What’s The Problem?
The Cell Plan Expert was established in response to the complexity and lack of competitiveness in the mobile communications industry in Canada. It is more difficult to shop for and compare mobile phone plans than most other products because the final price is completely dependent on how the customer intends to use it. In Canada, this is aggravated by the fact that the mobile industry has only three national networks. This has resulted in the two-fold problem of both high prices and unjustified complexity for Canadian consumers and businesses. The truth is, mobile price plans in Canada are a surprisingly complex array of ‘options’ designed to give the impression of “choice” while masking the fact that basic mobile services and core rates are considerably more expensive than the global norm. This is evidenced by lower mobile uptake in Canada and by the fact that rates have been trending upward over the last year.
How are we helping?
The goal of the Cell Plan Expert is to help consumers and small businesses make the most of this situation by providing information and services that can help them quickly identify what mobile plans and options offer the best value for their particular situation. The Cell Plan Expert aims to counter the misleading marketing practices of mobile providers by helping our users understand the full cost of mobile services before they are purchased. The Cell Plan Expert maintains its impartiality by refusing to sell, resell, or advertise for any mobile service provider in Canada.
Who Are We?
The Cell Plan Expert is a small Canadian business that has been built through over a year of hard work in the proverbial parents’ basement. The first, flagship product, the Cell Plan Advisor, is a unique service because no one has yet been crazy enough to try and build a system that can track and calculate personalized estimates for all the mobile plans in the country. You may have noticed that sometimes the providers themselves can’t even keep track of their own plans! Along the way we have come up with some other interesting ideas to help mobile consumers as well. With your support, we hope we will be able to implement them.
Your service is free?
Yes, for the moment the service is free. However, the truth is that keeping track of all the variations of plans and options across Canada is more than a full time job. In addition, the Plan Advisor doesn’t just display information. It comes up with estimates that are personalized to your needs, which requires much, much more computing power than a simple web page, and is thus more expensive to run as well. At some point we will be exploring ways to recoup some of our costs.
Why not make money advertising?
Update: Despite the our disdain for advertising (someone, somewhere inevitably pays more for something to pay for all the ads on the Internet) we’re giving advertising a try, even though we are skeptical it will even cover our server costs. Keep that in mind if you see one that interests you!
Well, you’re here looking for mobile phone plans, right? So that’s what we’d make money advertising for. But if we did, would you still trust us to be impartial? Would mobile providers want to advertise with us if we were impartial and helping you save money?
We doubt it too!
So the only way we can support mobile users is if they in turn support us. Fortunately, we don’t ask for anymore than what we’ll probably save for you in one or two months anyways. That also means we’ll keep our services free for light mobile users, as we are not as likely to save them as much money (but we can still save them the hassle!)
Ideally, we even hope to put ourselves out of business by influencing the industry to be more competitive. But somehow, unless more companies are allowed to build mobile networks in Canada, we don’t think it will happen.