BY ELLEN ROCKSON
Major Canadian cellphone companies are kicking off the holidays with a huge deal on data plans.
Between Dec.16 and 19, Virgin Mobile, Bell, Fido, Rogers and Telus have been offering customers 10GB of data for only $60, when you bring your own phone. The plan includes, Canada-wide talk and text, unlimited texts to the U.S., as well as voicemail and call display. At Telus a plan similar to this offer would cost about $125 every month.
The competition between cellphone companies began after Rogers and secondary company Fido released an exclusive plan of 5GB of data plus 5GB bonus for 24 months. Once word got out, Rogers than changed the 24-month 5GB bonus to 10GB of data with no cutoff date.
Bramalea City Centre Mall in Brampton closed at 11p.m. on Dec.19, but cellphone company booths and stores remained open for an extra hour in order for last minute customers to guarantee this exclusive deal before it reached Dec. 20.
T-booth sales associate Marius Yu, who has been working in the tech industry for six years and has worked for numerous cellphone companies has never been more overwhelmed. “We’re way busier now than we were on Black Friday,” he said.
Isaac Ische, a 20-year-old Journalism student at Seneca College, waited in line at Rogers for over an hour. Ische recently moved to Virgin Mobile and has been getting charged $50 in data overage fees. With 10 GB of data, he will no longer have to worry about the extra charges. “Now I will able to cover events and stories outside of school and not have to worry if I forget to turn off or go over my data,” he said. “Plus, I am also saving money which is nice when you’re on a budget.”
Many existing customers took to social media to tweet about their unhappiness, as they were not offered the new plan. Sheridan College student Domonique Fray wasn’t too pleased herself. “I was not told about the promotion which was annoying but thank god for social media because that’s how I found out,” she said.
For long standing consumers to take advantage of the plan, they would have to pay a $25 connection fee to switch providers. This would make the first monthly payment $85.
For 14-year Fido customer, Derka Alibest, the switch from Fido to Bell was done without any hesitation. “I’ve been paying about $100 every month so the $25 activation fee seemed very little in order to save about $40 on my monthly phone bill,” she said.
Now customers will be saving money and have extra change in their pocket for the holiday season.