If you want to get a phone from Telus (or any Canadian provider for that matter, I’m just talking about Telus because that’s the company I use) you have to start with a “voice plan”.
Voice plans start at $35 for a paltry 150 local minutes, and go as high as $60 for unlimited Canada-wide calling.
You add data plans on top of that. The thing is, to get a phone account with Telus you have to commit to paying at least $70 a month, and that has to include a voice plan.
That is crazy. It’s so expensive.
I had a look at my last bill and found I only made 11 voice calls. I’m at that $60 voice plan level, so each call cost me just shy of $6. Those are really expensive phone calls.
Most of the communicating I did, of course, was over data. Facetime, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, etc. That sort of stuff. Hangouts and Messenger both let you make outbound phone calls to landlines.
I could have made those voice calls over data, too, but I didn’t for whatever reason. But I could have.
In other words, I don’t need a voice plan. But Telus makes the voice plan aspect of my service the foundational element.
So here’s what I’m thinking of doing. Getting a SIM card from Virgin (because Virgin is cheaper than Telus and a trusted friend of mind in Vancouver swears by their service) and putting a Tablet Data Plan on it. I’ll pay a minimum of $5 for data service per month. The data fees go up as you use more. If you get as high as 5 GB, you pay $40 for that month. Like this:
Then I’ll subscribe to Line2. They provide data-based voice and texting services. For about $9 a month I can get a local number (yep, 867 area code) that includes unlimited Canada and US calling.
In other words, I’ll cut my mobile communications bill by about 60%. That’s huge.
I’m just testing Line2 now on a spare phone with a Tablet Data SIM in it. I’ll try to remember to report back as things progress. After a few days, though, it’s working well.