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Canadians Trash Their Cell Phone Options: Bad Service, Worse Value; Koodo Rates Highest

Phillip Dampier December 6, 2011 Bell (Canada), Canada, Competition, Consumer News, Rogers, SaskTel, Telus, Virgin Mobile, Wireless Broadband 4 Comments

Canadians overwhelmingly rate their mobile phone providers poor for value, telling Consumer Reports they are paying too much and getting far too little coverage and service in return.

The 2011 Consumer Reports Wireless Survey (subscription required) shows Canada’s largest cell companies are generally awful in the estimation of 15,000 Canadians polled for the survey.  At the very bottom of the barrel are mega-carriers Bell Mobility and Rogers, both rated lousy for service and customer support.

“You can always do better than Rogers and Bell, no matter what other carrier you can think of,” says Thierry Duluis, a Stop the Cap! reader in Quebec. “Biggest does not mean best.”

Consumer Reports agrees.  It top-rated Koodo, a no-contract carrier owned and operated by western Canada’s phone company Telus.  Koodo is a relatively new player, only launching service in 2008, but has since built a reputation for lower prices and reasonably good service to the majority of populated regions across Canada.  But Koodo’s data plans can be expensive and confusing.  A $5 data starter plan delivers 25MB of data, and automatically increments: 26MB-100MB = $10, 101MB-300MB = $15, 301MB-1GB = $20, 1.01GB–3GB = $30, + 2¢/MB above 3GB.  A alternative plan with a 2GB data allowance runs $25 a month with a 2¢/MB overlimit fee.

Consumer Reports

Ironically, several wireless brands owned by large Canadian phone and cable companies scored higher than their respective owners.  Koodo scored higher than Telus Mobility.  So did Fido, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rogers.

Regional SaskTel, which operates in Saskatchewan, received an admirable rating from the consumer magazine, primarily because of its slightly better customer service.  But no carrier, prepaid or postpaid, did extremely well across all categories.  Canadians are frustrated by cell phone prices that are often higher than what their American neighbors pay, and are often accompanied with stingy usage allowances.

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ScytheNoire
ScytheNoire
10 years ago

It’s our lack of choices in Canada that leads to horrible service. It’s this way with all telecom services across Canada, from internet to television to cell phones. It’s the CRTC being run by the same companies it’s suppose to police. It’s Corporatocracy at it’s finest. We need an open market and to allow foreign investment to improve our infrastructure and create competition.

Fedup consumer
Fedup consumer
10 years ago

DO NOT USE KOODO. What koodo has done to me: 1. Very nice at first,we made several long distance calls BETWEEN THE TWO PHONES and were never charged. 2.I ordered 2 phones for my 2 kids,was never able to hook them up because service was never available and after waiting for over an hour for a customer service representative she didnt know what to do.3 I missed a payment,they cut me off,I paid and set up pre-pay with my credit card,they activated my phone at no charge. 4. I recieved a text that all calls between family members were free… Read more »

Common Sense
Common Sense
10 years ago

I can understand your frustration Fedup Consumer. But how is that Koodo’s fault? Would you rather have them arbitrarily change your plan for you? Seems to me that they bent backwards to help you out despite that fact, you choose not to read over the agreement you signed with them. They were quite clear to me that my plan would not change unless I asked them too (Phone or store) or did it myself (Online). I have been with other companies who mess around with your plan or keep calling to haress you to change your plan (for their benefit).… Read more »

Moe
Moe
10 years ago

KOODO has been the best provider we have had and the most affordable provider, our family is very happy to Date. We bought a Phone at KOODO for our daughter who was off to University this fall, as she was only 17 my name and credit head the account. As we were all very happy with the Canada wide calling and the low cost per month. Both my wife and I moved our phones over to my KOODO account to take advantage of the FREE calling between phones on the same account, it was also a no cost move as… Read more »

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