The vast majority of Canadian households have Cable TV, Internet, Home phone and Cell phones. Carriers like Rogers, BELL and TELUS offer discounts if you bundle some or all of these services. But is it really worth it? How many of us had said, “I won’t switch cellphone providers because I have my cell phone plan bundled with my other services and I get a discount?” But does the discount really make that much of a difference or is it the perception of the discount?
Let’s look at some numbers to put it into context.
• Standard Home Internet from Rogers or BELL range from $25 to $100 per month, depending on the type of Internet speed you choose. For people in Alberta and British Columbia, TELUS home Internet ranges from $30 to $55 per month (TELUS only offers Internet and Cable TV services in Alberta and British Columbia)
• Standard Home phone rates range anywhere from $25 to $45 per month depending the type of features you choose like voicemail, call waiting, etc.(Long Distance not included). For people in Alberta and British Columbia, Home phone ranges from $25 to $65 per month
• Standard Cable TV rates for Rogers, BELL and TELUS range from $35 to $110 per month depending on the type of channel packages you select and excluding terminal rental.
• Cellular services for a family of 3 can start at roughly $135 per month for basic features.
As far as bundling discounts go, Rogers and BELL take different approaches. Rogers gives you percentage discounts based on the number of services you have with them. 2 services get you 5% in discounts, 3 services entitle you to 10% and 4 services entitle you to 15%.Bell and TELUS give you a dollar discount based on the number of services you have with them. With BELL, 2 services earn you $5 of your monthly bill and 3 services entitle you to $10 off. (BELL does not include cellular services as part of a bundle and hence no discount). With TELUS, with 2 services you get $5 to $10 off and with 3 services you get $10 to $15 off.
So let’s look at an example and see what that discount actually looks like. Let’s assume you have all 4 services with Rogers and all 3 services with BELL and TELUS. If the breakdown of your bill looks like the following:
• Cable: $90/month
• Internet: $45/month
• Home Phone: $30/month
• Cellular: $135/month (3 people)
• Total: $300/month
With Rogers, applying a 15% bundling discount saves you $45.
With BELL, you would save $10 when you bundle 3 services (Don’t offer cellphone services and bundling)
With TELUS, you would save anywhere from $15 to $20 a month.(Only in AB and BC).
Are you kidding me? That’s it? That’s the savings I get for giving you my business? Now if you only had 3 services, Rogers would apply a 10% bundling discount that would save you $30. That is a difference of $15 when moving from 4 services to 3. Not as much as you thought it would be when you heard 15%. With BELL and TELUS, what impact does savings $10 to $20 a month with bundled services compared to the savings you can get on a customized cellphone plan. If anything, bundle TV, Home Phone and Internet and search for your own cellphone plan. especially if you have a family of cell phone users or a business. Now some of you will say that you are saving more when bundling than that and if that’s the case, that’s good. Keep in mind, the promotional pricing you signed up for isn’t forever. Always check your monthly bill to make sure pricing has not changed. Remember, that your providers will NOT call you to tell you your preferred pricing has expired.
The purpose of this blog is to highlight the importance of shopping for your own cellphone plan, consumer or business, and seeing how much you can save, regardless of carrier or bundling. There are 100’s of different plans out there that will almost certainly maximize your savings by more than bundling your services. When you shop for your own cellphone plan you are, in essence educating, yourself as to what is out there, what you actually need and what is a fair market price to pay. For something so essential to your daily lives, why on earth would you not.