Breaking Up with My Phone Provider
“Why won’t you walk in a straight line?” I passively grumble to myself. The person in front of me on the closing quarter-mile of my walk to work is on his phone and is meandering around the sidewalk.
“What kind of phone call takes this long?” says another inward thought before I catch it and remind myself that I am working on my kindness. I really am.
Then a realisation hits me. I don’t talk on the phone anymore. Not properly at least. I answer questions, I inquire and make appointments, but I don’t just chat.
I catch up with my parents every Sunday via Skype, but only while on the home WiFi as I am already over my data limit on my phone, again. Nobody else calls just to see how I’m doing or what I’m up to and I don’t do the same. Are we just too busy or do we expect a request to come out of the conversation?
“Oh just calling to see what you’re up to. Also, are you free on Sunday because we’re moving and could use an extra pair of hands.”
I remember when my wife and I were still just dating in London, and she’d call me every night on her walk home so she’d have someone to talk to and feel safe. It gave me great comfort that she had reached her door and was safely inside.
Aside from not wanting to bother anyone, I’m always worried about using up my phone call allotment. That’s right, it’s 2019 and I still only have 200 minutes per month for phone calls. Oh, and I have to pay the same as my twice-monthly car payments for our phones’ data and text. Seriously?
The other thing I’ve noticed about my current relationship with my phone is that I’ve been putting things off. I shouldn’t have to wait until I get home or can swing by a Starbucks to use their WiFi. I’m paying enough, why aren’t I able to send photos, update my blog, or browse Instagram. I do all that now, but then I end up being charged ridiculous overage fees as a little surprise at the end of the month. Not cool!
I’ve been looking to switch from my current Canadian phone provider, one that has been dictating the overpriced ‘service’ for too long, and moving to Freedom. Luckily, while I was contemplating and looking into the coverage across BC and beyond, they contacted me and asked if I wanted to do a trial on them Sweet.
A cheaper plan is awesome but only if it works as well as the big guys. So let’s try it. Since I use my phone a lot for work and to manage this blog, I need to know that I’m getting full network coverage everywhere I go, cheap connectivity that’s also fast, plenty of WiFi hotspots while downtown, and good call quality. To do a fair test, I’m going to compare Freedom’s service to my current provider.
Network Coverage Test
Freedom has two types of coverage: Freedom and Freedom Nationwide. These networks overlap in areas that Freedom calls “variable,” which means you can continue to access your data, text, and voice services.
Based on info from Freedom’s website:
Built and managed by them, the ‘Freedom’ network provides access to all of the data, talk, text, and features included with the ‘Freedom’ portion of your plan.
When connected to ‘Freedom’ you may be connected to Extended Range LTE, LTE or 3G networks depending on your location and device capabilities.
When you travel outside of our ‘Freedom’ network in Canada, you’ll be connected to the best available partner’s network, also known as ‘Freedom Nationwide’. In these areas, you’ll have access to the ‘Nationwide’ portion of your plan.
While there are no data overages, pay-per-use rates may apply in limited cases, such as when you’re roaming outside of Canada.
The plan I’m trying is the 15GB data with unlimited talk + text. This includes 2GB of Nationwide LTE data. If I go over the limits, there are no data overage fees, unlike my current contract. With Freedom, the data speed just slows down until the next month’s allowance kicks in or I switch to WiFi. The coverage around Vancouver, the North Shore and in all the valleys is pretty extensive so I’m sure I’ll be covered.
I recently visited Pender Island and, for the most part, I had Freedom coverage. I could certainly get phone calls and then data too if I had it on roaming, where it looks for cell service on partner networks.
In downtown Vancouver, the North Shore, and up to the US border the coverage is great. I’ve had full bars everywhere I’ve driven so far and the network is growing so I feel like I’m in good hands.
It’s great. I used my Freedom phone for my main work number for a couple of weeks and the call quality was crystal clear with no dropped conversations.
So after my two-week trial, and another text message from my current provider telling me that I’ve gone over my data allowance AGAIN, I have switched permanently to Freedom Mobile. I was on the fence before due to worries about coverage, but it has worked really well for me and I’m just so fed up of being charged extra every month on top of my expensive phone bill that it just seems like a no-brainer.