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Family Cell Phone Packages

weather: mainly clear
outside: 3°C
mood: thinkie
Since Rogers AT&T is touting special promotions, I thought I'd check out their Family Plans to see if there's a sweet deal to be had, somewhere. I'm paying for my cell and my Dad's cell right now. They're separate plans, but both billed to my account.

I wanted my Mom to have one as well. She buses around a lot and she likes working late shifts so she can take care of things in the morning before she goes to work.

My brother... not sure what to do about my brother. See "Usage Analysis" below.

userinfoHusband Guy is thinking about a new cell phone plan because Fido sucks. Walk into a restaurant, a mall or under a tree and the phone will go dead.

He may or may not want to be in on this because he's kind of picky about the phone model (he's using a very ancient Nokia right now, so I can understand him wanting a spiffy new thing). My Mom really doesn't care as long as it works. My Dad and I already have our phones.

My parents use cell phones for emergencies only. They'll rack up a grand honking total of maybe 10 minutes each, per month. The cheapest individual plans are usually overkill for them. Husband Guy and I usually put anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes a month on our phones. And I use mine kinda like a pager/cell hybrid. I don't always pick up, I'll just look at the Caller ID and phone people back.

We're not quite sure what to do with my brother yet. He's in Grade 12 and he's getting to an age where he should have something if he needs to call home. But he's also at that age where you're not quite sure what to expect. What do you do with More Sensible Than Most Kids, But Still Capable of Thinking and Doing Dumb Things?

I kinda wish there were an option of cutting off the usage if the minutes were used up. Instead of charging $0.30/minute for extra yak time, just cut it off so they can't rack up a huge phone bill.

Rogers is waiving activation fees, phone costs and adding some bonus stuff, making it free to call each other, so I priced out a few Family packages. The cheapest one is 100 Weekday/Evening; Unlimited Weekend which is $35 for 2 lines. The next one up is 300 Weekday; Unlimited Evening/Weekend. Each extra line beyond the first two is $20 each. There is also the System Access Fee of $6.95 per line, a 911 Emergency Fee of $0.25 per line, GST is 7% and PST is 7.5%.

This is approximately what we're looking at.

If it's just my Mom, Dad and me:

Base 2 lines $35.00
1 extra line $20.00
Access Fees $20.85
911 Fees $0.75
Subtotal $76.60
GST $5.36
PST $5.75
TOTAL $87.71 ($29.33ea)

If it's Mom, Dad, Husband or Brother and me (the four of us), then we could either make do with the 100 Weekday minutes or we might want the 300 Weekday minute plan:

100 Weekday/Evening; Unlimited Weekend
Base 2 lines $35.00
2 extra lines $40.00
Access Fees $27.80
911 Fees $1.00
Subtotal $103.80
GST $7.27
PST $7.79
TOTAL $118.85 ($29.75ea)
300 Weekday; Unlimited Evening/Weekend
Base 2 lines $60.00
2 extra lines $40.00
Access Fees $27.80
911 Fees $1.00
Subtotal $128.80
GST $9.02
PST $9.66
TOTAL $147.48 ($36.75ea)

If it's all five of us: Mom, Dad, Brother, Husband and me, then we'll need the 300 minute plan for sure:

Base 2 lines $60.00
3 extra lines $60.00
Access Fees $34.75
911 Fees $1.25
Subtotal $156.00
GST $10.92
PST $11.70
TOTAL $178.62 ($35.80ea)

So, it still doesn't look like the Family Plans are that great a deal unless the people you're sharing with don't really use up many minutes and you all squish yourselves into a small plan. We'll see what happens. I still have to talk to userinfoThe Husband about it. My Dad would be all for it if it will cost less.

[Update]

Ooo, ooo... so it looks like the Pay-As-You-Go phones are the best for my brother's situation.


Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
retrospeck
Nov. 26th, 2003 06:55 pm (UTC)
gah. I wish my parents would look into getting me a cell phone. I don't have a problem taking my dad's cell when I go out and using that, but it's a HUGE pain in the ass because he usually comes home from work late, and by that time I'm already gone and they like having me call when I'm on my way home, or just to update them on what I'm doing etc etc, and often, I have to call from payphones at the bus stations, but I have this paranoia of missing the bus because I'm on the phone, or getting in trouble because I get on the bus (thereby having no way of calling them to tell them I'm on my way) and them getting upset that I didn't call.

And my dad is all "the plans are expensive, blah blah blah"

this has actually become an extremely touchy subject for me, because I'm quite willing to pay for everything myself, my dad just doesn't seem to think it's necessary at all. aweproinke!!!

*sigh*

Heh. Excuse my rambling in your journal. :P
bride
Nov. 26th, 2003 07:10 pm (UTC)
If you're willing to pay for everything yourself, then you could just get your own. 2 phones on a family plan doesn't really save you that much. With the Access Fees and other stuff, you're not going to get anything better than $26.95 + taxes per phone.

I would suggest you get a $20 plan (150 Anytime minutes/month) which will come to just under $30/month. 150 will probably be way more than you need if you're only using it for emergencies, very quick calls and not casual talking. If you get a Refurbished Nokia 3360, it's $10, plus the activation fee of $35. Your first bill will be about $80, then all other bills will be about $30.

I think it would be a really good idea for you to have one.
retrospeck
Nov. 27th, 2003 11:25 am (UTC)
and a family friend works at Rogers and I'm sure she could help me out with choosing the right plan, but my parents just don't want me to get one.

I don't know, maybe we'll discuss it later on. I think it would be a good idea to have one too.

Thanks for the information, btw, it'll be helpful in weighing out my options. :)
katie_ah
Nov. 26th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC)
Why don't you go with pre pay for your mom and dad and brother? The prices are a bit higher, but if they aren't using them that often it doesn't matter much. And if your brother yaks too much, it will just say "You have 5 minutes left, please recharge" or something like that.
bride
Nov. 26th, 2003 07:13 pm (UTC)
Ooo, I didn't see that on the Pay-As-You-Go plans! Thanks =) I'd like to get a Pay-As-You-Go one for my brother. I'd probably put my Mom and Dad on a shared plan with me.
katie_ah
Nov. 26th, 2003 07:23 pm (UTC)
Yup, I did pay as you go when I was in high school and just needed something when I went out, it was terribly useful. Now I have more minutes that I know what to do with. (600 and free weekends and evenings) I do like the free long distance though!
partridge
Nov. 29th, 2003 12:47 am (UTC)
I don't think family plans are a good idea unless you can really trust everyone involved not to hog all the minutes themselves. You always run the risk of one member using up most of the minutes and screwing the rest of them for the rest of the month. Not a happy thing.
bride
Nov. 29th, 2003 12:51 am (UTC)
That's true, but I know my parents' cell usage habits because I'm paying for my Dad's cell plan already. I get the usage sheets every month and he doesn't use more than 10 minutes altogether. =)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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