Is Your Cell Phone Worth It?

by Kristina on August 12, 2010 · 8 comments

After your living expenses such as housing, utilities, food, and transportation are paid each month, what is your next biggest expense?

Mine, is my cell phone bill.  Every month my TELUS Mobility cell phone bill can cost $50 to $100.  In the last seven years that I have been with the same cell phone provider, my monthly bill has never been the same. Never, not once.

Are you happy with the customer service of your cell phone provider?

Whenever I call to inquire about the charges on my cell phone bill, the customer service agent is never able to exactly explain them.  As an example, last month I paid $5.50 in “Other Data Services”. When I inquired about the charge, no one in the customer service call center was able to explain the random charge. I find this extremely frustrating.

Another thing that I find really annoying with my cell phone provider is that whenever I do contact the customer service call center from my cell phone by dialing *611 on my cell, it counts as usage of my daytime minutes.  I am already paying a monthly fee for the cell phone, shouldn’t customer service be included?

How did you choose your cell phone provider?

I don’t switch cell phone providers because I assume (you know what they say about assuming) that the monthly cell phone rate plans are similar with every company.    I chose TELUS Mobility because they do a lot of advertising, especially in the movie theatres.  Seven years ago when I was ready for a cell phone, TELUS Mobility was the most well known cell phone service provider.  Nowadays, the cell phone market is saturated with a monthly rate plan, and free phone upgrade for everyone.

If I lived in New York City I would choose T-Mobile as my cell phone provider. I use the example of NYC because I visit about four times a year, and I am in the process of trying to relocate.  T-Mobile does a lot of advertising on television and the spokesperson was Catherine Zeta Jones. I figure, if it’s good enough for her, then it’s good enough for me.  As a new-New Yorker I would want to choose a brand that I was familiar with.  Also, their logo color is hot pink, and I love hot pink!  I guess that good marketing does equal great money.

Another variable on my cell phone bill are my long distance and roaming charges. If I travel to another province within Canada or I cross the border into the US (which I do approximately 4 times a year) my monthly cell phone bill can cost up to $150.  This is really bizarre because I pay an extra fee to have a long distance plan added to my monthly bill.

As a long time “valued” customer I have a great low rate cell phone plan that is no longer offered to new TELUS Mobility clients.  I am not sure how a $10 monthly cell phone rate plan can cost over $50 every month, but it does.

Here is breakdown of my “regular” monthly cell phone fees:

  • $10.00 for my monthly rate plan which includes up to 150 daytime minutes
  • $5.00 per month for 250 outgoing text messages and unlimited incoming messages
  • $10.00 for 100 long distance minutes anywhere within Canada. The long distance charges are included but the time still counts in my 150 daytime minutes. Basically I’m double charged for the long distance minutes.

My caller id and my voicemail are free because I signed up for the eco friendly e-bill. After the system access fee of $7.95 per month and the 911 Emergency access fee of $2.00 per month there are “Other Charges and Credits” along with “Other Fees”.

By the time this all adds up, my great $10 per month rate plan costs a total of $68.44.

Photo By BFSMan

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leslie August 12, 2010 at 8:45 am

I’m assuming the entire T-Mobile paragraph is sarcasm; I was amused!

Unless I go over on my texting, my AT&T bill is exactly the same every month. I know that the $70 is a lot but I consciously decided to pay that when purchasing an iPhone and am happy with that decision.

2 James T August 12, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Odd. I’ve always paid the same amount every month, give or take less than a dollar months that I use data – seeing as how I don’t have a data plan.

3 Tim August 13, 2010 at 9:48 pm

my cellphone has never been worth it. don’t use it very much, and I am forced to get a pricier package than is necessary, but cheaper than pre-paid plans. I like the convenience of googling stuff, but it is limited to weekend use for the most part. otherwise, the most use i get out of it is as an alarm clock in the morning. i don’t get the attraction to the iphone and its heavy cost. i admit i wanted one when they first came out, but then i reflect on the time where i had to have the latest and greatest and remembered that all those things ended up being very expensive alarm clocks.

4 Kristina August 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm

My boyfriend Nick is also currently in the IPhone craze. I guess for people who use the IPhone features it is worth the original price plus the expensive monthly service plan. I, for one, am happy with my IPod. Without even making an effort, I can think of 5 other things that I would rather do with $700 than buy an IPhone…But that’s just me.

5 Wayne G August 17, 2010 at 4:46 am

I was having the same issue as you with my so called “cheap” cell phone plan that was advertised as $10 a month. After doing some research I found a prepaid service called Net10 that actually charged you for only things you used. There are no hidden service fees or anything extra they throw in at the last minute.

6 Kristina August 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I have a question for all of the IPhone users… Is your battery life slowly dying? For $700 initial cost plus a forced monthly service plan, I would hope that the battery would last at peak performance for more than 6 months.

7 Jay August 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Mine has been good for over a year so far, but my dad’s died after 10 months! It’ll last, maybe, 30 mins until it crashes and needs to be recharged again (they actually just gave him an entirely new phone for free! so now all is well in the world).

I think it’s hit or miss with all phones though – i had issues on every carrier over the years. and oddly enough i just sold my “old” 3GS today! :) So if you’re seriously considering one later, try to get it from a friend or online – i sold mine for $200.

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