We can’t cut our smartphone habit – but we can cut the cost

April 10, 2019 Suzana Popovic-Montag Estate & Trust, Estate Litigation, Estate Planning, Uncategorized Tags: , , , 0 Comments

Talk to someone who lives in Europe or travels there for extended periods. Ask them what they pay for their phone plan. You’ll be shocked and disheartened.

The costs are a fraction of what they are in Canada. In February, Global News compared the costs of phone plans across Canada, and also summarized (in the chart below) Canadian government research comparing wireless costs in Canada with those in other parts of the world. It’s clear that wireless costs in Canada are among the highest in the world.

 

You can read the entire article here.

Why so high

There are many reasons given for the high wireless prices in Canada. Most are a variation of “the high cost of building infrastructure in a large country with a small population” and “lack of competition.”

No one has a definitive answer, but the lack of competition angle certainly makes some intuitive sense. There are only three major carriers (Bell, Rogers, and Telus) and they own most of the discount brands. Even with a discount brand, the savings are underwhelming. Compare that to Europe, where competition is fierce and low prices are the norm.

Cut your costs

The fact that the three major carriers all have discount brands suggests that there is room to haggle in terms of the price you pay. In most cases, if you tell the carrier that you are price shopping and simply ask them for a lower price, they’ll provide a discount. It may be for a set period of time, but it will be less.

Of course, calling the carrier and haggling is time-consuming and, for many people, uncomfortable. That’s why services have popped up that will do the haggling for you, in exchange for a cut of your savings.

For example, MyBillsAreHigh specializes in reducing the monthly costs of wireless, internet, landline and cable services for business and individual customers. You can check them out here.

A company like this can save you tens of dollars a month, which, when multiplied over a lifetime, can result in total savings of thousands of dollars. Imagine you could have this much extra to pass on through your estate. And that is just the savings for one bill! Multiple that by the number of cellular bills you pay for your family members and your internet, landline and cable services. Depending on how many services you subscribe to, you could save a significant amount over your lifetime. Those kinds of savings could make a drastic difference in the type of estate you pass on and alter the lives of your estate’s beneficiaries. So with services that can easily provide us with such savings over the course of our lifetimes, we should all be exploring these options.

I haven’t myself tried this service yet, but I’ve seen it featured in the news and on shows like CBC Marketplace. I have to admit, I’m tempted – and it wouldn’t take much to get me to act.

Thanks for reading … have a great day!

Suzana Popovic-Montag

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