saving money to spend on more daytime cellphone calls!
May 30, 2007 3:29 PM   Subscribe

How to be a (cheapskate) grown-up in Toronto?

I seek advice about good utilities providers in Toronto.
Who should be my provider for:

this is tricky.
i have 2 roommates, and between us 3, we'd like to insure about $30K worth of stuff. most insurance providers balk at splitting the policy. any ideas?
we used to pay about $18/month total but that company changed their minds about splitting the policy.

i currently use about
400 weekday minutes,
200 weekend minutes,
100 weeknight minutes a month.
this in about 20 calls a month.
i send maybe 15 texts.
i currently pay about $90/month to Ma Bell- too damn much!
I can keep my phone number now when i switch teams, right?

I'd want:
400 weekday minutes
per second billing
answering machine
call display.
phone can be ugly.
is pay as you go a good option?

i need to be able to check msgs from away from home.
that's all i need.
it would be nice to keep our current phone number (Bell).

currently backpacking it onto my Bell landline bill.
needs to be pretty fast, we're laptop geeks around here.

piggybacking landline and internet and cellphone would be fine if it actually worked* and saved us money. (*bell promised me they could do it when i signed up and it never worked out.)
(bell = jerks.)
posted by twistofrhyme to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've got all of my telecom stuff (cable TV, cable internet, cell phones) bundled with Rogers, and there's a 15% discount (IIRC) on all services when you've got 3+ products from them. They tried to get me to commit to a contract period to get the discount, though I was eventually able to complain my way out of it.

For phone, you could switch to Rogers as well. They have a VOIP product that runs over your cable internet. I tried subscribing to that, but was given a 'plain' landline instead due to the limitations of the wiring in my building (or so I was told). If you use your phone line to buzz people into an apartment building, it's not an option.

Rogers = jerks, but as you correctly note, Bell = jerks. Those are really your only two options if you're looking to bundle services, though, and all of the other DSL internet vendors require that you have a Bell landline...
posted by onshi at 4:29 PM on May 30, 2007

Response by poster: thanks, onshi.
bundling services isn't a big priority for me, though, unless it saves money.
the celphone and insurance are the ones i'm really curious about- i just mentioned landline and net in case the answers could inter-relate somehow.
posted by twistofrhyme at 7:47 PM on May 30, 2007

You don't need a Bell landline for DSL. My ISP (, the best ISP I've ever had -- not to mention the cheapest DSL line) can do DSL even if you have an alternative local telco. And they can even do "dry DSL" -- that is, provide DSL over the phone wires even when you don't have phone service on that circuit. But dry DSL does cost more.

You will be able to keep your current phone number with any alternative local telco.

What do you mean by "splitting" the policy? When I lived with roommates we just listed the residents as the policyholders, same as our current policy lists my wife and I. I don't understand what the problem is.
posted by winston at 7:50 PM on May 30, 2007

I just cancelled Rogers because they're dreadful and I signed up with teksavvy. Service starts Saturday.

There used to be a Rogers Rep that posted ads on CL about cheaper plans but I haven't seen the person do it lately. Might be worth checking out though.
posted by dobbs at 9:04 PM on May 30, 2007

Response by poster: winston, the fact that my 2 roommates and i are not married or blood-related seems to make us ineligible for shared insurance.
we used to be allowed to split it, 2 roommates ago, but we had to make a claim, and when the dust cleared, they told us they would no longer let 3 people be listed on the same policy. there were some hassles at the time re: the old roommate's name being on the policy at the time of the claim, although the damage was only in my room and i made the claim.

if you have a company that let you and your non-married, non-related roommates be listed on the policy together, please tell me what company it was with!
posted by twistofrhyme at 7:44 AM on May 31, 2007

Well, it was 13-14 years ago so maybe things have changed. Don't recall the insurance company (companies?), but I think it was one of the major ones.

Try using an independent insurance broker. They'll be able to search almost all the insurance companies for a policy that fits for you.

State Farm will cover alot of situations that other companies won't. (And State Farm is one that isn't available through an independent broker)
posted by winston at 11:12 AM on May 31, 2007

I use Primus for my internet and landline with call answer. I pay about $42-44/month total, counting long distance calls. I haven't tried checking my messages while away from home though so I don't know if that's possible.
posted by orange swan at 12:47 PM on May 31, 2007

Pay As You Go is a horrible option. 400 minutes a month will cost you way too much.
posted by alon at 11:35 AM on July 30, 2007

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