Over 60% of Canadians Say their Cellphone Plan is “Too Expensive”: Angus Reid


A new online survey commissioned by Angus Reid last month says the majority of Canadians believe their cellphone plans are too expensive, something we’ve known for a while now.

From March 28-31, 2016, a random sample of 1,522 Canadian adults from the Angus Reid Forum answered questions online regarding cellphone prices and a recent decision by the CRTC to essentially block competition by making it harder for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) to operate.

Over 60 percent (61%) of respondents said their cellphone plan was “too expensive”, while only 8 percent said their plan was “a good deal”.

When it comes to competition between wireless providers in Canada, 67 percent believed there was “not enough competition.”

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As for the recent CRTC decision regarding MVNOs, 61 percent said they “haven’t really hard anything about” it, while 46% believed the CRTC made the wrong decision in stifling MVNO creation. Only 14 percent said the CRTC had made the “right decision”.

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John Lawford, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, told the Winnipeg Free Press the results aren’t anything new, saying “People don’t just use their cellphones primarily for voice anymore, it’s data now,” adding “That’s really put a lot of pressure on pricing and made it perhaps less competitive but certainly more expensive for consumers.”

Lawford encourages wireless customers to contact their local MP (Member of Parliament) to know their thoughts about cellphone prices, and not just the CRTC, since MPs can “put pressure that the regulators can’t.”

MVNOs would allow companies to buy wholesale wireless rates from incumbents and re-sell to customers for profit, adding competition. However, companies wanting to start their own networks are unable to offer this, as the CRTC concluded “it would not be appropriate to mandate wholesale mobile virtual network operator access services,” but rather rely on “market forces” to drive a competitive market.


  • Corey Beazer

    I was in on this survey. Always laugh when they ask these questions. Got to assume the people that answered they were getting a deal just can’t read.

  • Kael

    The ones that answered good deal probably live in Saskatchewan or Manitoba where they have good deals compared to the rest of Canada.

  • Wall Man

    Yeah, gotta agree with that. It would be good to get a geographical breakdown. Or strip out SK and QC.

    Plus some may still be on the old $30/6GB plans.

    Heck even with my $56/2GB plan I think I have a good deal compared to what is being offered now!

  • Riddlemethis

    You’re a true Canadian. Businesses like people like you who lack critical thinking skills. The $30/6GB plan is ridiculously expensive. Just because this plan is no longer available and the other data plans are even more expensive doesn’t mean their plan is a good deal. That’s like saying a USD at $1.30 is a good deal compared to $1.50. #smh

  • Riddlemethis

    I think the public should insist the CRTC is dissolved and replaced by people who don’t lean on the side of the telecos.

  • runner

    LOL, there were actually respondents that said there is too much competition and they have a good deal and people that think there is too much competition, yet they are getting ripped off!
    Who are these people!

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    The bigger story here is that there must be something wrong with our educational system if there are Canadians who actually think paying some of the highest rates in the world is “a good deal”. And it boggles the mind that there are people who think that there is “too much completion” if all the cell phone plans are virtually identical AND have some of the highest rates in the world.

  • Wall Man

    Cell phone management staff.

  • Wall Man

    I guess we will agree to disagree on the critical thinking skills remark.

    A good deal compared to what? Is there anything available now that compares to the $30/6GB plan? If you thought the $30/6 is ‘ridiculously expensive’ then how would a consumer go about getting something even better now?

    My existing plan is expensive, especially compared to the old 30/6. But at the time there was nothing else that compared.

    How would you define a good deal in the cell service space in Canada?

    I think we can agree that service is overall very expensive compared to other countries.

  • Wall Man

    The question was: “How would you describe the amount you pay for cell phone service?”

    From the data tables:
    68% – too expensive
    19% – about right
    4% – good deal

    57% – too expensive
    21% – about right
    4% – good deal

    So it looks like it was very dependent on who was answering and what level of outside plan knowledge.

    It is interesting that the majority in those provinces still considered their plans to be too expensive.

  • SOB

    What’s the point of his survey? Until the government does something to rectify the situation these surveys will never change.

  • winnertakesteve

    In fairness, I have 6gb data, unlimited evenings and weekends, unlimited texts, voicemail, call display – $67/mo and got my iPhone subsidized. So people can at least have comparatively decent plans.

    The problem is that no current offerings even remotely resemble that anymore. There are $80 plans that give 500mb data, and that is just absurd.

  • Widohmaker

    Employees, investors etc.

  • Steve

    That’s actually still over priced. I have a Rogers grandfathered plan that dates back to the golden age of retention plans (6 years ago). For $35/month I had 6GB Data with Unlimited North America (Voice + Text), VV, CD. I’ve been buying my phones outright for the past few years – albeit BNIB heavily discounted on CL.

  • winnertakesteve

    That’s a shockingly good deal in any era. I was paying $30/mo even back in the early 2000s for basically nothing 😛

    Anyway, I’m basing “reasonable” relative to expectations for Canadian telcos. Sure I’d like cheaper, but it sure beats the current offerings that seem to spiral upwards of $120 to get even 5gb!

  • hub2

    People who think there are more than 3 major carriers with decent national coverage and data speeds, and don’t know that Koodo, Fido, Virgin Mobile and a few other “competitors” are owned by them.

    I’m not even sure what national independents there are anymore… Wind got bought by Shaw, chatr and Mobilicity are both IIRC Rogers low-cost competitors to Wind… did I miss any that aren’t province-specific like Videotron and Sasktel?

    Sure there’s lots of companies offering us “choice”, but those of us who pay attention know there’s very little actual competition.

  • Kael

    The government needs to take all the towers over and rent out the bandwidth.

  • Sam

    Go to Europe. for the same plan…its 15Euros.