I finally took the plunge and cancelled my cellphone. I’ve been using internet based telephone systems for years now, and started using my cellphone less and less. Here’s my story of how I saved over a thousand dollars every year, while still keeping my number for now – just in case.
That’ll be one thousand dollars, please
First – here’s the math: for years I’ve had a cellphone with Canadian provider Rogers. Canadians pay amongst the highest amounts of money for many things, including (but not limited to) their cellphone. I know one guy who has a US based cellphone in Canada since his US roaming charges are cheaper than getting an actual Canadian cellphone. Admitted, that might be due to the fact nobody wanted to phone him anymore since he now has a long-distance, US based number. Nonetheless, it begs the question why we spend so much on our beloved cellphones. My plan costed me about 80$ a month, plus taxes and some random fees for “911 access” (no joke). The total comes out to just over a thousand dollars every year.
Just in case
My plan gave me more minutes, text messages and data than I needed, let alone used. For my companies I’ve made the switch to an internet based phone company years ago, but personally I still wanted to carry a cellphone. In winter I go skiing a lot and in summer I enjoy riding my motorcycle, and “just in case” anything happened I wanted to keep a cellphone on me. But in reality, the “just in case” never happens – and it’s certainly not worth paying over a thousand dollars for something that’ll probably never happen. There had to be a better way.
Goodbye, expensive cellphone contract
When I called my cellphone company to discuss the fact I was paying too much for something I never used, the agent looked up my profile and after some silence she confirmed “you, really, never, use, your, phone”. Apparently many people think they don’t use their phone, while they in fact use up a lot of their allowance. When she got over her surprise that my assessment of non-usage was indeed correct, she helped me switch my plan to a pay-as-you-go account for which I currently pay nothing every month. Now, just-in-case I ever need a cellphone, I still have that peace of mind in my pocket. It’s a perfect transition before I’m ok with the idea of not having a cellphone at all anymore. But now how do I deal with regular phone calls, and text messages, without paying the extraordinary pay-as-you-go rates?
But I still need to make calls (and send texts)
Using a pay-as-you-go or pre-paid cellphone is much more expensive than a phone on a plan, so I’m certainly not intending to use my cellphone at all. I’m merely using my iSmartphone for all the “smart” features and apps. With the plethora of free WiFi signals around us (just pick any random fast-food chain or coffee shop), having (and paying) for a data plan is a pure waste of money. What if I could use those widely available hotspots for my phone calls and text messages too, without using (or paying for) an actual cellular signal. It’s easier than you think, and I’m listing some of the VOIP (Voice Over IP) providers that I’ve tried below. They have local number options available, and provide me with virtually unlimited calling and texting. If you’re braver than I am, you can even port (migrate) your existing phone number to some of them and get rid of your cellphone altogether. A tablet or iPod can do the same tricks your phone can.
Now try it yourself
The links below offer a free trial, as well as local numbers in the United States and Canada. Why not give it a try with a brand new phone number to see if this is something that could work for you?