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January 21, 2010 11:25 PM   Subscribe

Picking a better Canadian mobile provider is driving me out of my wits. Please halp?

I'm looking for a pay-as-you-go plan or a monthly contract to last me about another three or four months (potentially more) in Montreal. I'm currently with Virgin, but I've had endless frustrations with their customer service and would like to switch to another provider if at all possible. I'm trying to spend less than 30 bucks a month.

I've used a nifty little site called Cell Plan Expert to calculate the best plan for me (light usage in general, slightly more on nights and weekends, no more than 100 texts per month needed, voicemail would be nice), and my results were Koodo's Build Your Own 20 and Talk and Text Combo, followed Solo Mobile's Unbeatable 25. The thing is that both of these plans seem to require you to buy a new phone, and I don't know that it's worth it for such a short time span, plus I adore my old faithful KRAZR.

So, questions:

1. Is it worthwhile switching plans at this point, or should I just put up with Virgin for the next little while?

2. Have you had a decent experience with a pay-as-you-go provider in Montreal? (Seriously, has anyone?)

3. Is there a plan that wouldn't require me to get a new phone, and would that tip the balance in favour of that provider? Cell Plan Expert doesn't take that into account in their calculation.

Thanks, MetaFilter. The amount of money saved may not be worth the hassle, but it's worth my peace of mind.
posted by Devika to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Followed by. Argh.
posted by Devika at 11:26 PM on January 21, 2010


Do you have 7-11s in Montreal? They have a pay as you go service that is about as good as anything you're going to get in this country.

They don't sell SIM cards straight though, and it looks like you just missed out on the deal they had where the phone was free with a $100 voucher. If you were anywhere but Quebec I'd suggest taking a look at WINDmobile.

You may not be able to avoid buying a new phone however if your Virgin phone is a CDMA model that doesn't have a card.
posted by the dief at 3:43 AM on January 22, 2010


Oh, and I believe Petro-Canada has either the same service or something very similar to 7-11s, so that might be worth digging into also.
posted by the dief at 3:44 AM on January 22, 2010


PM me. I have an old simcard phone from Telus that I have no use for, I'd be glad to donate it to you for the rest of your stay.
posted by Billegible at 6:24 AM on January 22, 2010


... if I can FIND the damn thing...
posted by Billegible at 6:28 AM on January 22, 2010


as a fellow canadian, I agree that our cell phone plans, providers and technology are from the dark ages. moving back to canada from euro-land felt like a trip back by about 5 or 6 years. so, yeah, all i can do is commiserate with you. it doesn't sound like it's worth switching. the anti-SIM card thing that goes on here makes it impossibly difficult to switch providers without buying a new phone. if you're only looking at 3-4 months, than i'd say stick it out. if after that time you're looking at staying longer, maybe then have a poke around craiglist for a fido (that's who i'm with now after virgin drove me nuts with lost texts) koodoo phone on the cheap.
posted by tamarack at 8:42 AM on January 22, 2010


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