Best way to buy new Nexus 6P in Canada (BC)?
June 18, 2016 4:25 PM   Subscribe

I am with Telus, and have been for years and years. My current contract will be over in a little while and I'd like to get a new phone. What is the best way: purchase Nexus 6P outright, or get a new plan from Telus or one of the other major carriers?

I have a Nexus 5. I like the phone, but it's only 16GB and its memory is almost used up thanks to apps and so on. This makes the phone act flakey from time to time, and can be slow to respond. It's also showing some wear and tear in terms of slightly cracked plastic and a flaw in the screen. The battery life isn't great either.

I'd like to get a Nexus 6P from Telus. At the moment Telus has them on sale for $50 on a two-year plan, and I expect that in a couple of months they'll be $0.

The problem with the two-year plan is that you need to purchase a minimum monthly plan of $80, and my current plan is better; I'm not sure if they will grandfather me in.

I was thinking of just buying the phone outright from Telus for $220, but I expect there are a bunch of hidden costs.

How easy is it to use an unlocked phone in Canada? I've never tried. What monthly pay-as-you-go plans are there out there?

I just need the phone for making phone calls and texting; a data plan is a nice-to-have, but I also have Shaw WiFi hotspots I can rely on.

If anyone has any info about pay-as-you go plans in Canada, or negotiating a better plan renewal, please let me know!
posted by My Dad to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hello. Longtime Telus customer here. Have negotiated with them lots. A couple of notes:

- Unlocked phones are easy to use. They work with any provider.

- Telus needs to charge the $80+ per month to recoup the cost of the phone, so they won't grandfather in your cheaper plan.

- If you're in Vancouver or Victoria, look at Mobilicity, Chatr or Wind Mobile, or similar. Whatever the discount carriers are. Their plans would be cheapest on a month-to-month basis.

- If you're on contract, you'll get your best deal by calling in to Telus and saying you're canceling your contract. You'll be transferred to special customer service reps that have all kinds of deals that the regular CSRs don't. Remember, "I'm calling to cancel" are the magic words.

- If the phone is only $220, you should buy it outright and continue on your current plan. That's cheap for a smartphone. Signing up for a more expensive contract will surely cost you more than $220 over the next two years.

Lastly, the best advice you'll find for Telus is in the Telus Retention Plan thread at RedFlagDeals. You can see what deals are available across Canada, how other customers are negotiating, what plans other people have, etc.
posted by lukez at 5:10 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I bought a phone (a Moto-G 3rd generation) without any plan from Telus last year and there were no hidden costs (they didn't even charge me for shipping). I actually immediately unlocked it and started using on Rogers (who weren't offering that phone yet). You should just be able to put your old SIM in the new phone and start using it on Telus.
posted by borsboom at 5:12 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was just looking, and on the Telus web site page listing all their phones, it shows the outright price for the Nexus 6P as $220 (which seems like an amazing deal), but then when you actually click on the phone and chose to go without a plan, it shows $700. Don't know what's going on there. Rogers has the phone for $699.99, so I'll bet $700 is the real price and there's just a mistake on that first page.
posted by borsboom at 5:18 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I bought my nexus 5 from Google 2 years ago. Allowing that the CDN$ was much stronger then, it worked out cheaper than a plan. I use virgin. $50ish a month.

Wind if you go anywhere outside major metro areas is terrible.
posted by Ftsqg at 5:19 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wind is pretty shit even in metro areas It drops to no signal or 3G in places in Toronto. Avoid.
posted by scruss at 6:49 PM on June 18, 2016

Oooh, I know something about this! I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago. I had been with Telus forever but I bought an unlocked iPhone 6 and switched to Wind and I couldn't be happier with them. The people above me are correct to say that it only works in major metro areas but fwiw I live in Hamilton and don't have any problems with network coverage unless I go way out into the boonies. I'm on the $35/month pay as you go plan and because I brought my own phone I get something like $5/month in store credit that can be used against add-ons and overages. Don't know if this applies to you but because I travel to the States all the time I really like that they offer an unlimited US roaming add-on for an extra $15/month (they also have a plan that includes unlimited US roaming but I think it's $60/month, so it's not worth it for me.)

If you want to stay with Telus I doubt your plan will be grandfathered into the deal, but my mom got them to offer her a better rate (like $20-30/month lower) by calling their customer service department and threatening to leave. So maybe try that first?

My mom left Telus anyway because she was outraged that they had been overcharging her for so many years. She switched to Virgin Mobile and so far she has been very happy with their service. She owns a small business and employs a couple of salespeople who travel throughout Canada, including some very remote areas. She switched their company phones over to Virgin as well and so far they have had zero network coverage problems and she's saving a ton of money.
posted by arkady at 3:31 AM on June 19, 2016

Response by poster: Hello, everyone, thanks for your advice. It's appreciated. I spoke with Telus yesterday and they said my $70 plan could be grandfathered in, but it would still fall short of the minimum $80 per month needed to qualify for the "device discount" (where the 6P would be $50 up front).

The agent suggested tacking on an additional service worth $10 to get the plan up to $80, but nothing they offer is what I need. What I really want (although don't really need) is more data, but they're only offering an extra 1GB for an additional $15, bringing my plan up to $85 a month, more than I want to spend (although I am self-employed, and can claim the annual cost against gross income).

The rep suggested I wait, since my complaint about the 1GB is pretty common, and he's hoping Telus will offer a better add-on.

I'm kind of worried about waiting too long since it's unclear how long Telus will continue to offer the 6P (the 5X seems to have vanished from their offering). I'm guessing the 6P will remain for at least another 3 months; I know that no new Nexus phone has been announced yet, and it's going to take a while until a new one is put on the market (the 6P seems like a good bet for the next 2-3 years).

With Wind Mobile, the $40/month plan looks good, but I was wondering what a "WindTAB Boost" is? Is the "boost" money above and beyond what the monthly plan is?
posted by My Dad at 9:43 AM on June 19, 2016

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