It seems like the tweaking of share plans is the thing to do in Canada these days, especially when it comes to the amount of data. Rogers started the ball rolling around the first of September and then Bell followed in their tweaking. It was only a matter of time before Telus had to adjust their plans to stay in line with everybody else…fortunately, there is good news as no tier prices were increased and only one was eliminated.
The newest trend is to sell more data – sometimes by eliminating a popular tier, adding a small amount of data and raising the price of the bucket. Carriers are making a lot of money on selling data, especially in Canada, where their subscribers love to download and stream music and videos. Some carriers, like Rogers are trying to sweeten deal by advertising a bunch of add-ons to make you think you are getting more for your money, when in fact, those extras, like Rogers' free Spotify Premium for two years, will cause the recipients to use more data to stream the music. While the customer does get the free Spotify, they also end up paying for more data.
The carriers are all tweaking their Share Plans – something the Big Three started doing in mid-2013 to counteract the CRTC's announcement that three-year contracts were now banned as of December of that same year. The resourceful carriers, in order to make up for the lost revenue had to come up with creative ways to increase their ARPU (average revenue per user) – share plans with data buckets were just the ticket. They give you unlimited talk and text and then have a pool of data to share between the users on the Share Plan, generally from four to ten people. The price of the plan is determined by the amount of data you choose and if you go over that allotted amount, they will charge you a fortune – so we tend to get the next tier…just in case.
Rogers turned around, eliminated their most popular 2GB and 6GB tiers, and replaced them with 2.5GB, 5GB and 9GB tiers. Shortly after, Bell followed much the same tactics, although Telus, while tweaking their own data buckets, increased the data available, but left pricing alone. In the case of Telus, the customers are actually coming out on the winning end of the changes.