It can be difficult for seniors on a fixed income to deal with the high cost of cell phone data that Canadian providers are infamous for. There are senior discount cell phone plans available in Canada and It’s important for seniors to realize that many plans allow them to control variables like data overages, long-distance charges or roaming fees.
Living in the US? Check out these cell phone plans for United States seniors.
PREPAID CELL PHONE PACKAGES PREVENT OVERAGE FEES
Perhaps the simplest way to prevent overage fees is to avoid paying more than you can afford is to purchase a prepaid cell phone package.
There was a time when Canadian providers like Rogers Pay As You Go offered basic per-minute calling. Things have changed over the years and now plans prepaid plans are far more comprehensive.
Now users are able to purchase premium prepaid plans that often include unlimited nationwide calling and mobile data.
In the event you pay at the end of the month you can expect to get some nasty surprises if you encounter overage fees, however, there are a few things you should be aware of. You do have certain rights a consumer.
You may have noticed that you will get a text message from your provider in the event you are nearing your monthly data limit. This is the law. Also, they are prevented from charging users more than $100 in a month for overage fees.
Should you desire to have unlimited data on your cell phone plan there are seven Canadian carriers who can accommodate you.
The best of the bunch as far as unlimited data plans in Canada is the VIP90 plan from SaskTel for $70 monthly.
The cheapest options for Canadians are currently Chatr Mobile whereas little as $25 per month includes unlimited downloads nationwide.
LARGE UNLIMITED DATA PLANS
There was a time when you could never find completely unlimited data plans in Canada.
Now users can find such plans at premium carriers like Rogers, Bell, and Telus. Still, all things considered, Canada has the most expensive data rates of the industrialized countries in the world.
It makes perfect sense to find a truly unlimited data plan that fits your budget and needs.
If a senior has a cell phone there are companies like Iamfine who offer programs that include calling a senior on a daily basis to ensure all is well. If unable to contact a senior, a pre-designated friend, neighbor or caregiver will be notified.
ROGERS CANADIAN UNLIMITED DATA
It was a bit of a historic moment for the cell phone industry on June 13, 2019, when Rogers was the first to launch high-speed nationwide unlimited data plans with prices starting at $75 per month. This plan replaced all other smartphone plans they had available.
The best part about it was that it triggered the same action by Bell and Telus. It’s all about money with these companies and it’s the death knell for a cell provider to get left in the dust. Users would desert them by the thousands unless they matched Rogers Infinite plan.
Ultimately they did. Bell played follow the leader and matched the Rogers promotional plans allowing two-year contracts with Premium, Premium Plus, and Premium Ultra Pricing. Telus was late to the party but followed Rogers and Bell and offered unlimited data plans that matched it’s two biggest competitors.
BEST FREE PHONE AND PLAN FOR SENIORS
Koodo is still the best provider when it comes to a plan for seniors. The deal includes a $0 Samsung Galaxy A50 for $70 per month.
Cityfone has the best Talk and Text plan for just $22.50 per month. In the event you are a snowbird, Telus has the best deal for world travelers.
Bell has a plan called Family Sharing that allows users to include a grandparent in their plan. The Family Sharing plan costs $210 per month for three lines and 15GB of data.
If a senior just wants a cheap emergency phone 7-Eleven has a plan called SpeakOut for only $25 per year. (this may have increased a bit in 2019,)
AGING POPULATION AND NEW CHALLENGES
Like many countries, Canada has an aging population that is growing at a very fast pace. This presents new challenges to cell phone providers.
It’s already bad enough that Canada has the highest cell phone plans in the industrialized world. Changes have to be made by the major providers in order to make cell phone usage affordable for the influx of seniors across the country.
Most seniors are on a fixed income and not able to pay the astronomical cell phone fees charged by Canadian providers. At the same time, it’s critically important for seniors to stay connected with family and friends.
Most seniors are not in the position to get surprises on the cell phone bill at the end of the month.
So far, Koodo and their shock-free data plans or Rogers Pay As You Go prepaid services appear to be the best to ensure that seniors never have to budget for unexpected changes at the end of the month.
CELL PHONE PLANS AND THE TRAVELER
Most of the Canadian providers can give you great rates when traveling to the US by using your existing phone, number, and mobile plan.
Daily rates, vacation packages, or even monthly plans will allow you to travel in and out of the US while using your plan as is you never left.
In the event you prefer, you can also unlock your phone and use a plan from a US carrier, but this doesn’t come without risk. It’s important to read up on your Consumer Rights and how to avoid US carrier overage charges.
Believe it or not, there was a time when you had to purchase a new phone while in the US in order to stay connected. The only other option was to pay astronomical roaming charges on your Canadian plan. That has all changed for the better now.
Every major Canadian provider has US travel plans that cover any length of the trip to the United States regardless if it’s a day trip or a month-long trip.
TAKE PRECAUTIONS ON FLIGHTS OR CRUISES
Cell phone costs can be very high in the sky or on the high seas. Be sure to turn off your cell phone when you board a ship or plane. This is especially important for seniors who love to cruise.
Using Airplane Mode on your phone comes in handy. This will block unwanted data use. Once you are on Airplane Mode you can enable WiFi or Bluetooth manually.
Beware that once you turn off Airplane Mode your phone could very well try to connect to a cell phone network and update your notifications. Remember that all your apps are working and can take up data without you knowing it. This can lead to extra charges.
Talk, text and especially data can be very, very expensive while flying or cruising. Keep in mind that Canadian carriers can only charge you $100 in overage charges in any given month.
In the event you use your cell phone on a cruise ship, you could reach the $100 mark very quickly and have your service shut down by your Canadian provider. The only way to get your service back would be to wait until you were on land and call the provider and authorize overage charges just to get service back again.
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