Wireless rates rise as customer satisfaction sinks

Hey, you know that thing you carry around in your pocket and spend too much time on? Yeah, well the rates for that just went up and there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it.

Last week, wireless rates for Bell and Rogers (and all of their subsidiaries) went up by $5 because they hate you. Just kidding, they just want more money.

But still, the rates went up and that means you’re paying $120 more over your two-year term. Now, if you want to get the nicest and most sought-after phones, you have to pay at least $80 a month for their "premium" plans, the only ones eligible for the topend smartphones. Want an iPhone, Galaxy phone or something similar? Time to cough up at least $80 a month over a two-year term, on top of a couple of hundred for the phone.

The real stinger is that literally nothing has changed in the plans, they just increased them by $5. You still only get 500MB of data for the lowest ($80) plan, and if you want to go bigger, you can get 1GB for $85,

2GB for $90 and 4GB for $110. Nevermind that they have $69 plans (formerly $64) offering a 1GB of data and pretty much everything else along similar lines.

And what about Telus, the third carrier that makes up the trifecta of evil? Well, they actually raised their prices back in January, so this is just catchup for Bell and Rogers.

Asked to comment, PR flaks for the companies basically said they want to improve customers’ experiences, blah, blah, blah. If they had to spin it, they could have at least tried, right? Why not blame the sagging Canadian dollar? The costs of video games have gone up $5 earlier this year, which retailers are blaming on exactly that. It might not be true, but at least make an effort to convince us.

Meanwhile, Wind Mobile is struggling to maintain its foothold in Canada. As perhaps the only real competitor to the big three, the independent Torontobased company was hit hard earlier in March when its foreign owner, VimpelCom Ltd., assessed Wind’s value

at zero. The assessment came during the posting of VempelCom’s latest quarterly report, which posted a $2.67-billion loss.

So basically, this is where we stand with Canada’s wireless options today: We have a dying independent carrier that offered much cheaper plans but could not muster the customer base to move on, we have a Quebec company (Videotron) that could consider entering B.C. and two other provinces, thanks to its winning bid on a spectrum auction, and we have the big three raising prices because they can.

Some might say users had their chance at an independent provider in Wind, while others blame the feds for not reigning in what some see as blatant collusion. Others might see it as capitalism reigning supreme. Either way, enjoy that hefty 500MB of data, and make sure you don’t spend it all in once place.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. Workers with the state Agriculture Department spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Crews vacuum ‘murder hornets’ out of Washington nest, first-ever in U.S.

The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border is about the size of a basketball

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Staff members at Surrey Pretrial test positive for COVID-19

Ministry of Public Safety says employees tested positive between Oct. 18 and 23

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read