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Thread: Casual PrePaid Usage Comparison (7-Eleven vs The Rest)

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Casual PrePaid Usage Comparison (7-Eleven vs The Rest)

    For people who are casual cell-phone users (use less than 100 minutes per month) it is often much cheaper to be on pre-paid than on a monthly plan, especially with the crazy SAF fees being charged these days.

    I have compiled a comparison of the Canadian pre-paid services (May 2007) based on my average monthly usage of 20 weekday minutes per month and 10 weeknight/weekend minutes (8pm+) per month.

    Here are the raw monthly costs if there were no expiry dates on minutes, based on the per-minute rate for each carrier using the cheapest cost per month top-up cards:

    Code:
    Monthly costs for 30 minutes air-time including 911 and SAF fees:
    
    PC Mobile     : $ 6.00 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.04/min]
    PetroCanada   : $ 6.99 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.30/min]
    Virgin Mobile : $ 7.50 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.25/min]
    7-Eleven      : $ 7.50 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.30/min]
    Rogers PayGo  : $ 8.00 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.25/min]
    Fido Prepaid  : $ 9.50 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.30/min]
    Telus Prepaid : $12.75 (VM+CD: $18.75)    [LD Rate: $0.25/min]
    Solo Mobile   : $12.95 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.30/min]
    Bell Prepaid  : $13.95 (VM+CD: $18.95)    [LD Rate: $0.40/min]
    
    VM+CD = Voice Mail and Call Display feature
    Note: Rogers, Fido, PetroCanada, & 7-Eleven Prepaid use minutes
          when people leave VM messages for you
    With my average usage, PC Mobile is the cheapest followed by PetroCanada. Telus and Bell are the only prepaid services that you have to pay a lot extra to have CallDisplay and VoiceMail. Bell and Solo also have SAF fees on their prepaid service.

    Of course all the providers have minutes that expire after a certain time, so taking expiry times into account, here is the minimum monthly cost:

    Code:
    7-Eleven      : $ 2.05    [Expires: $ 25 @ 365 days]
    PetroCanada   : $ 3.33    [Expires: $ 20 @ 180 days]
    Rogers PayGo  : $ 8.22    [Expires: $100 @ 365 days]
    Virgin Mobile : $ 8.22    [Expires: $100 @ 365 days]
    Fido Prepaid  : $10.00    [Expires: $ 10 @  30 days]
    Telus Prepaid : $10.00    [Expires: $ 10 @  30 days]
    Solo Mobile   : $12.00    [Expires: $ 30 @  75 days]
    Bell Prepaid  : $12.50    [Expires: $ 25 @  60 days]
    PC Mobile     : $12.50    [Expires: $ 25 @  60 days]
    Once you factor in expiry times, most of the providers become more expensive than my raw costs per month so it doesn't really matter what they charge per minute for calls. The cheapest deals are from PetroCanada and 7-Eleven with the very long expiry times your monthly costs are pretty small.

    * PC Mobile, Solo Mobile, and Virgin Mobile use Bell's CDMA network
    * Fido, PetroCanada, and 7-Eleven use Roger's GSM network

  2. #2
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    Good list. I picked 7-11 because of the long expiry time, and they're well distributed for me.

  3. #3
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    Here is the updated info with hew correct 7-11 911 fee which makes it identical to Petro (except has longer expiry times):

    Code:
    Monthly costs for 30 minutes air-time including 911 and SAF fees:
    
    PC Mobile     : $ 6.00 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.04/min]
    PetroCanada   : $ 6.99 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.30/min]
    7-Eleven      : $ 6.99 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.30/min]
    Virgin Mobile : $ 7.50 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.25/min]
    Rogers PayGo  : $ 8.00 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.25/min]
    Fido Prepaid  : $ 9.50 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.30/min]
    Telus Prepaid : $12.75 (VM+CD: $18.75)    [LD Rate: $0.25/min]
    Solo Mobile   : $12.95 (VM+CD included)   [LD Rate: $0.30/min]
    Bell Prepaid  : $13.95 (VM+CD: $18.95)    [LD Rate: $0.40/min]
    
    VM+CD = Voice Mail and Call Display feature
    Note: Rogers, Fido, PetroCanada, & 7-Eleven Prepaid use minutes
          when people leave VM messages for you

  4. #4
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    I don't know about the others but the LD rate for 7-11 and PetroCan includes air time. For PC Mobile, I don't think the 4 cents/min include air time, so the comparison is not meaningful.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sable
    I don't know about the others but the LD rate for 7-11 and PetroCan includes air time. For PC Mobile, I don't think the 4 cents/min include air time, so the comparison is not meaningful.
    Actually none of those rates include air-time. I can't find anywhere on Petro's website that the $0.30/min does not also charge air-time. That would mean calling LD on Petro and 7-11 only costs $0.10/min on top of the regular $0.20/min.

  6. #6
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    I may confirm at least for 7-11 that the 30 cents LD rate includes air time. You can call any LD number in Canada and US for 30 cents a minute. It should be the same for PetroCan but I am not sure because I am not a PetroCan mobile user.

  7. #7
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    Wow, that is pretty impressive then. Too bad you can't just buy a SIM card.

  8. #8
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    I did not know that Telus prepaid no longer has VM and CID included anymore??
    No longer on a leash by Fido

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortissimo
    I did not know that Telus prepaid no longer has VM and CID included anymore??
    CID is still included but VM is extra (either $5 or $6/month).

  10. #10
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    I know this should be in the Telus forum, but thanks again.

  11. #11
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    At the request of another user, I am making available the spreadsheet I used to make these pre-paid comparison calculations. All you need to do is download the Excel spreadsheet and enter the average number of minutes you use per month and it will do all the calculations based on your usage.

    You can find the spreadsheet here:
    http://www.howardforums.com/showpost...45&postcount=7

    Enjoy.

  12. #12
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    something to consider is rogers .50 a month and 15 day expiry for $1 through online banking also has 1c minute weekends.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcti
    something to consider is rogers .50 a month and 15 day expiry for $1 through online banking also has 1c minute weekends.
    You can get a 15 day expiry paying $1 through online banking? That lets you apply for the $0.39/min weekday and $0.01/weekend plan even though the minimum topup for that plan is $20/month?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalParasite
    You can get a 15 day expiry paying $1 through online banking? That lets you apply for the $0.39/min weekday and $0.01/weekend plan even though the minimum topup for that plan is $20/month?
    if you pay 1$ through your online banking you will get 15 days of expiry on any rogers paygo plan.

    In order to change your plan you will need to apply the miniumum topup however once you are on the plan you want if you pay through online banking you will get 15 days expiry for 1$.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sable
    I don't know about the others but the LD rate for 7-11 and PetroCan includes air time. For PC Mobile, I don't think the 4 cents/min include air time, so the comparison is not meaningful.
    I think you will find that the 4 cent LD for PC MOBILE is only when you use their LD card and you will pay the regular LD rate for incoming LD. (plus air time)
    If you make or receive LD calls without a card, the rate is 25 cents plus air time.

    By using an LD card all the companies can have similar or lower rates.

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