Wednesday, February 28, 2024

‘Still peeved’: Survey finds lofty phone bills a point of contention for most British Columbians


Phone bills have become unavoidable, unless you’re willing to ditch your device and live ‘off the grid.’

According to a recent survey by Research Co., a BC-based statistics and polling firm, over 70% of British Columbians think they are paying their mobile provider more than they should have to. 

Research Co. says that BC residents are “still peeved” about their monthly bills. 

Conversely, less than 30% think the federal or provincial governments will ever step in and do something about it. 

When asked how they feel about their phone bill, 61% of Vancouver Islanders described their phone bills as being “expensive.” Meanwhile, when asked the same question, the statistic was 72% province-wide. 

Research Co. says that in Canada, the average mobile plan with two gigabytes of data costs around $75. Most respondents know this price would be cheaper if they lived in the United States.  

“British Columbians aged 55 and over are keenly aware of the cost of mobile services in the United States,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. 

“Three-in-four (76%) know that plans are less expensive in the neighbouring nation.”

When comparing a 2023 basic plan with an iPhone 14 at Rogers in Canada versus AT&T in the United States, the Canadian cost per month amounted to around $115 while the American cost was $70 per month. 

However, with the exchange rate taken into account, this American plan would be more like $95. 

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During the 2019 federal election, the Liberals campaigned on a promise to reduce the cost of mobile phone and internet bills for Canadians.

Only 24% of British Columbians have faith that the federal government will “definitely” or “probably” achieve this promise, according to Research Co. 

For years, telecommunications companies have placed blame for their high costs on the vastness of the Canadian landscape and the cost of maintaining so many cellular towers which have a relatively small range. 

Canadian ‘baby boomers’ are particularly skeptical about the government’s ability to deliver on their mobile-related promises. Only 12% of those aged 55 and over think the Liberals will be able to do anything to bring down costs. 

What is your take on phone bill prices in Canada? Let us know in the comments section below!

Curtis Blandy

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