Will I regret getting Wind Mobile?
May 13, 2010 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Is there any reason not to get a Wind Mobile voice plan, if I'm almost always in Toronto (a 'Wind Zone') and prioritize not having a contract?

My priorities: I want unlimited talking and texting, which would be almost entirely with other people in Toronto. I'd like to be able to make a receive the occasional domestic long distance call without it costing me a fortune. And I don't want to be on a contract (even though that means having to pay cost for my phone).

I'm looking at Wind's "Always Shout" plan, which seems to be better for these purposes than the comparable plans I've looked at (e.g. from Fido and Koodoo).

But has anybody had any prohibitively bad experiences with Wind that I'll wish I had known about? This is my first foray into wireless (yes, yes it is), so assume I know absolutely nothing about this stuff.*

*Except I do know that Wind's selection of phones is quite limited, and that any phone I got with them would have to work on AWS. If the plan turns out to be the best, should I buy one of their offerings, or is it worth it to try to get my own compatible one on Craigslist?
posted by Beardman to Shopping (8 answers total)
I switched to Wind two months ago - no problems, no complaints.

Minor points:

You already know about the super limited phone selection options, but do you know/care about the super limited ringtone selections? That bummed me out, but hardly enough to not recommend them.

Also, if you're topping up your phone without a credit card, you have to go to one of their stores. (You can't just buy top up cards at 7-11s/any corner store yet.) The line ups can be long, depending on where you go - I had to wait about 20 minutes last month at the store on Queen W.

Like I said, kinda minor.
posted by smallvictories at 1:43 PM on May 13, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks smallvictories. Being a fool, I don't know what topping up is. But I'd be using a credit card, I imagine, if I had to do so.

Re: ringtones, I was planning on going with something very basic, so I think I'd be fine. But would these workarounds be of use to you?
posted by Beardman at 1:48 PM on May 13, 2010

Topping up is adding more money to a pre-paid card. When your pre-paid phone runs out of credit, and you call up to add more money. If you have a credit card, no problem, but what smallvictories is saying is that if instead of calling up and dialing in your credit card number, you're calling up and dialling in the number of a top-up card which you've purchased for cash, you can't buy those cards anywhere other than their stores, which is a pain (much easier to say, oh, almost out, and pop into a convenience store and buy a card).
posted by Dasein at 2:32 PM on May 13, 2010

Response by poster: Ah, OK. Thanks. I wasn't planning to do pre-paid, so I'm immune to this drawback as well.

I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop here. Wind horror stories?
posted by Beardman at 2:36 PM on May 13, 2010

I've been with Wind since the first week it became available here in Ottawa. I love it. One thing I didn't realize is that your first month is free and then billing starts on the first of the next month. I don't think that is a feature they as promoting so much as it's just easier for their accounting system right now. If you do postpaid, they will need to run a credit check.

The only problem I've had is that one friend gets a message saying my number is long distance when it shouldn't be. I asked at the store and they said that some carriers (Virgin Mobile in this case) are blocking Wind. We just text or I call her instead but if your cell is your primary means of communication, that could be a problem.

Sometimes I've gotten some incorrect information from the workers at the store, but nothing major and I've always been able to reach customer service on the phone and get my question straightened out.

The coverage area is very small, but I rarely leave the center of Ottawa and when I have, the roaming charges are pretty reasonable (40 cents a minute, I think).

Check to make sure whatever phone you buy definitely will work with their system.

Take a look at the forums on the Wind website. There are complaints on there, but mostly about the limited selection of phones.
posted by betsybetsy at 3:32 PM on May 13, 2010

I'm on WIND (in Calgary) and so far, I'm pretty happy with it. My experiences with their reps both in store and on the phone have been pretty pleasant, which is a nice change from dealing with Telus.

You might want to double-check their coverage map to make sure that your area is actually covered. I don't know about Toronto, but Calgary isn't 100% yet, and some of the outlying areas here are not covered as a WIND Home zone.

If you take your phone home or to work and find that you can't get a signal, they'll refund your phone (but not your first month's bill IIRC) as long as it's under 30 days AND you haven't talked for more than 15 minutes on the phone. At least that's what they told me when I bought my Blackberry from them in January, maybe that's changed now. I would definitely make a point of asking, because you can still get weird dead zones right in the middle of an area that appears to be covered on their map.
posted by threetoed at 3:52 PM on May 13, 2010

I almost switched because I've heard good things, but the deal-breaker for me was that they are still a bit limited in what countries they're 'text compatible' with. Not an issue if you don't text internationally, but if you do, make sure that they have an agreement with the country and carriers you're sending to. For me, I couldn't text the people I needed to.
posted by scrute at 4:26 PM on May 13, 2010

Response by poster: I got it and so far no regrets. But as I said, my needs are minimal and their plan seems perfectly tailored to it.
posted by Beardman at 7:20 AM on May 21, 2010

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