Trying to choose a cellphone plan is very confusing. The many plans available have different features, and it takes a determined consumer to gather enough information to evaluate all of them. Worse still is that you can’t rely on one smart person to figure it all out because the best plan depends on how much you use your cellphone and what features you use.
The Canadian government rides to the rescue. Industry Canada developed a calculator to figure out which plan would work best for you. This is a great idea; the government doing something fairly inexpensive to help many Canadians.
Unfortunately, as Michael Geist reports, wireless company lobbyists convinced Tony Clement to kill the calculator (the web page with this article has disappeared since the time of writing). The official reason doesn’t matter because the real reason is obvious enough. Wireless companies make more money from confused consumers than they do from educated consumers.
Cellphone plans are confusing because the wireless industry wants them that way. Fortunately, there are a number of new players competing in the cellphone market offering cheaper service, particularly for infrequent users of cellphones. The next time you have to choose a new plan, you’ll have to do the work yourself; the government won’t be there to help.