Goodbye Bell Canada

2011 September 15

Today is Day 2 in a partly post-Bell Canada world. Yesterday, we switched from a Bell Canada phone land line to Cogeco Home Phone. We chose the Basic Line package which is a land line and nothing more. No additional features or options.

This package is regularly $29.99 per month – much cheaper then the $50 we paid monthly to Bell Canada. Since we have two other services with Cogeco (TV and Internet), that is reduced by $10 to $19.99 a month. More savings, yeah.

Right now, Cogeco has a promotion that will knock off another $19.99 if you sign up for 24-months. With the Basic Line package that means a monthly charge of $0.00 for 24 months. We will save at least $1,200 over the next 24 months. That’s a nice chunk of change.

The installation was free since this was a bundled service. The technician replaced the smaller cable modem with a larger cable modem that has a built-in battery and replaced an existing phone jack with a dual socket phone jack. A phone cord runs from the cable modem to one socket in the new phone jack. This connects our internal phone lines with the cable modem. We had an existing phone in this part of the house, so that phone is plugged into the second socket in the phone jack.

Everything works like a charm. Cordless and wired phones work the same as before. The battery back-up provides up to 8 hours of stand-by time. This isn’t too much of a problem since we have three cellphones in our household.

Long distance via Cogeco is 7  cents per minute anytime to anywhere in Canada and the United States. We currently use a Walmart Prepaid Calling Card that gives us a rate of about 3 cents per minute. Cogeco has a deal with Gold Line where you can buy preset dollar amounts with no contract. Rates for Canada and the United States are 2.5 cents a minute. The Gold Line plan requires you to call an access number. You can also use other long distance providers.

With the Basic Line, additional features such as Call Display are only $4.00 each per month.If you want two or more features or want included long distance minutes, you should look at the other phone packages that Cogeco offers.

So goodbye Bell Canada land line. No more paying $10.95 for Call Display. No more paying a $6.95 network charge. No more paying $2.80 for touch tone service. That’s $20.70 for those of you keeping track. We pay just a bit more than that for a cellphone with Bell that includes Call Display, Message Centre, unlimited evening and weekend minutes, unlimited incoming minutes, unlimited text messages and 250 local minutes (plus the system access fee and 911 fee are waived).