One would like you to believe that the above offer is so amazing that it might never been offered before. The fact is, the only thing that might feel different is the $150 Costco Cash Card tied to a nice, sexy three-year term. Do you REALLY want to lock-in?
I don’t know about you but I am done with contracts. To put it into context, my incumbent provider argued with me on the phone for two hours about seven months ago over something so silly, I couldn’t believe they invested the time and effort to try to make me feel like I was unreasonable. More comical was the fact that I kept changing the conversation in a quid pro quo fashion which only further highlighted how little they listened to the customer.
THE BACK STORY
I had a legacy 3-phone plan (three phones for unlimited calling — mom, dad…you know the deal) before the “MY-series voice plans” hit the marketplace. Because the other two phone lines were no longer being used, I placed them on “emergency plan” status as my only option to “morphine the pain” from knowingly paying for something until my contract expired — which happens to be September 2012. It’s been a long marriage but the divorce is near! Woo hoo!
When I asked for a similar setup for “emergency status” for my iPhone (since my incumbent provider quickly did this with each for my feature Samsung phones) I received the biggest “walled garden” response known to humankind! So for the next two hours, I wasn’t given any explanation why the iPhone 3GS could NOT be placed on the same “emergency plan” for voice minutes while keeping the robust 6GB data plan ($30/month data plan — received September 2009 months before Bellus launched HSPA) for connected apps, mobile video, VOIP etc. Oddly, once Bell and Telus launched HSPA, the data plans went up in uniform fashion for 1GB, 3GB, and 5GB across all three incumbent providers.
So my conversation kept going on and on like a good little Energizer bunny and through all of it, I simply wasn’t being given a logical answer. By the end of it, the representative spoke “to their manager” and returned with an offer I simply could not refuse — $17 for 250 voice minutes and unlimited 6pm-7am calling 7 days a week with my 6GB $30/month plan. So, in Joker speak, I was ahead of the curve because I got the Super Plan early. To their credit, the $17 plan was far better than the emergency status plan. But was it necessary to do this to me for two hours?
So, the current “Super Plan” is really a mirror of the plan I eventually received because I also have my bundle for Video/Audio MMS, Global Text, and Visual Voicemail which clocks me in at the $67 price point. Sure, that’s an additional $7 but do you really think I am going to “lock in” for another three years with a provider that chose to argue with me vs. accommodate my needs at the time?
I’m not a Democrat nor am I an elephant but I don’t forget this kind of stuff too easily. After this call, I immediately went to Wind Mobile and am now happily part of the $40 Canada Miracle Plan which provides unlimited Canada/US calling, unlimited global text, unlimited data for my Blackberry, and yes, “tethering” (!!) to create a luscious mobile hotspots guilt-free. Am I a happy camper? You bet. Sure, some minor pains with the network but on the whole, I have been an absolutely happy WIND customer.
Perhaps the biggest shift for me has been the “contract-free” mindset. Look, if you want a sexy high-powered phone, you can get the subsidized contract and deal with ETFs (early termination fees) and other pains, or operate guilt free, get AppleCare (if you’re an iPhone/iOS junkie) and get on with it. Now, if the rumoured next iPhone this October includes functionality on the T-Mobile USA network (AWS), this could really spell trouble for the incumbent providers in Canada (Bell, Telus, Rogers and Fido — oh ok, including the sub-brands Solo, Virgin, Chatr, Koodo designed to compete against Public, Mobilicity and WIND) if the lust for iOS remains strong.
That said, the recent Samsung success with Galaxy s3 in North America with marketshare vs. Apple’s iPhone 4S (s3 - 10M units sold already) could be all that is required to get no-contract incumbent subscribers to move to the upstarts. There’s heavy promotion by WIND Mobile and Mobilicity for the new Galaxy unit so an additional entry point with the next iPhone could be major trouble with subscriber churn at Bell, Telus and Rogers if people did not renew contracts. I will be one of those subscribers.
The promotional intensity directed at me by my incumbent (with my contract a month away from expiration) has been astronomical in the form of an endless parade of SMS text messages (even though I have OPTED out repeatedly), emails and direct mail. Sorry, but these efforts to recognize my loyalty arrives far too late in the game. I’ll stick around for the juicy 6GB data pricing given that my iOS device is primarily a data-connected mobile/social computer vs. a voice-box.
But if you really look at what the incumbent providers offer vs. the upstarts, what is the difference? On the incumbent side, you have higher prices, more complex plan configurations and yes, better networks vs. cheaper prices, simpler plans, and reasonable networks that do a great job for the city dweller.
You decide what’s right for you.
It’s all very clear to me now. — Dave Bowman
- Rogers launches the “6GB Super Plan” for $60/month (mobilesyrup.com)
- Why Your Next iPhone Should Be Prepaid (cultofmac.com)
- WIND Mobile Launches GoWell G328 Feature-Phone on Prepaid (news.softpedia.com)
- Virgin Mobile begins prepaid iPhone sales (slashgear.com)
- Fido launches its own 6GB plan for $60, comes with 300 daytime minutes (mobilesyrup.com)