Cutting Our Ties With The Big Red Guys! (aka how to cut your phone/cable/internet bill in half…)

That’s a long title! But something so significant deserves lots of attention! If you live in Canada (like we do) you know how limited the options are for phone, tv, and internet providers. It’s only within the last year or so that the government finally stepped in and forced the two big companies (You know who they are, Rogers and Bell) to allow other competitors in, and to use “their” lines. I guess its the price we pay to live in this amazing country, but it still frustrates us greatly.

My husband and I have been considering cutting our ties with Rogers for a while, but we were locked in to such a great TV deal that we kept sticking it out. It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that the straw finally broke the camels back! We have an iPhone now, and so we wanted to cancel our home phone.  Thinking it would be an easy switch, we decided to stick with Rogers for now…but when they said we were breaking contract from our existing bundle and would charge us $120 to cancel our home phone, we changed our minds! Even though we were still staying with them for our cell phone, and we’ve been loyal customers who have never missed a bill for over 6 years, this was how they were going to treat us. They honestly expected us to pay the $120 and still sign up our iPhone with them, and keep TV and internet with them too! Yeah right! I also want to mention that their cheapest data plan was absurdly expensive and much less data compared to many competitors, so we didn’t really want to go with them, we just thought it might be easier…which unfortunately is how so many Canadians get stuck with them.

So here we are, after many annoying phone calls, the iPhone is activated with a much cheaper provider, that is actually owned by Rogers, which makes me a little angry, but I like their customer service much better! We have also since put in our 30 day notice to cancel our cable and internet with them, and started the process of activating internet with another company, and had an HD Antenna installed on our house. Our new internet package is not only cheaper, but significantly better, so we will also be getting Netflix again, without any worries of going over our monthly internet usage, like we previously had with our tiny Rogers internet package. As for the antenna, we’ll only be getting 26 channels or so, but that’s a sacrifice we are willing to make. It’ll be hardest on my husband, since he’ll be missing most hockey and baseball games, but come football season, he’ll be fine (we get all major networks, and several US channels we didn’t previously get).

So here is the break down, in a nice little table (created for you by my husband!):

 
BEFORE
AFTER
Internet
Rogers Internet + modem rental
$54.99 (+tax) + $7 rental (+ tax)=$70.05
Tek Savvy Internet
$41.95 (+tax) = $47.40
Phone
Home Phone + Cell Phone
$40.59 (-8% bundle discount +tax) + $10 old cell phone (+tax) = $53.50
iPhone (Fido)
$35.10 (+ tax) = $39.66
TV
Basic Cable
$39.68 (-8% bundle discount +tax) = $41.25
Antenna + Netflix
$0 + $7.99 (no tax) = $7.99
Total
 
$164.80 per month
 
$95.05 per month

This option isn’t for everyone, as it doesn’t come without sacrifice, like I mentioned above! Upfront costs are high (prices of antennas vary along with installation and can run from $200-$700). There were also a few other costs, things like activation fee with Tek Savvy, purchasing of a modem, router, and a new PVR that would work with the antenna. But my husband shopped around for all those items, and found the best deals online, and spent less than $100 on all three pieces. The benefit is that your monthly bill will be much cheaper, so you’ll save in the long run. For us, it’s a savings of $69.75 per month! The cost of the switch will be paid for after only 9.5 months, and going forward we’ll be saving $837 per year! Living with less TV is fine for us, as we don’t watch much anyways, but check with your local antenna provider/installer to see just what channels you should expect for your area. The best part is, that our internet package is going from 80GB per month, to 300GB plus unlimited downloads over night! Any TV we miss with the antenna, we’ll just watch online (with the flip of a switch, we can view the computer on our large TV, thanks to my awesome nerdy husband and all his computer know-how!), and of course, there are plenty of tv shows and movies to watch on Netflix.

Questions? Do not hesitate to leave me a comment and ask!

 

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3 comments

  1. Ohhhh I’m really interested in the Internet. Let me know how it goes long term for down time and such. We aren’t brave enough to get rid of cable but the Internet drives me nuts!!

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  2. *High five*! I would love to get our bill down to even what you used to be paying! We have very cushy packages (lots of add-ons) for 2 iPhones, home phone, internet, and cable – all services through Rogers except DH’s phone which is through Bell but not locked in – and pay about $300/month. That’s $3600/year. Just crazy.. I KNOW! and that is with big “deals” I spent a lot of time researching and negotiating for. You have me motivated now to investigate further options. The antenna sounds interesting. What businesses locally sell/do antenna installations? Once it is up and running I’d love to know about the channel line-up.

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    1. There are 2 main companies in our area Kristy, both with over 20 years experience! It took him no time at all to install it, and the best part, its on the peak of our roof, up high where you cant even see it (not on the front of the house like Bell loves to do. It’s about the size of a shoe box, and is white, so its not very noticeable at all :)
      As for channels, we get all the major ones like NBC, CBS, CBC, ABC, CTV, PBS, Fox, Global, City, CW and TVO. Plus other smaller ones, and some Buffalo stations we’d never heard of. I almost prefer the lack of channels, since it forces us to do other things when nothing is on…we’ve also been gradually downgrading out cable packages over the last few months, it’s wasn’t a cold turkey kind of thing, going from 700 channels to 26, lol. I’ll miss TLC (only b/c I watch 19 kids and counting) and Food Network, other than that, I’m good with the big channels.
      We will also likely be increasing our iphone deal, because we are going to need more minutes each month, but going up is only going to be another $5 or $10 a month

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