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Discussion Starter #1
As soon as my contract expires I am switching to low cost carrier. Petro Canada phone and 7/11 phone were recommended to me on this forum. Can anybody share any experience with those two?
Out of other 3 carriers I kind of like Wind Mobile and I hear they are gaining a lot of subscribers.
 

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You need to do your homework on any of the providers: what handsets do they sell? do they have a variety of plans (voice & data) to suit your needs? where do you live in relation to their coverage areas? if you are taking your handset with you, will it fully function, or function at all, on a new provider's network?
 

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I'm with PetroCan. Minutes are now 25 cents (up from 20 a while back) for local and I assume 30 for NA. They don't do per-second billing -- this is a bummer when you hang up and see the call time is 1:01. You *have to* buy a phone from them -- they won't sell you just the SIM card, so wait for a deal. Once you get the SIM card, you can put it in any unlocked GSM phone.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is useful. So service is OK. I can leave with per minute charging. I use teeing much more than voice anyway.
 

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I'm with Speakout (7/11) and the service is fine. The nokia phone they provided was free and I've since switched to an unlocked Fido handset. It's about the cheapest voice service you can get, runs on any unlocked Rogers GSM handset.....

P.S. No roaming available in the US, it will just show "searching for network", which is just as well for cheapskates like me.

:)
 

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PetroCan Works Fine For Me

Thanks to this forum, I decided to look more carefully at my Rogers cell costs. So I took 30 minutes and punched up 12 Rogers invoices. Quite revealling.

I included all Rogers costs -- every weaselly one of them except taxes. Total of $ 458 per year.

Despite being on their lowest-cost plan, my useage was so low that per-minute costs were between 19¢ and $3.04, depending on the month. They averaged 77 ¢ per minute over the year.

Now, I pay 25¢ per minute. I check PetroCan's web site for usage every once in a while, and every so often I top up the PetroCan account with $ 100. Costs are about $ 150 per year (I haven't done much arithmetic on it since seeing that I was actually paying Rogers 77¢ per minute).

Your results may vary, and it all depends on your usage patterns and volume.

Call quality and coverage is fine -- since PetroCan uses Rogers' network.
 

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If you travel to the US, you can pick up a pre-paid SIM card, and use your phone during your travels. You won't have your old phone number, of course, but the minutes will be a lot cheaper than roaming charges (plus no chance of the boss tracking you down). In the US they sell these things almost everywhere -- I was in Maine a couple of weeks ago and they had them at Hannafords (grocery store).
 

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^ Agree. The ridiculous roaming charges you read of some people paying are mostly due to ridiculous ignorance as much as anything else. In the UK, it's like in the U.S. You can buy a PAYG phone for under $20, $15 in UK (same cheapest one that 7/11 sells). IOW about the cost of 5-10 minutes "foreign" roaming from a typical Canadian provider in many cases; there is probably no worse plan you want to be on for roaming than from a Canadian provider.

I'm on 7/11 PAYG. You should compare that carefully with Petrocan as they *are* different in some ways that might matter, especially for very light ("emergency") users. The main problem is access to 7/11s to top-up, but much of Ontario is not too bad, though would be a bummer if you were in Ottawa (say) and ran out of time, can't top-up online like you can for Petrocan. Besides that Petrocans are almost everywhere anyway.
 

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I'm on 7/11. I looked at PetroCan, but decided to go with 7/11 because $25 top ups have 365 day expiries. Depending on how much you use it that may or may not matter. I barely use the phone, a few minutes a month max or in more urgent situations, so I don't use much money on it.

When I bought my 7/11 phone, I think I read/heard somewhere that Rogers won't let them sell only the SIMs.

I'm currently using a Rogers PAYGO phone with the 7/11 SIM.

Interestingly enough, Rogers keeps emailing me $5 top ups which let me use my old Rogers SIM for a month and keep my 7/11 balance untouched for 30 days.
 

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but decided to go with 7/11 because $25 top ups have 365 day expiries
That is the most significant difference between them for many PAYG users IMO.

For some "users", $25/year (the cheapest top-up) is all they will ever need, they throw all of that away (the 911 charge eats up $18/year anyways) JIC they *might* need the phone sometime.

People who actually use their phone occasionally, but very lightly, would probably be better off with Petrocan I think. Just from the top-up aspect alone. Those who don't really use the phone could presumably plan well in advance to top-up when near their local 7/11, it would be something needed quite rarely.
 

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^ The 7/11 911 charge is actually $15/year (not $18).
 

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^ Agree. The ridiculous roaming charges you read of some people paying are mostly due to ridiculous ignorance as much as anything else. In the UK, it's like in the U.S. You can buy a PAYG phone for under $20, $15 in UK (same cheapest one that 7/11 sells). IOW about the cost of 5-10 minutes "foreign" roaming from a typical Canadian provider in many cases; there is probably no worse plan you want to be on for roaming than from a Canadian provider.

I'm on 7/11 PAYG. You should compare that carefully with Petrocan as they *are* different in some ways that might matter, especially for very light ("emergency") users. The main problem is access to 7/11s to top-up, but much of Ontario is not too bad, though would be a bummer if you were in Ottawa (say) and ran out of time, can't top-up online like you can for Petrocan. Besides that Petrocans are almost everywhere anyway.
There is *one* 7/11 that I know of in Ottawa (on Parkdale); are there others?

ETA: Just checked google maps and apparently there are three, and one of them is even closer to me (Kanata) than the one I knew about,on Parkdale.
 

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^ Cool, good to know. Ottawa is the *one* area where I would be most likely to run out of minutes. Last time I checked the store listing I am pretty sure it showed there were no 7/11s still open there. Parkdale is not too inconvenient for me...

What is and isn't a 7/11 can change pretty quickly. The one (vaguely local) I got my phone at only a few months ago doesn't appear to be a 7/11 now (??). Then again, I am starting to be wary of the accuracy of the store locater too...
 
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