 countries, if I am not mistaken.

 

A fast food place to try is: A&W. A&W in Canada is NOT the same as the one in the US. Completely different companies, different menus, the only thing they have in common is the name. A&W is a bit more on the expensive side of things, but check their website they almost always have great coupons, the quality is much higher. Of course, if you come from Texas, all this is crap as their hamburgers massacre all, but in terms of fast food joint, I think they are the best. Try their Sweet Potato Fries, Root Bear (they make their own, but not on site), Onion RIngs, and Teen or Mozza Burgers.

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14 hours ago, Ulincsys said:

I use StraightTalk, which is operated by Walmart over the AT&T network. I get unlimited local, national, and international (to North America) calling, however they do not offer international roaming of any kind as this service is only offered in the US. The one issue I'm really running into, is that in order to buy a Canadian phone plan (at least online) you need to have a Canadian address. I wonder how my hotel would feel if I used them to get a sim card xD. I think I'm just going to buy the cheapest plan/sim card I can find when I land, what are the usual retailers I should look for to purchase a sim card? I know that Walmart has Canadian locations, but what would you recommend in terms of this?

Most carriers have their own stores. I believe there's a Best Buy at the airport, which offers Rogers, Telus, Bell, and their subsidiaries' plans. Not Freedom though.

14 hours ago, Ulincsys said:

Speaking of which, I just compared Walmart stores across Mexico, the US and Canada. In Mexico and the US, Walmart offers several hundred options for prepaid phones over various networks, whereas in Canada they offer exactly four phones :o over... Telus. It seems similar to the Television industry in the US. One the surface, it seems as though there are dozens of networks (counting the cable conglomerates) operating over hundreds of stations, when in reality there are only about 4 companies who own everything, and they can charge you however much they want. The only reason people don't pay over $400/month for tv here is because of the internet, which is ironically about %50 owned by the aforementioned TV moguls.

Telus stems from government owned networks in BC and Alberta, that were privatized in the 90s. I think that's why.

 

There's only two cable networks here though, Shaw and Telus. But every home has two options instead of one in most of Canada. They are both insanely overpriced though.

8 hours ago, GoodBytes said:

A fast food place to try is: A&W. A&W in Canada is NOT the same as the one in the US. Completely different companies, different menus, the only thing they have in common is the name. A&W is a bit more on the expensive side of things, but check their website they almost always have great coupons, the quality is much higher. Of course, if you come from Texas, all this is crap as their hamburgers massacre all, but in terms of fast food joint, I think they are the best. Try their Sweet Potato Fries, Root Bear (they make their own, but not on site), Onion RIngs, and Teen or Mozza Burgers.

THIS! But since this is Vancouver, try the Asian food. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/04/travel/richmond-bc-asian-chinese-food-restaurants.html


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks for the input guys, I'll definitely try out the A&W and Asian food scenes when I land! I'm feeling more confident now about making a trip north of the border. Ironically, this is the first time I've ever left Missouri (so I am looking forward to it like there's no tomorrow).

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 7/3/2018 at 6:49 AM, GoodBytes said:

A fast food place to try is: A&W.

I got lucky, there's one right next to my hotel! I tried the bacon chicken sandwich, it was pretty good.

 

I gave up on phone plans completely, I'll just use the hotel WiFi when I need to call or use the internet. Aside from that, I took a walking tour of downtown Vancouver, and it was wonderful. Also, I am thoroughly excited for tomorrow! The skytrain runs almost all the way from where I am to the Oval.

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If you want something just for a couple of days...honestly you're better off going without. There's WiFi everywhere.

If you do want to, Koodo Prepaid is your best bet, and shell out the $50 some odd dollars it'd cost you for the gig of data and SIM card.

 

You can't use Freedom. Their plans are contractual.

 

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I do not recommend BellMts there are too many hidden fees there getting rid of the few good plans and if you have a plan and want to put someone else on the plan we ready to pay 500$ as a fee you will not get back.

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