Save on Your Cell Phone Bill

Plus: 3 Warnings when Travelling

Canada continues to rank at the top for the highest rates for cell phone plansin the world (National Post).      Are Canadian cell phone plans superior to other countries to justify our high rates? (READ MORE HERE )

Cell phones and the use the Internet are changing how we communicate and the global economy.   Marketing and media streaming are targeting our devices.

As consumers move away from landlines and replacing television cable for apps to view or listen to their music, games, and movies, Canadian costs for cell phones and internet usage continues to be much higher in comparison to our neighbours and Pacific Rim countries.

To stay connected is costing more and adding to our utility budget.  

However, if you are not doing your research and asking the hard questions such as “what do I really need, ” “what is essential,” and “what is extra,” you could be cutting your cell phone bills in half as well as your landline to as low as $40 CDN a year.  

One family reports spending $350 monthly for 2 cell phones, a landline, internet usage without cable channels.   That $350 is the cost of groceries for 2 weeks for some families.

Here are the top 5 savings tips for Canadians for Cell Phone/Smart Devices:

  1.  Know your usage and find a plan that matches it.

Check your invoice or log onto your online billing to see how much data you truly  using for calls and data.  People are overpaying for more data than necessary.  CLICK HERE for Global News March Report on Cheapest Plans in Canada

1. Turn of Data Usage on your App and Use Wifi not just for games but for making calls using various apps

Canadians traveling abroad know the ridiculously high rates that come with using their phones on another carrier outside our country.    Apps such as LINE, Skype, and FaceTime is free over via wifi for texting, talking   or conference calling.     CLICK HERE FOR BEST APPS for FREE CALLS

Robin Worrall1. Save Money by Transferring your Landline to a VOIP line or Plan that uses your Internet

A client’s phone bill for home line is now $30 USD annually and the line is accessible on home wifi and as an app on her cell phone as well.    It includes messages emailed to her as well.    She can also make calls with her old digital phones from London Drugs that was ported into her internet and other fees may apply to keep the same phone number from Telus or Shaw or purchasing a vanity number. (MAGIC JACK LINK)

1. Find Family Data Sharing Plans for your Cell Phone where data cost are shared. Bell for example has a sharing plan

BELL SHARED PLANS LINK HERE

  1.  Don’t be tempted by buy the Newest Model released

Get “new” phones but a previous model.   Carriers offer amazing plans to also offset costs that are paid off by choosing a 1-2 year contract with them.

For example a Fido client was able to receive an iPhone X for $150 when the new iPhone XR or XS was released and signed up for a 2 year plan very close to his/her current plan.

  1.  Don’t be hit by Outrageous Data Roaming Costs when Travelling: Unlock your Phones and get a SIM Card Plan 

“Major Canadian carriers don’t operate in the U.S. and roaming fees can prove to be pretty expensive” according to a “snowbird” blogger.  As of December 2017, all new phones bought in Canada should be sold unlocked and those who have phone previously bought can have their phones unlocked for free.

In doing so, one can buy a sim card in the country they are in and pay for data and texting and calling like how one buys a prepaid credit card.

Hoku Wireless in Waikiki, Honolulu reported 6,000 Canadian soldiers lined up to unlock their cell phones to help them save on cost during their stay on Oahu, USA.   According to owner, an unlimited data, text and talk for a 2 week window can be as low as $20 USD.     He suggests people crossing the border can buy blank SIM card such as with T-mobile one and buy data directly or give them a call for best short term data plans they sell.   Visit: HOKU WIRELESS WAIKIKI HONOLULU

CLICK HERE ON HOW TO UNLOCK PHONES

READ UP ON SNOWBIRD ADVICES ON CELL PHONES

TOP 3 WARNINGS ABOUT MOBILE DEVICES and TRAVELLING

Government Canada posts information to help Canadians traveling abroad and how to protect themselves from data and identity theft as well as being made aware of cyber vulnerabilities when using your cell phones, devices, and computers when traveling.

Read more: Gov Canada post on Health and Safety and Mobiles Abroad

Cyber Safety Link from Gov. Canada

  1. Be prepared that your devices are subject to search and seizure.

Border agents are legally entitled to conduct search and seizure actions against anyone entering or leaving their countries. Do not take any data into another country that you are not prepared to lose.

Jesse Miller who educates teachers and in the lower mainland on internet and digital media usage shared a story of a high school hockey player banned from the U.S. due to inappropriate social media usage from his phone while cross the border for a tournament in a recent lecture.

2.  Check your wifi connection and if it is unsecured, your data is vulnerable to theft

A data and talk plan does help in this situation.

According to the post “wifi access points though sometimes free of charge…is highly not secure.”   Be weary as some connections pose as secure ones by adding a letter or number next to its name.   The warning includes “be sure to confirm the name of any Internet connection before you log on” as information is shared. Know that any thing you uploaded and downloaded can be intercepted regardless. Shared internet access such as in a hotel or coffee show can be access and if you need to communicate, “never transmit information you think a third party may access.”

Though “Bluetooth” access is short ranged, do your best to turn off this in Canada or abroad when not using it if possible. Never share your access or passwords to “Bluetooth” to anyone else and set up the extra security that many phone devices have for it.

3. Protect and Label Your Devices

Make sure you name and contact information is accessible on the outside of your devices.

Add all security measures to lock people trying to erase your data to use your devices.

The post encourages people to be weary of connecting to “unknown and unrecognizable USB flash cards or storage devices as they may contain malicious software.” Thus buy your own USB and storage devices from reputable vendors. Also, “update any antivirus, malware, patches to your systems and back it up” at home or your office.