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OntarioACHI – TELUS phone plan comparison


Following a report by Global News in 2015, the board of OntarioACHI embarked on a mission to try to obtain a Mobile phone plan that fitted the Home Inspection profession and offered the best price point.

This plan is open to ALL Canadian Home Inspectors but for the purposes of administration costs must be purchased through the OntarioACHI-TELUS partnership.

Download the application form here

Fill it in and send the completed form to telusplan@ontarioachi.ca

What we asked for

Robust Canada Wide Network

We recognise that the professional home Inspector is no longer limited to working in their own area.  The first requirement was that the phone service had to work on a robust network.  In addition, we chose to look for a plan that would be available to all inspectors across Canada.  While our members are typically based in Ontario, we realise that there are a large number of inspectors operating across Canada.  We also demanded that the supplier allowed us to offer any plan to ALL inspectors across Canada, not just our members.   The final plan had to offer the dispensation to the supplier that OntarioACHI would manage the application to the plan to keep administration costs down.

Unlimited North American text and calls

We realise that many inspectors have to travel to different parts of Canada in order to attend meetings conferences and training.  We also recognise that inspectors utilise services from U.S. based suppliers, and are members of associations and societies based in the U.S.  It was important that any calls and texts made in Canada, or from Canada to the U.S. were included in any plan developed.   We felt that roaming would be a requirement that would be specific to only a handful of inspectors, and talking with the Telcos the cost of unlimited N. America-N.America calling and texting would be prohibitive.

Video texts

Home Inspectors sometimes find themselves in a situation where they want to obtain advice from other inspectors about a specific inspection item to confirm their opinions.   It was important that the ability to send picture messaging as part of the plan was included in the price.

Large Data package – shareable between devices

Many inspectors are now choosing to perform inspections using mobile devices.  Many of the software packages rely on cloud  based services, and WiFi is not always available to the inspector.  We felt that each plan should include a minimum of 3Gb of data, and for inspectors who had more than 1 device, this data should be shareable across devices.

We went a step further and suggested to the suppliers that in a multi-inspector company, the data should be shareable across the devices in the company.  So that if an Inspection company had four inspectors, each would have 3Gb data as part of their plan and the 12Gb would be aggregated across the company and all devices registered.

It was also important that the data package crossed Canada.

Ample voicemail

We have all experienced the current plans where you get a phone plan and find you only have 3 voice-mail messages before you need to spend more with your supplier to get added space on the voice-mail server.   Any plan that was to be acceptable to us had to have a sensible number of voice-mails of a sensible length.   We opted for asking for 10 voice-mails and required that those messages should be able to be kept for more than 7 days.

“Standard” services included

We have all become used to “standard” services that we get with our phones at home and work now , including Call-Waiting, Caller ID, Conference Calling and Call forwarding.  Any plan that was offered by the prospective suppliers had to offer these as part of the plan, and not as add-ons.

Who we asked

How the cellular landscape is broken up

Bell LogoTELUS logoRogers Logo

 

 

As part of the analysis we talked to the three major suppliers of services in Canada.  Bell, TELUS and Rogers.   We talked to WIND but as they had just been purchased by Shaw communications and their services were still based upon the older technology, and they didn’t have Canada wide coverage anywhere like was offered by the “Big-3” they were discounted fairly quickly.

Rogers own Fido, ChatR, Cityfone and Mobilicity, and corporate plans are all devised by Rogers.

Similarly the same thing applies to Koodoo, Mike, Clearnet, and Public Mobile, owner by TELUS and Virgin and Solo who are owned by Bell.

Sask-Tel couldn’t offer mobile services outside of Saskatchewan, other than on the back of another carrier, and the same went for MTS in Manitoba.

Bell and TELUS have a multiple operator core network agreement, which provides a common core radio net work which can be used by both companies.  Bell builds most of it’s towers in Eastern Canada, and TELUS builds most of it’s towers in Western Canada, and they share the towers.

Bell, Rogers and Telus all supply multiple spectrum and technologies, with all three offering HSPA, LTE and PCS

All three also currently offer CDMA services (based upon GSM technology) but this is being dropped in favour of LTE, mainly due to the lack of support from the technology developers (e.g. Qualcomm and Huawei)

Comparisons
Service ->
Supplier  v
Coverage Calls Texts Data Voicemail Services Add-ons Plan cost
Bell
Canada-Wide
(99% popn.)
Unlimited Canada-Wide
Can -> Can
Unlimited Canada-Wide
Can -> Can
Canada-Wide 2.5Gb Number: 25
Length: 5 mins
Retention: 14 days
Call-waiting
CLID
Conference Calling
Call-forwarding  ($3 plus charges at
25c/minute)
$5 per extra device
Data usage on picture messaging
$100 per month
No porting-in
Rogers
Canada-Wide
(99% popn.)
Unlimited N/A-Wide
Can -> Can, Can -> U.S
Unlimited N/A-Wide
Can -> Can, Can -> U.S
Canada-Wide 2.5Gb Number: 35
Length: 5 mins
Retention: 10 days
Call-waiting
CLID
Conference Calling
Call forwarding
$10 per extra device
overage charges on call-forwarding ( > 2,500 mins at
25c/min)
$90 per month
No porting-in
TELUS
Canada-Wide
(99% popn.)
Unlimited N/A-Wide
Can -> Can, Can -> U.S
Unlimited N/A-Wide
Can -> Can, Can -> U.S
Canada-Wide 3Gb Number: 10
Length: 5 mins
Retention: 25 days
Call-waiting
CLID
Conference Calling
Call forwarding
(unlim. N.America)
$10 per extra device $75 per month
$300 porting in
credit for non-telus customers who purchase a new phone
Savings

Changing from an existing plan to the new OntarioACHI-TELUS plan can save you a minimum of $15 per month and on a like-for-like data usage a minimum of $45 per month.  In addition, if you take advantage of the porting-in offer of $300 amortized over 6 months, you can save (a minimum) of over $600 on your mobility costs over the two years of the plan.  We have inspectors already saving over $55 on their previous plans.  With the porting-in offer this will work out to $1,420 saved by each inspector over the two years.

Added bonus

The OntarioACHI-TELUS plan is designed for all Canadian Home Inspectors.  However we have learned that as long as the phone service is paid for by the Inspection Company (or sole-proprietor), assistants and other associated people (family e.g.) can also get phones on this plans.   We don’t know if or when this loophole will be closed, so get your family on the plans while you can.


About OntarioACHI

Founded in 2012 the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors is a not-for-profit association of members with aims to improve the quality and standing of Home and Property Inspection for the benefit of consumers and our profession. The association is run by, and for, Home & Property Inspectors in Ontario. Our goal is to ensure all Home Inspectors are qualified to the highest standards and comply with the most exacting professional Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and Duty of Care. A consumer hiring an OntarioACHI qualified Canadian-Certified Home Inspector (CCHI) will know they have they hired a truly Professional Home Inspector.