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I know it sounds like a petty worry when i have bigger things to worry about during a move like this, but I've heard that using a UK smart phone in Canada could prove expensive.
I'm just wondering how other expats went about using phones over there i.e:
Did you open a new contract when you got out to Canada?
Did you cancel your British contract and buy a Canadian pay as you go sim?
I'm only on a 12 month contract at first, but with a view to settle. what is my best option?
thanks
:yo:
 

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Do you plan on getting a land line? If so, I would think cancelling your British contract, unless there is some huge cancellation fee, and getting a pay as you go in Canada would be the best way to go. That will give you some indication how much you will be using the phone and will give you time to check out different carriers & see what the options are. If you're not getting a land line, a contract in Canada might be a better option. The telecome companies in Canada specialize in ripping people off (don't even get me started :D) and often people find there are hidden fees & charges and their monthly bill costs them more than they expected.

Pay as you go rates for calls and texts are usually higher than contract prices, but depends on how much you use your phone. If you have a land line you may not use the cell too much. But if you don't, you will likely use it more so probably worth it to get a contract

As Auld Yin suggested, check with your British carrier to find out cancellation fees & how much overseas calls cost. I don't know how it works there, but it is hugely expensive to have a Canadian phone & use it overseas.
 

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PAYG in Canada is still locked in the past. They will charge you for incoming calls. Also here long distance could be 30 miles away. You can go through $40 in a couple of days talking out of area. We know from experience! If you have free international texts on your UK mobile that could be the way to stay in touch and use wifi to FaceTime if you have an iPhone. To phone within Canada yes a PAYG sim will probably be necessary at first. The way to get round the system is to buy a CiCi card which they sell in Machs Milk shops, you buy a ten dollar card and it gives you a code to make all calls much much cheaper. I wish someone had told us about these sooner! But best advice get on a contract quickly if you can. I have Koodoo which I would recommend to anyone- no fixed contract, free international and national texts and unlimited receive and send minutes with Canada for around $60 a month- still expensive compared to UK but excellent for Canada!
 

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PAYG in Canada is still locked in the past. They will charge you for incoming calls. Also here long distance could be 30 miles away. You can go through $40 in a couple of days talking out of area. We know from experience! If you have free international texts on your UK mobile that could be the way to stay in touch and use wifi to FaceTime if you have an iPhone. To phone within Canada yes a PAYG sim will probably be necessary at first. The way to get round the system is to buy a CiCi card which they sell in Machs Milk shops, you buy a ten dollar card and it gives you a code to make all calls much much cheaper. I wish someone had told us about these sooner! But best advice get on a contract quickly if you can. I have Koodoo which I would recommend to anyone- no fixed contract, free international and national texts and unlimited receive and send minutes with Canada for around $60 a month- still expensive compared to UK but excellent for Canada!
Wow thats an amazing tip Caz n Neil thanks so much I will get a work phone but we need phone for the other half and the kids ...
 

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Mobile phones

I know it sounds like a petty worry when i have bigger things to worry about during a move like this, but I've heard that using a UK smart phone in Canada could prove expensive.
I'm just wondering how other expats went about using phones over there i.e:
Did you open a new contract when you got out to Canada?
Did you cancel your British contract and buy a Canadian pay as you go sim?
I'm only on a 12 month contract at first, but with a view to settle. what is my best option?
thanks
:yo:
Hi Chris, I have just moved to Canada (Vancouver Island) in May and the mobile phones and running costs are hugely expensive. I originally bought an unlocked HTC in the UK in the hope that a Canadian PAYG sim card would work, but it won't. Fortunately I had the chance to come to Canada and try my husbands Canadian SIM before finally leaving UK so I just made my UK phone as PAYG, so I still have my UK number. I asked at many shops about this and they all said a UK sim would not work.(My husband had an unlocked UK Samsung Galaxy and that wouldn't work as well)

The roaming from the UK phone is expensive, I came out to visit for 2 weeks and only used txt to contact UK and ring my husband in Canada a few time e.g. from the airport etc and I was faced with a bill for nearly £300.

Generally speaking the phones are expensive especially if you want a smartphone and neither of us wanted to be tied to a contract, so once here I decided to go with Virgin mainly because they were doing the HTC One which cost $395 (iphone nearly $600) to buy the phone. My Husband is on Koodo who are also very good. We both get free international text and long distance (by long distance that is anywhere in Canada over just a few miles, we live on Vancouver Island and the next town is classed as long distance) I get 1GB of data because they were doing it on offer at the time, free local calls within my plan, free to recieve and my bill is generally about $50 - $60 dollars per month. One thing that is strange is you actually get charged to receive a call and ring the voicemail. Now I always had voicemail turned off in the UK but I can't seem to turn it off here, its greyed out.

It is like a contract but you are not locked into it, you actually get an invoice. The only calls I make are to my husband occasionally and job hunting, no one in the UK. Before you leave get your friends and family to get the Whatsapp app on their mobiles, we use it all the time and of course I Skype my family everyday, what a life-line. You can buy an international calling card from the supermarkets, I use the $10 from Walmart, and this is very good but they do expire as I found out today when I wanted to ring my daughter. and I still have 100 minutes left on it. You can get PAYG cards but I think you will still have to buy a Canadian phone, but at least you wouldn't be faced with an invoice.

I don't know if other provinces in Canada are cheaper or if this is something typical to BC, maybe someone on the forum could enlighten you on this. Also I don't know what the situation would be with an IPhone, maybe they would work, however I doubt it.

If you still have a long time left on the contract in UK, maybe slim the contract down as much as you can and when possible change it to PAYG at least you would have a phone initially and you could try a Canadian sim. Just be aware of the cost to use here.

Hope some of this post is of use to you and good luck with the move
 

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Hi Chris, I have just moved to Canada (Vancouver Island) in May and the mobile phones and running costs are hugely expensive. I originally bought an unlocked HTC in the UK in the hope that a Canadian PAYG sim card would work, but it won't. Fortunately I had the chance to come to Canada and try my husbands Canadian SIM before finally leaving UK so I just made my UK phone as PAYG, so I still have my UK number. I asked at many shops about this and they all said a UK sim would not work.(My husband had an unlocked UK Samsung Galaxy and that wouldn't work as well)

The roaming from the UK phone is expensive, I came out to visit for 2 weeks and only used txt to contact UK and ring my husband in Canada a few time e.g. from the airport etc and I was faced with a bill for nearly £300.

Generally speaking the phones are expensive especially if you want a smartphone and neither of us wanted to be tied to a contract, so once here I decided to go with Virgin mainly because they were doing the HTC One which cost $395 (iphone nearly $600) to buy the phone. My Husband is on Koodo who are also very good. We both get free international text and long distance (by long distance that is anywhere in Canada over just a few miles, we live on Vancouver Island and the next town is classed as long distance) I get 1GB of data because they were doing it on offer at the time, free local calls within my plan, free to recieve and my bill is generally about $50 - $60 dollars per month. One thing that is strange is you actually get charged to receive a call and ring the voicemail. Now I always had voicemail turned off in the UK but I can't seem to turn it off here, its greyed out.

It is like a contract but you are not locked into it, you actually get an invoice. The only calls I make are to my husband occasionally and job hunting, no one in the UK. Before you leave get your friends and family to get the Whatsapp app on their mobiles, we use it all the time and of course I Skype my family everyday, what a life-line. You can buy an international calling card from the supermarkets, I use the $10 from Walmart, and this is very good but they do expire as I found out today when I wanted to ring my daughter. and I still have 100 minutes left on it. You can get PAYG cards but I think you will still have to buy a Canadian phone, but at least you wouldn't be faced with an invoice.

I don't know if other provinces in Canada are cheaper or if this is something typical to BC, maybe someone on the forum could enlighten you on this. Also I don't know what the situation would be with an IPhone, maybe they would work, however I doubt it.

If you still have a long time left on the contract in UK, maybe slim the contract down as much as you can and when possible change it to PAYG at least you would have a phone initially and you could try a Canadian sim. Just be aware of the cost to use here.

Hope some of this post is of use to you and good luck with the move
Use Skype (79p for 60 mins) to phone home numbers in uk, free Skype internet to internet but using phone not video for better sound. I use koodo in Alberta but rarely phone long distance.
 

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Hi Our experience in Canada has also been that mobile or cell phones on contract are full of horrendous extra charges (VMail, Caller ID, etc) and they can charge you long distance rates (ie you get a message saying you have to add the int'l dialling code "1" before making this call) when you are just outside the city limits. Roaming on a phone from another country is also horrendous.

Best to see if you can pay out your contract and unlock your phone. Then either go to KooDoo (hopefully not with a Samsung) and check out their deals. They also have great coverage where some of the bog telcos don't. If you go on a contract with them it will probably include a phone OR

Go to a "Petro Canada" petrol station, buy their $15 SIM card and a prepaid voucher at the same time and use an unlocked old phone and have a phone free of contract you can use any-time and just top up. They also have monthly plans without contract. We have used this on an old unlocked IPhone for our visitors from other countries to avoid them gathering horrendous global roam charges.

We have found that paying out a contract when you move countries is best and then start again.
 

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I brought an unlocked smart phone with me to Canada which I've used in Australia and Europe, and was hoping to use with a pre-paid sim here.

The problem was that most phone store clerks were extremely rude and pushy about selling me a new phone and a long term contract, insisting my phone wouldn't work here (it does) and that a contract would be cheaper (it isn't).

Long story short, I did end up getting a Rogers sim from an independent phone store for 10 bucks and am on a $20 a month plan with 25c a min calls, unlimited texts and 100mb data which suits my purposes fine. (I know a lot of people hate Rogers, but this was the easiest company to be set up with).

So, don't believe everything the pushy clerks want you to believe, and try dealing with the independent phone stores and not the phone company branches to get the best deal.
 

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Hi,

payg/plans are a lot more expensive compared to UK, yes there are tons of extra charges. I used to be on Gifgaf in the UK paying about 12 quid a month. Nothing compares to this. I'm Canadian and lived in the UK for 2 years so I've had a bit of experience with both. Was able to bring my Canadian phone over to UK and use it there no problem, then brought it back again.

Ensure your UK phone is compatible with the networks here. Most phones nowadays are quad band. Just google the model number of your phone. If it is quad band, have it unlocked and get a sim here, you'll be able to use it over here without much headache.

Obviously there are a lot of options and it can be confusion. The cheapest ones overall are Wind and Mobilicity.

The advantage of these is that there is no actual contract. They are the cheapest networks but at the same time there's limited coverage, they're mainly useful if you're a city dweller (works for me, though). They offer pay as you go or month to month. However it's hard to find phones that actually work with their network, like I said they're more limited. so you may end up having to buy a new one. If you're bringin one from the UK it might not work. I am on Wind myself, its about $33/month (Tax included) for unlimited calls, texts and data. Also hooked up free voicemail easily by going into the android settings. You wont' get anywhere close to that price from the other companies.

If you're not in the city then I think Koodo is supposed to be good, based on this thread and other people I've heard. More expensive though.

No point using roaming the whole time, that's nuts. Get a data plan and use Whatsapp (or BBM now) and Skype to communiicate with folks back home.
 
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