Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Just Moved To Canada; How To Get A Mobile Phone?  
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1621 posts, RR: 29
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2584 times:

I recently moved to Canada (specifically, Calgary) from the USA.

I would like to get a mobile phone I can use in Canada (I am attracted by the Samsung Galaxy Note, which is a smartphone and tablet in one device). Telus and Bell are offering the Galaxy Note for $0 with a 3-year plan.

However, the carriers do not accept a VISA debit card (I have a TD bank account) for purchase of a phone and plan.

How would I go about getting a phone and plan?

SmithAir747


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2573 times:

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
However, the carriers do not accept a VISA debit card (I have a TD bank account) for purchase of a phone and plan.

Perhaps there was a misunderstanding? I used a TD Visa for my most recent contract with Bell without issue.

At which step of the process did you get to when they said no?



Flying refined.
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1621 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2557 times:

I was doing it online with Telus Mobility, and at the end of checkout, there was an error message saying "Checkout is currently unavailable". I also looked at the terms & conditions; they said they only accept valid credit cards (VISA, MC, or AE), not debit cards. Mine is a TD VISA Debit. Could the failure of checkout coincide with the credit/debit card acceptance policy?

I also tried it with Bell Mobility online, and that website could not validate my card information.

SmithAir747



I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2506 times:

Quoting SmithAir747 (Reply 2):
Mine is a TD VISA Debit. Could the failure of checkout coincide with the credit/debit card acceptance policy?

I can't see why that would be a problem. It's still a Visa. When I moved to Australia I was still able to sign a contract using my Mastercard debit/credit card.

I would suggest going to the nearest mall and signing-up in person.



Flying refined.
User currently offlinescrubbsywg From Canada, joined Mar 2007, 1495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2498 times:

Debit cards that are tied to credit cards are not common in Canada, at least in manitoba. Most here wouldn't even understand what they are. When canadians say "debit" we mean a card issued by your bank that you use at ATMs and at stores that accept interac. From browsing Visa's site, it seems that even though they accept visa, they do not necessarily accept visa debit.

Another option is to do it in person. Most major malls will have every Canadian cell phone retailer in the mall, either a kiosk in the halls or an actual store.


User currently offlinecabso1 From Canada, joined May 2005, 502 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2464 times:

For Telus, you're best off calling them. The customer service agents would be able to get you the contract with a spending limit of $200. That's how I got around it because the online systems can't validate your credit history if you're new to the country and don't have any established credit in Canada.

User currently offlineczbbflier From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 971 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2452 times:

Visa debit cards are a very new phenomenon in Canada. Until last year, the only way for debit transactions to take place was through the Interac system- one that was invented by the Canadian banks for the Canadian banks.

Visa has managed to get a toe-hold into the Canadian banking system using its brand to debit directly from a card-holder's account. However this card, despite being a "Visa" card is still a debit card- that is to say, the amount available to the cardholder is only the balance of the account or a daily limit, whichever is less.

Credit cards, on the other hand, have no daily limit and have their own properties. As a consequence, vendors who only take "credit cards" will no accept "debit" cards, no matter the brand: Interac or Visa.

It is not necessary to have a credit card to get a cell phone in Canada. However, you are well advised go to a vendor in person- if only to establish a relationship with someone who has insider access to your cell provider (and if you don't have an actual credit card to make the purchase).

Since you are looking at getting a cell phone in Canada, a word of caution: cellular service in Canada is among the most expensive in the world. We have just recently seen new entrants into the cell phone market- namely Wind and Mobilicity.

For network features, you might want to have a look here. Take note of some of the names and how they are associated with one of the big 3 - Bell, Telus and Rogers.

I have just renewed my contract with Telus in the last week after doing some very serious shopping-around-research. I am very impressed with some of the promotional plans all the providers have on RIGHT NOW. Seriously, at about $60.00 - $65.00/month, the plans are 1/2 the price they were 3 years ago. Yes, they are still rather dear compared to what you can get Stateside but hey- welcome to Canada. (I got a customer retention plan that would have been absolutely unheard of as recently as last year thanks to the new competitors in the market.)

So here's the scoop- if you're looking for a phone that you'll be able to unlock down the road, go with Telus. Their policies seem to be the most customer-friendly at this time. Bell won't allow you to unlock your phone until you're over 3/4 of the way through your contract. The cost to unlock a Bell phone, I can't recall- I don't think I even asked because of their onerous requirement to be 3/4 of the way through the contract first. The Bell rep told me that their policy is the same as Rogers. On the other hand, with Telus you can do so anytime after 3 months into the contract for $50.00. That's a plus for Telus.

To cancel your contract, Bell and Rogers will expect you to pay off the phone (remaining months on your contract X $20.00 to a maximum of $400.00) plus a $200.00 data cancellation fee. Telus only has you pay off the phone (prorated at $15.00/month to the end of the contract) plus $50.00 cancellation fee. Score a second point for Telus.

Apart from these points, all the cell providers are pretty much the same (good in some ways, mediocre in others) so based solely on the cancellation / unlocking policies, I'd recommend Telus.

I had a friend who recently went to Wind only to find that the coverage was not that great. While still in Vancouver, he went to UBC and found that his phone was 'roaming'- I imagine it was off the Nanaimo towers on Vancouver Island- and wound up paying nasty roaming charges. Needless to say, the original three, now responding to new competition price-wise, have already gone through these kinds of network-service growing pains years ago and are much more reliable providers than the upstarts.

So go to a store. And especially because you're in Alberta where Telus originated and arguably has the very, very best coverage, choose Telus.

Just my 2 ¢ worth.


User currently offlinescrubbsywg From Canada, joined Mar 2007, 1495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2438 times:

Quoting czbbflier (Reply 6):
To cancel your contract, Bell and Rogers will expect you to pay off the phone (remaining months on your contract X $20.00 to a maximum of $400.00) plus a $200.00 data cancellation fee. Telus only has you pay off the phone (prorated at $15.00/month to the end of the contract) plus $50.00 cancellation fee. Score a second point for Telus.

Of note, Manitoba, two weeks ago, instituted a law that limited the amounts cell phone companies can charge when canceling a contract. It isn't much less, but for some contracts it could be significant.

As far as which company goes...i rarely use a phone for voice or data. I have a pay as you go with Rogers with 1 cent evenings and weekends. I have had it a year have spent less than $200 on it.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6471 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2430 times:

I understand now why I had trouble using my Carte Bleue VISA in Canada, it was a debit card (as most French use, credit cards are for people that shouldn't be spending that money they don't have anyway).

Can't you provide a bank account reference instead of a card for a plan like this ? Won't the system provider (VISA in this case) earn money every month if your bill is on the card ?



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinescrubbsywg From Canada, joined Mar 2007, 1495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2427 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 8):
I understand now why I had trouble using my Carte Bleue VISA in Canada, it was a debit card (as most French use, credit cards are for people that shouldn't be spending that money they don't have anyway).



To be fair, that is exactly what our interac debit system is. tied directly to our bank accounts and not credit. It was designed by our banks and is accepted at nearly every retailer in canada; just pretty useless for online purchases. It also works on the plus system so it allows for ATM use around the world. When i travel, i use ATMs all around the world with my TD debit card.


User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2427 times:

You might want to contact Bell Mobility Canada customer serviice at 1 800 667-0123 and determine what their payment methods are now. I had some business dealings with them late last year and found them to be very professional and customer-centric. They will not, however, be the cheapest provider.


"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2337 times:

Quoting scrubbsywg (Reply 9):
To be fair, that is exactly what our interac debit system is. tied directly to our bank accounts and not credit. It was designed by our banks and is accepted at nearly every retailer in canada; just pretty useless for online purchases.

That is the only real benefit to debit credit card as it allows for purchases that only a CC is good for.


Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 3):
I can't see why that would be a problem. It's still a Visa. When I moved to Australia I was still able to sign a contract using my Mastercard debit/credit card.

Here's why,

A debit credit card doesn't rely on a limit of any kind meaning it isn't credit so the credit card company is taking a risk when a card is rejected due to a low balance as opposed to when a traditional credit card is rejected due to a maxed balance meaning they refuse to loan you more. A cell company can determine you credit limit if they feel and decide for or against signing a contract with you.

Also when in Australia what kind of contract did you sign and for how long??

The normal contract is 2 yrs IIRC and their pre-paid was pretty good.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinepilotsmoe From United States of America, joined May 2005, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2282 times:

Never heard of them here, ether. Most debit cards here can be charged like a credit card, though. Still need to have the money in your account or it's declined, so not a credit card.

Quoting scrubbsywg (Reply 4):
Debit cards that are tied to credit cards are not common in Canada, at least in manitoba. Most here wouldn't even understand what they are. When canadians say "debit" we mean a card issued by your bank that you use at ATMs and at stores that accept interac. From browsing Visa's site, it seems that even though they accept visa, they do not necessarily accept visa debit.

Another option is to do it in person. Most major malls will have every Canadian cell phone retailer in the mall, either a kiosk in the halls or an actual store.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Just Moved To Dallas For New Job posted Fri Jul 18 2008 16:28:06 by CO18Heavy
Callers To Westjet Get Phone Sex Line Instead posted Sat Aug 19 2006 20:16:50 by AirCop
Ontario Canada To Get Sharia Law...wtf! posted Sat Sep 10 2005 11:16:13 by Solnabo
Fox News...Is Coming To Canada posted Fri Jun 11 2010 15:25:42 by Skyservice_330
How Do I Get From Downtown SFO To Reno/Napa Valley posted Wed May 12 2010 00:35:13 by United Airline
How Do I Get From NYC To Toronto? posted Fri Nov 16 2007 05:11:09 by Ba757gla
Canada To Concentrate On Arctic Defence. posted Mon Jul 9 2007 20:16:33 by KrisYYZ
How Do I Get From Singapore To Batam? posted Wed Jun 6 2007 05:09:35 by United Airline
I Just Found Out I'm Going To Jail! posted Mon Apr 30 2007 00:45:55 by Jetjack74
Paging Mr. Sharption To The White Courtesy Phone posted Sat Apr 14 2007 18:36:32 by MDorBust