Primus wireless - a cheapskate's experience


New member
HoFo Member
Apr 22, 2007
Huawei GR5
Having had lousy experience with PAYG from PC Mobile (it can no longer roam even in the US) and AT&T (US, Canada and Mexico only, so though AT&T uses GSM, and has agreements with the rest of the world, your AT&T Go phone is useless in Europe.), I decided on the Primus Couple's prepaid plan. Cheap, limited, but unlimited calls and texts between two phones within Canada, and world wide roaming on Rogers GSM partners.

The plan was half price for the first six months, and we get double the minutes as long as we keep the plan.

So I picked up a 2 year plan and two LG Neon2 phones.

The biggest downside to the plan is that call display/caller ID/voice mail is extra. Without it, every incoming call is a mystery, and nobody can leave you a message. It boggles the mind why they should be allowed to get away with the extra charge for caller info, since this info is available and they have to deliberately block it to punish me for being a cheapskate. That's the CRTC for you.

The Neon 2 has a slide out QWERTY keyboard, making texting a lot easier. Incoming texts display the sender's phone number, making the whole extra charge for caller info even more nonsensical. And if you really need the caller's phone number, get them to text you after the call!

I was very leery of the deal but I was assured that roaming is possible (and of course expensive). Fine. We use the phones mostly to talk to each other and roam rarely, and just want the possibility of making calls from outside Canada if a need arises.

So I was very pleased to get an "I am here!" message from South America this morning.

As we use the phones more and more, I suspect we will talk ourselves into paying for caller ID and voice mail, but right now we're fine with the deal and pleased with the world phone aspect.
The text from Brazil to Canada cost 25 cents. That's a markup of 25,000% but it's still cheap enough to use on an occasional basis.
Primus now has "mini" call display (number but no name, unless you have a phonebook entry for that number) and voice mail (mailbox is limited to 3 messages) for $5 a month per phone. I opted for it on the main phone, the one that receives the vast majority of the incoming calls.
$10 a month per phone was too much extra to pay, but I can justify an extra 5. At least now I can screen the calls from 877 numbers that start, "Congratulations! You have won a..."
Petro Can Mobility, like PC Mobile, works only in Canada.
Primus now gives you call display and voice mail for no extra charge, saving me $5 a month. There is a $15 per month shared data plan which I haven't signed up for yet. That is better than ten bucks per phone per month. I am dragging myself into the 21st century...

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My two year contract came up for renewal. I have upgraded my family plan to Blackberry Q5. With the double double plan, ($65 a month for two phones for two years with no upfront fees) I have 1 Gig of data to share between two Q5s plus a bunch of minutes, unlimited text and Canada wide calling between the two phones, plus BBM. Other than the fact that Primus would not skip the buyout fee until the very last minute, I am happy. The Q5 is a competent smart phone. It works and is easy to use.