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With six months to go on the Fido contract, the early cancellation penalty of $120 ($20 a month) was low enough that he began seriously comparing other plans offered by discount brands Koodo and Virgin Mobile. Here is what he found out.
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Fido contract before
- $35/month: 250 anytime minutes, 100 minutes Canadian long distance.
- $30/month 1G data with tethering access.
- $15: smartphone value pack offering enhanced voicemail, 2,500 text messages, 1,000 picture or video text messages within Canada call and name display.
- $5 for extended network option for $5 to avoid being be charged for roaming on to Rogers’ larger network from the core Fido-branded network
- $0.75 911 emergency access fee.
- $6.95 system access fee of $6.95.
Total original monthly Fido bill: $104.75 including HST.
A comparable package with Koodoo for 150 anytime Canada-wide minutes, unlimited evenings and weekends from 7 PM to 8 AM and 1 GB data.
TOTAL monthly Koodoo bill: $56.50 including HST.
Virgin Mobile quote: Virgin Mobile suggested a $25 talk and text plan with 100 Canada-wide minutes, unlimited Canada-wide weekends 7 PM to 7 AM, unlimited Canada, U.S. and international texting and a “pay as you go” data option. Based on his typical usage:
Total: monthly Virgin mobile bill: $56.50 including HST
New Fido deal:
- $25 for 150 anytime minutes, unlimited evenings and weekends beginning at 5 pm and unlimited texting (though not picture or video) in North America.
- $30 6GB data value pack including tethering.
- $5 value pack for call display and voicemail (not name display).
- $10 unlimited long distance in Canada package.
- $5 credit every month till my contract runs out in November to sweeten the deal.
Total new monthly Fido bill: $70.06 including HST.
Although the new Fido deal includes fewer daytime minutes, Boodram has a desktop telephone at work and with unlimited evenings starting at 5 PM, he is unlikely to ever need the additional 100 anytime minutes a month in his original Fido contract. He also likes the bump up from 1G to 6G of data as formerly he had to carefully monitor his data usage at the end of each billing cycle.
The new Fido arrangement is more expensive than the Koodoo and Virgin Mobile quotes, but Boodram is satisfied with savings of $34.69/month and is staying with Fido, at least for the time being. However, once his three-year contract expires in November and the $5 monthly credit lapses, he plans to call Fido again to determine what else they will do to keep him as a customer.
The key to Boodram’s negotiating power? He owns his iPhone outright. Nevertheless, it is also apparent that cell service providers are hungry for new business and eager to retain customers. Billing structures are also evolving. For example, inexpensive long distance add-ons are becoming the norm.
Have you negotiated with a service provider for a better deal lately? How much did you save just by asking? Share your story with other moneyville readers.