What types of costs does the Cell Plan Expert consider?
The Cell Plan Expert is most concerned with the costs that have to be paid every month. These include the advertised monthly price, the system access, 911 and Goverment Regulatory Recovery fees, as well as all the per use rates (incoming and outgoing) for airtime, Texts, Canadian and US long distance, US roaming and so on. We also report the initial setup fee and cover prepaid plans comprehensively, including which and how many top-up cards should be purchased per month.
Are the results just a list of all available plans?
No, the calculator tool will take each plan and optimize the features and plan combination, according to your usage, to give you a list of the estimated total monthly cost for all plans. It isn’t just a list of plans, but a recommendation of which options you should consider to make sure you are paying precisely the right amount for each plan.
What features does the Cell Plan Expert take into account?
The Cell Plan Expert knows about many types of options and is smart enough to figure out which ones are worthwhile for you. Most features/options related to using a mobile plan for normal talking are considered by the calculator. This includes:
- Evenings and Weekends, Weekends, and Weeknights: They can start from 5 to 9pm and end from 5 to 9am. Some are unlimited while others include only a fixed amount of minutes.
- Text messaging within Canada, to the US and to international countries
- “Happy Hour” options (usually from 5,6,7 or 8pm to 9pm)
- MY5 type calling (aka Fave5, etc.)
- Free Incoming Calling
- Mobile to Mobile Calling
- In Network calling
- Extra Minute Packs
- Canadian and US long distance
- US Roaming Options
- Voice mail (categorized into minimal, standard and premium)
- Call Display and “Name Display”
- Call Waiting
- Call Forwarding (locally and to Canada or the US)
- Conference Calling
- Use of Calling Cards to Canada and the US
- Prepaid Top-up cards (including expiry limits)
What features are planned but NOT supported yet?
There are many features that are not yet included in our estimates. We are working on including them as soon as possible:
- Instant messaging
- Web browsing
- Data plans
- 2-Way radio mode
- Ring tones, TV, and a lot of “entertainment” options
- Payment Options
- Composite Options (ie. several options bundled together)
What about Prepaid, Family and Business Plans?
The cellplanexpert.ca is able to include prepaid plans in your list of optimized plans and show an estimated monthly cost. Our plan is to add service for unsupported features. Family and business group plans are going to be difficult to support well due to the complexity involved. We have plans to support them, but it will be a while.
What about “Promotions”?
The Cell Plan Expert tends to ignore promotions that give you something free for 1 month for every year you commit. The truth is, these promotions are only an advantage to you if it gives you something you were going to pay for anyway. Promotions are listed along with other plan notes. We recommend only considering these promotions when you must choose between similarly priced plans.
Is the cheapest plan always the best?
No. Especially when several plans meet your needs, you should use the “options” buttons to show some of the extra result columns. For instance, there is a column which reports how many extra minutes are unused by your profile. If you know you sometimes talk more than what you stated in your profile, a plan with a lot of left-over minutes might be a better deal for you.
Can I see plans that don’t specifically meet my criteria?
The default is to show only the plans that meet all your usage profile criteria. For instance, if you say you want to use your phone in the US, plans that won’t work there will not be selected. You can see additional plans that may offer better prices by using the “Detailed Results” page and editing the options to select “Yes” for the question “Do you want to see results that don’t meet your criteria?”