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Monday, January 20 Front Page >> Random Rants >> Smelus still blows chunks
SMELUS STILL BLOWS CHUNKS

May 24, 2003, 12:05am

I hadn't paid attention to Smelus' phone offerings or rate plans as of late.

(sidenote - I've been Smelus/BCHell free since 1999)

I checked it out tonight just to see if the company had gotten with the times and gotten more realistic with their prices and offerings. They haven't, at least in their home ground (I note they have much better prices and services back east - a real disparity - makes you feel all warm and gushy being in Smelus' home are of British Columbia, where you pay more cuz they love you).

One thing in particular caught my eye - what they charge you for "high speed" Internet service. They use 1xrt (they call it 1X or Velocity, delivering the same speeds my Class 10 GPRS does on Fido).

Let me just say this - everytime I think the $50 a month I pay for unlimited* service on Fido's GPRS network is a lot of dough, I should go to the Smelus site and refresh my memory.

They charge an unbelievable $30 a month for 5mb of traffic, and an extra $10mb a month per meg after that. They have a 'promo' thing (read: suck you in) where it's unlimited******* for $50 a month but the catch is, it's only for the first three months, then you're locked into that rate for only 10mb of traffic, and $6 a meg after that.

They also have their own little unlimited******* plan at $100 a pop, but now it's time to mention what the asterixies are for:

*Fido's unlimited truly is that - no limits on the amount of mb you use a month, or where you use it, North America wide - you pays you 50 bills, and thats all you pays

*******Smelus' "unlimited" is actually limited to 100mb (read the fine print), and doesn't work outside of Canada. It does, but you pay extra for it.

Oh, and there's one tiny, miniscule, itty bitty little extra - Smelus, on top of charging obscene amounts for extra MB, charges you $60 a year for a "network support charge". Imagine if you only use their 1X service for a month and decide it's too much? Guess what - you still gotta pay that $60 fee.

And don't even get me started on their obscene roaming charges.

Wait, I will start - I recently went to Boston for 7 days. I used about 60mb of GPRS connectivity and talked for about 350 mins on my phone while there. My Fido bill for the entire month of April was $262 - the whole month, including taxes.

Calculating Smelus' rates, if I was on the Velocity 30 plan and Talk 50 plan, I would have paid $30 + $550 (1X overcharge) +$5 (1/12th the network charge) plus $50 (Talk 50) plus  $332 ($0.95 per minute US roaming charge x 350) + $175 ($0.50 LD charge per min x 350) + about $7.50 in access fee charges.

That's $1,316 (including taxes). And it doesn't include any other charges they may have thrust upon me for the rest of the month.

Scary....

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