So spending more than $1000 per year with Koodo, and it's still nearly 50 cents per minute for extra airtime? Time for another carrier...

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I've been through every real carrier in Canada, as well as several of the 'fighting brands' fake carriers, and every time I stay with one until I get burned on ridiculous data, roaming or airtime charges.  Been with Koodo for a few years, but finally looks like here we go again - bills for three phones, all but one pretty rarely used, spending well over $1,000 per year, and this month's bill is more than $300 just by itself.  Lots of extra airtime on one phone - but charged at FIFTY CENTS A MINUTE - that's more than many pre-paid plans!

Then go looking for support in the account area, and there's no link to chat, no link to email (until you wade through support and end up here, where there's a little link to 'private email'), nothing.

So I guess this is yet another chapter in the sorry saga of Canadian cellphone extortion.  Take a few days to look at all the possibilities, figure out compatible carriers for existing phones, and get the heck out of Dodge again.

I heard someone famous say "Because it's 2016!", but you wouldn't know it from our cell phone bills.  We're supposed to be a civilised country - why do we do this to ourselves?  </end of rant>
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J

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Posted 2 years ago

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Goran, Mobile Master

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Even with Wind's price points, three plans would be costing you over 1300 a year for the 40 dollar plan. Sounds like you need to get more airtime or an unlimited minutes plan for the one line that is not rarely used. I agree that the per minute overage rate is too high but you still need to be responsible to either not go over the limit, use VoIP alternatives (Fongo, Textnow, skype, etc) to supplement your minutes, or get a plan with unlimited minutes. You were given the overage rates when you signed up. It should not be shocking news.

Koodo does not currently have chat but in contact us page yo can get to the email and theres always 611 via your phone. We are also available here.
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Keith Drummond

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I am using Virgin. When I travel to the states, I pay $5.00 per day when I want to use it. Rogers has a plan that you pay $5./ day to a maximum of $50.each month and your  use your phone as you normally do. This seems to be the best deal out there.
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Timo Tuokkola, Mobile Master

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It's a fine deal indeed, but this thread is about the cost of exceeding your monthly airtime minutes. It has nothing to do with roaming rates.
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Allan, Mobile Master

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Koodo has something similar.
https://koodomobile.com/easyroam
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David, Mobile Master

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A fairly basic Smartphone plan is going to be near the $1000 per year rate if you include any amount of subsidy, so three phones for that amount is a pretty good deal!
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Mayumi, Mobile Master

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Koodo is offering plans includes unlimited minutes. One of your line might be better to switch to it.
They're also offering Long Distance Add-ons.

You mentioned you have 3 lines.
You can switch your service to different carriers, but you will get overage charges if you don't pick your plans accordingly for each line.

What are the usage like on each lines?
If you don't use your phone that much, Koodo has prepaid service too.
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Ranjan, Official Rep

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Hi J - from looking at your account, here's what I'm seeing:

The 330 number went way over the daytime mins. you have 150 included and went over by 308 this past month. You've shown similar patterns the past few months, so it might be worth changing to a plan that gives you more mins. The plan price may be more than what you have right now, but you'd still be up overall considering all the overage charges you're paying right now. There's a $40/mth plan that gives you 500 mins and 500mb of data that should cover your usage, or the $50 plan that gives you 1gb of data and unlimited incoming and local outgoing calls at any time.

The 767 number has consistently exceeded the monthly data allowance. You're only getting 200mb with your current plan, but the past two months you're closer to 2GB and over 1GB before that. The $50 plan mentioned above would be the best fit based on usage, plus you would benefit from our shock-free-data feature that notifies you when you've reached 50%, 90% and 100% of your usage. It blocks data at 100% and it's up to you at that point if you want to authorize the overage charge - this way you have full control of your usage and don't get surprised at the end of the month.

Your third number ending in 847 has also gone over data a few times recently, but not as bad as the 767 number. I would suggest considering a shock-free-data plan for this line as well, for the benefits mentioned above.

It looks like you just need to make some adjustments based on your usage and pick the plans that cover you best.
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Stephen Ridsdale

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crap people just look at your bill ???
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Robert, Mobile Master

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No Stephen. Employess CAN look at your bill if it will help you get an answer faster.
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David, Mobile Master

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@Robert
  I read the previous comment as: Crap, people! Just look at your bill!
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J

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Thanks for the comments, people.   As I look for my next carrier here's two things I've noticed:
1.  Overage Charges Are Hidden.  Why?

 Koodo keeps the overage charges as well hidden as possible.  Pretend you are a new customer, or have your son/daughter/significant other navigate the Koodo site and try find out what the overage charges are for any plan. 

Yep!  Far as I can see, they are just *not there*.  The minute limit is there for each plan, yes, but the charge for minutes over plan...  nope.  

Only by trying to actually sign up for a plan will they (later) learn what those charges are.  So why would a cell phone company, where the number one issue is bill-shock, work so hard to stop people knowing the number?

2.  Yes, I can switch to a bigger plan.  Why not?

Always been an option.  But let's think about what's happening here. 

Let's agree that the cost per extra minute on any plan should be something something less than 15 cents per minute - that's what other carriers are able to charge for *roaming minutes* - which courtesy of the CRTC support for incumbents, will be much higher than the real cost.

So why does Koodo charge more than three times the proper price?  To deliberately generate bill shock.   Why would they do that?  Because they are hoping that people do exactly what they are doing on this thread - "Get a bigger plan, bro!"    Because the way the bigger plans work for them is by pushing you up to the point where you are no longer exceeding your plan, but on average you will be buying more than you need because you want to avoid the artificially created bill shock.  

So to get over one 'bill shock' month you will pay them extra for 11 months you don't need it.  Just like US roaming, data overage charges, and a hundred other games, the rat (that would be you) just needs the right size of shock to drive it down through the maze toward their excessive profit (remember we agreed reasonable profit can be guessed from the roaming fees, so more than that we should be able to agree is 'excessive').

3.  As customers, what plan do *we* need?

The carriers really only need one plan to fit everyone - basic coverage, plus reasonable fees that relate to real costs for overages.  The plan magically adjusts for usage, no more bill shock, everyone happy.  (Yes,  there could be more data/less data etc., but a fair data charge would eliminate that need.  And there's an argument to be made for them for higher committed usage covering cost of provisioning etc., but usage is well established enough now they don't really have to worry about that.)

The reason for lots of plans is that "maximizing subscriber yield" pushes the carriers to sell you air time / data / etc. that on average you won't use.   Generally speaking, they'd also like to drive your usage up (why would they offer extra minutes promos for a certain number of months? because you change your behaviour to use them and it's tough to rein yourself in again).

It's not a coincidence that many of these games resemble cable company shenanigans.  Anyone remember the famous Rogers 'negative option billing'?  

So am I going to switch to a bigger plan?  No.    (At least not at any increased cost, and so far Koodo has not reached out to me with the kind of secret offer they did when I hit the first bill shock just after joining them...  you only ever get decent pricing from the retention department, and obviously I'm not expecting that they will offer anything now : )

4.  Don't want to give up my cell phone just yet, so...  ?

Looks like the best voice deal right now is with Wind, where I can get a basic package for $25/month.  Yes, they have crappy coverage, and Shaw has already said when they fix up the nextwork they will copy the incumbent pricing strategy anyway.  But meantime even when I don't get actual Wind coverage, which hopefully will be most of the time, I'll only pay 15 cents a minute worst-case even to roam on another (better) network.

So that looks to be the closest to common sense:  Paying what passes in Canada as 'fairly' for what I use, don't get manipulated into plans that get bigger and bigger with more wastage, and my 'plan' auto-magically adjusts to whatever I use every month.

But the best part is getting off the the silly carnival games on "Guess Your Usage!!"   and away from the "Sorry you lose!!  Now get a bigger plan!" side show.
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Timo Tuokkola, Mobile Master

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Read it again. I said those numbers would be the case IF the overage rate was $0.15/minute. It's not. It's $0.50/minute, and to my knowledge there is no provider in Canada that charges significantly less for overage minutes. That means that you could pay for the more expensive plan for 10 months and it would still cost you less than the 308 minute overage you ran up this month. Tell me again about false economy. I don't think it means what you think it means.
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J

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Not meaning to fight, folks.  Koodo is very likely the least-worst of all the fake cell phone companies that use real networks.  (And probably all the fake fighting brands are better than the core companies).  If they weren't, I would have been using Virgin, Wind, Telus, Bell, Rogers, and Clearnet, all of which I've used in the last 20 years.

Just pointing out there's some Koodo Kool-Aid being served up.  For all the friendly presentation, the underlying ethos is the same as the big three - despising customers.

Timo, as noted above, there is at least one provider at $0.15 minute.  That is the effective overage fee for Wind - as there is unlimited talk, but only in Wind service areas, so everything that is 'roaming' is $0.15 per minute.  Because Wind's network is garbage, assume you might get a few hundred 'free' minutes where you happen to get coverage, and the rest will be 'overage' which is really roaming.  Also as noted above, if $0.15 is the *roaming* retail charge, Koodo or anyone else charging more than triple that at $0.50 is just screwing their customers, I guess because they can.   And it sounds like you haven't been able to easily find overage fees for Koodo or other carriers (other than Wind) either, because they all play the same game of not wanting to disclose the true costs that would allow people to more easily see the games they play.

Goran, that's exactly the point above.  Koodo et al burn people on economically unjustifiable overage fees to get them to onto bigger packages, and is counting on people not to switch their plans as their needs change.   I'm sure all of us have better things to do than constantly monitoring and switching plans in some kind of weird Mexican hat dance as Koodo shoots at your feet.  Cell phones were supposed to be about convenience, were they not?

So judging by the appreciated comments and responses here, there simply are no Koodo plans that are not designed to play up-the-plan games with customers.  That's fine, and if the plans that Koodo does have work for families that can spend $4,000 or more a year of after-tax dollars on cell phones, good on you mates.  I'd rather get a free week skiing every year, lease a brand-new car for free, or jet off to Europe every 18 months...  all for the same money.  To each their own : )     Sure I'd prefer it if we had real competition in Canada so I could have both, but that's not the universe we live in right now.

Anyway it's off to convert phone line number one tomorrow to Wind.  The coverage will be horrible, but if I can get off their network and roam I'll pay at most only $0.15 per minute for what I use.  Predictability of charges with no silly games is all I'm after right now.  The satisfaction of taking my teeny bit of business away from a company that is treating its customers badly doesn't pay too many bills so I don't particularly care about that.

And in a few years once Shaw begin to squeeze their golden Wind goose, doubtless I'll be back onto one of the fake fighting brands like Koodo if I can't manage with WiFi only by then : )

Thanks everyone! Over and out.
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Timo Tuokkola, Mobile Master

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TL; DR.
But a predictable monthly bill is the last thing you're going to see from wind unless you pay at least $40 a month for a plan.
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Mark Kokolsky

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Just to respond to a couple of your points you mentioned J

2: Your bang on that overage is likely set to steer people towards higher rate plans. But if you think of your point a bit, what would you expect? If they made overage next to nothing and you could go over your 200 minute plan by 300 minutes yet still be cheaper than a 500 minute plan, no one would buy the 50 plan. Those higher plans only have value because they give you better pricing.

3: One giant flex plan sounds like a good idea but is it really? What about people living on fixed incomes, or people trying to budget. Not having a set price for your rate plan isn't always a good thing. I know for myself, having limits helps me manage my usage. But if everyone could just keep going, people would likely have MASSIVE bill shock some months.
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bstorrey .

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You are running yourself in circles. The point of many options at varying prices is for consumers to choose a plan that fulfils their needs at a cost they can afford. All carriers work on the same principle. And like most products, the higher the tier the better value included (Ie. Doubling service does not double price).

You want to compare the lowest price plans and worry about overage prices as they come instead of taking a realistic look at your actual needs as the Koodo rep pointed out.
One of your phones use 3X the included air time.
One of your phones used 10X the included date the last two consecutive months and 5X the previous month.
And the third also went over on data a few time recently.
The rep suggested reasonable priced plans that suited those usage histories but you seem oblivious that they exist.
Wind may be "cheaper" but again look at what the total overages would be at that price over the course of the month (and the tiny network requiring much more roaming) and see if that would pay for a higher plan in the first place.
Also note that your habitual solution of jumping ship is chasing PROMOTIONAL rates. When choosing a carrier/plan focus more on post-promotion costs
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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I fear that you're wasting your time with this form of complaining. None of the telecom companies hate their customers. But all of them do want to squeeze out as much as you'll pay. It's one of the most basic principles of capitalism. Wind's no more altruistic than Koodo. Nobody would switch to them if the price was equal because the coverage is not.

This will continue until we as a majority are unwilling to pay these prices (if half of us went to prepaid overnight, you'd see a ton of killer promos to get us back), or there's tough legislation introduced regarding wholesale costs (similar to UK/EU).
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Garry

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As with any contract you enter......It is YOUR responsibility to know the details/charges/exceptions/etc. If not..........tough luck!
Pay the Piper, quit complaining, and choose the plan/s which best suit your requirements. 

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