Public Mobile Users Upset as Old Rewards End, Despite Data Bonus Gift

Telus-owned prepaid brand Public Mobile announced this week its legacy rewards program is coming to an end in May.

Customers are being informed of the change by text message and email by March 8, 2024. The text message reads, “Public Mobile here. We’re making changes to our rewards program and these changes impact you. Starting May 2024, we’ll be retiring our old Rewards program and moving all subscribers to our new Public Points program.”

Public Mobile also said it would be giving out a “special bonus” to legacy rewards customers. This bonus data has been revealed to be 240GB, but it expires in 150 days (just under five months). Update: 240GB is if you’re on a plan $29/month or higher; 50GB or 5GB is being doled out to those on lower cost plans.

Previously, any Public Mobile bonus perks had no expiry date. Public Mobile says this bonus data will be added to accounts by March 30, 2024, as long as accounts are active. Text message confirmations will be provided when data has been added to accounts. “Thank you for choosing Public Mobile,” said the message seen by iPhone in Canada.

Telus acquired Public Mobile back in October 2013. Later in the fall of 2016, a popular $120/12GB 90-day plan was launched that worked out to $38 per month with 4GB data after Autopay. Back then, that was one of the best deals for a 4GB plan (we’ve come a long way since then).

Public Mobile also had a new referral program that essentially resulted in early customers helping the company sign up friends and family. This program offered cash back that would reduce a customer’s bill due to referrals and loyalty ($1 off per month after year 1, $2 off per month after year 2 and so forth until $5 off per month in year 5). This meant a guaranteed $7 off per month for customers of five years, even without referrals.

But the switch over to the new Public Points program will eliminate the guaranteed $7 per month discount. Meaning these legacy customers will now pay more per month. Old referrals also generated $1 per month back each, and that will now switch to the points system where 1 point is worth $1. These points can be redeemed for $15 bill credits manually, but only when you accumulate 15 points. This forces users to manually apply bill credits, when the legacy rewards program would do it automatically.

The new Public Points program gives you 5% back in points from your monthly bill, plus 10 anniversary points per year. The old rewards program guaranteed $84 back per year for a 5-year customer. The new Public Points program will generate 5% back on your annual bill plus the 10 anniversary points. So that’s 20 points back if you were on the $34/50GB plan for example, plus your 10 anniversary points, totalling 30 points or $30. That’s a $54 difference compared to before.

A thread about the end of the old rewards program on the Public Mobile forums has exploded, with 637 replies from the community and counting, at 22 pages of replies. Even discussion on RFD has reached seven pages and other Reddit threads also have similar discussion on the matter. Many aren’t happy it seems.

“5 year customer. Will be leaving when this change takes effect. Shameful behavior by Public Mobile, hope they change course,” said one user. “And there it is. We’ve remained “loyal” to Public Mobile as a sort of “investment” into future savings. Which we’re now being denied,” said another.

“This is what happens when you people let BC TEL become privatized and then sit on your hands when Telus buys out the little guy Public Mobile. We need to switch to another Telecom brand that is independent of the big 3,” said another customer.

When Public Mobile tried to increase the price of the $120/12GB 90-day plan back in 2018, Telus reversed course as many customers complained to the CCTS, filing over 1,600 complaints in days.

What are Public Mobile customers doing right now, according to what you guys have told us? The angry ones are filing support tickets with Public Mobile first (a requirement prior to contacting the CCTS), then filling out the CCTS complaint form about what they feel is unfair.

Thanks Randy

P.S. Help support us and independent media here: Buy us a beer, Buy us a coffee, or use our Amazon link to shop.