This drama has had so many twists and turns that it feels like reality TV drama.
Honestly, at this point I feel like I should be getting paid to do all this stuff.
Let’s get started and maybe I can save you some problems in your near future if you are looking for options.
What does it mean to have an unlocked phone?
When the provider you are with activates a new phone, if they can, that provider will lock your phone so that you cannot use your phone with any other provider unless you get it unlocked.
It will only work with the sim cards they provide for their company.
Not very convenient for you, but good for them right?
Can you get it unlocked? Yes you can. You can call the company you are with to unlock the phone but they will most likely charge you 40 to 50 dollars, when you can probably get it done by an online company like cellunlocker for a lot less, depending on the phone.
This may void your warranty if you get your phone unlocked, so make sure you know what you are getting into if you start doing these things.
For myself, I’ve tried over the years to get phones repaired that had plans and warrantees, and the companies still refused to pay, so I basically do what I want now without too much concern for warranties and such.
So my LG3 was locked and with cellunlocker , I paid $14 to get it unlocked when Virgin wanted to charge me $50.
Will unlocking your phone damage it or change the way your service works?
I would say no having unlocked 3 phones already. It just opens up possibilities instead of having to buy a new phone when you change providers.
Some phones cannot be locked like NEXUS and it’s because they are made that way by the manufacturer. We like manufacturers like these!
So it’s important to check if your phone is already unlocked.
How do you do this?
You put in another providers SIM card in the phone. If it asks for a Pin or Code when you start it back up, you phone needs to be unlocked. If it does not, your phone is good to go.
Now you have unlocked your phone and you want to go to another provider and it should all be good. Right?
Hmmm not quite. Have you ever gone to a cell phone store with different providers and they offer different phones for different companies. Yep, you go it. Some phones are not transferable.
So your choices are that you can check it out online or by calling other providers to see if your phone brand is supported and that you can get service from them.
Now you have your phone unlocked and you find out you can use your phone with that company. You found some great company offering a great deal for cell phone service. Everything will be great, right?
Have you checked where you are? Are you in a rural area? Are you in a city? If you are in the city, your chances of service being awesome are good whatever provider because they usually offer a better coverage in cities? But do you travel to rural areas? Will you need service out there?
In Ontario, you will soon realize that the big 3 are the ones that hold the power and service. Those are Tel us, Bell and Rogers. Wind and others are smaller and their service can start getting sketchy when you are going in the boonies.
This was the case for us, but we found that PC mobile or Koodo that works off the Telus Towers offered a great deal at $38 dollars (for PC) a month with pay the data as you use with decent prices. So for now they are the winners. We had tried Videotron, but their service in our area was atrocious, so for now they got off the list.
To say my change with PC was flawless would be a joke and their customer service was quite frankly lacking.
I needed 1 account for 4 phones. Myself, my husband and both guys in my household.
When they attempted to transfer one line, they somehow put it on some poor ladies bill that we didn’t know in Guelph Ontario. And since we could not transfer from PC Mobile to PC Mobile without cancelling the number (as in porting the number so we could keep it), we had to transfer with Koodo for a bit to port and then port again (which didn’t work out anyways in the end). We ended up getting a brand new number for one of the boys. What a mess!
The other number for the other boy that was activated was put under my name (which I had asked) but then either their system was disintegrating at that point for I was only approved for one line, like I had no credit rating or something.
Which was ridiculous with the credit score my husband and I both have, but again they screwed up but it meant that in order to have other phones transferred we needed to open an account under my husband’s name, since I can’t have 2 accounts under the same name. Right…. Oufff right!
After months of trying to get this right, my younger son ended up with a new number, my older son has his phone under an account with my name and the remaining 3 of us have an account under my husband’s name.
Did you get all of that? Yeah I know awful. But in the end, the service as in reception for them has been good, since it’s under the umbrella of one of the big 3. And if you can set it up so that you can pay online and you can view your billing online, you may not have to deal with them for very long periods of time. Which I suggest wholeheartedly from the way I was talked to (or rather ignored) at the kiosk the last time I was there.
When my husband asked me why we didn’t just leave, I said I would if the prices were not the best I could find. And as long as I could get a good deal on it, that is all that mattered. I had no time to be bothered by some low frequency human that was rude and ignorant. Yes Simon, I am talking about you.
Koodo would be worth a look at as well, since their customer service seemed pretty awesome when I called them to cancel my younger son’s service and explained to them why I only had them for a short amount of time.
So for now, with the switch I will be saving approx. $1070 a year. That’s like one person’s trip to a hot spot. Think of all you could do with an extra $1000??
Was it painful? Oh absolutely! Was it worth it? Of course it was.
Would I do it again? Yes for sure if it meant getting to my financial freedom faster. Just think… we want to retire in 10 years. Ten times one thousand is $10,000 after 10 years. When you think in those terms. Very well worth the sacrifice!
I am sharing to help you go through the learning curve a little better than I did. I am sharing my knowledge so you start out of the gate knowing more than I did.
A little bit of knowledge can help you save money, believe me. I know. I have taken the time to study all this stuff and learnt some good things here. I wish I’d had someone to explain all these steps before I started, but I learnt, I saw, I saved.
And less money for them is more money for me. And I still get good reception and can do all I used to yesterday, today.
Saving money doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice anything. And if you do it right, you don’t need to sacrifice anything at all.
Sometimes it’s worth the headache if you can nurse it on a beach somewhere with your newly found money!
P.S. A little afterthought. Make sure your phone is paid when you switch or you will have to pay the remaining amount owed on it. And if you are unsure of anything, ask lots of questions and always assume that nothing has been done for you and you must do everything. So check and double check. When they assigned a new number to my younger son, I thought they might cancel my Koodo account for him, but when I called that week, I realized they had done nothing for me, even if it was their inability to port the number. Just to say, check everything twice and that way, you are sure of what you have and why. Which is not a bad thing!