what to do about cell phones...

My cell phone is crapping out.

I actually used to work for Bell for a couple of years when I was going to school, when I graduated and got my real job, I left the cell phone world.  At that time the best plan I could get was with Solo Mobile, a subsidiary of Bell's.

Unfortunately, my solo hardware (LG Rumour) is dieing.  I'm getting these white screens of death, when it's not white, it's green/yellow.  It's not water damage, it's not pressure damage. It's just lame product defect.  Unfortunately, it's not under warranty anymore.

So here are my options:

  1. Cancel the cell phone plan and not have a cell phone
    1. Cost: $300.00 to cancel
    2. No more cell phone monthly cost - save $45/month * 21 months left in contract = SAVE $945
  2. Cancel the cell phone plan, find a new phone and provider
    1. Cost: $300, $0 new phone, $50/month for a plan and locked into a new 3 year contract
  3. Cancel the cell phone plan, use an old Bell phone I have and go on a month-to-month plan 
    1. Cost: $300, $50/plan but not locked into a contract
  4. Buy a new solo phone for about $150-$200 bucks and put it on my account.
So...what do you think I should do?


  1. Can you find another cell phone that works on with Solo Mobile? Perhaps someone has an old phone that will work on the network? We can do that with some providers here in the States, for just an activation fee of under $50. And a 3-year contract is insane! Usually 1 or 2 years here.

  2. @ Rainy - unfortunately in Canada with Bell/Solo/Teuls/Koodoo - they aren't on the GSM network - so only those phones will work with them. You can't cross networks. It's lame.

    I would have to find another solo phone to go on the solo network. They would likely charge me $35 to do the set up.

  3. Can you find a solo phone on kajiji? Or do you prefer new with warranty? You have relied on a cell for so long, could you go without? I could(and should) use prepaid because I use so little. But I am lazy, and under contract.

  4. Would you really give up the cell phone? I think you'll likely keep some kind of phone, I'd see what they can offer you for cheap. I just lost my brand new phone a month ago, I was devastated. Fortuntely my old one still has some life in it so I reactivated it, but by calling and crying to verizon I got offered some special discounts for a new phone. Call and complain about the crummy phone, maybe they'll cut you a deal on a new one.

  5. Giving up a cell phone once you have one can be tricky. I am locked in a 3-year contract as well right now. I basically only use it for work and the occasional text/short call. I think that once my contract is up (one more year) I will move to pay-as-you-go.

    In your case I would not cancel your account if you do use your phone often enough, $300 is ridiculous! That's 7 months of phone use for my plan! I would try to find another phone to put on the same plan or see if you can get your current one fixed. Good luck with whatever you choose!

  6. @ Mom - I checked out kijiji.ca and didn't find any phones that would be worth it based on the price people were asking :(

    @ Miss M - I actually am considering giving up my cell phone. I have a house phone, a work phone, and Jordan has a cell phone - do I really need one? I'm not sure.

    I tried calling and got a, 'oh, that's too bad for you' - but weren't willing to help. I'm already on a pretty cheap plan and had a pretty cheap phone.

    @ Girl Makes Cents - I feel like I've been using my cell less and less as time goes on - though it is very convenient.

    What is the worst part (I think) is that I really don't have any money I want to put towards this failing phone. I refuse to take it from my e-fund, and I budget the rest of my $$ very tightly.


  7. Hello Jessie,

    I do work for a Cell Phone company so I'm going to state that my advice is not an official company response just my personal opinion.

    If you have an older Bell cell phone. then I'd report the broken LG Rumour as stolen to the company. Then ask that they activate this old phone on your current plan. The cost at most should be $25 to do this. Now you have a working phone and don't have to waste $300 to cancel a contract. when the contract comes to an end then cancel it and then get a new phone.



  8. ohh also Jessie, Solo is Bell, the Bell phoen should be able to be activated on the Solo plan.

  9. Also if you are planning to kill the contract wait for a month when the new Bell/Telus networks come out. I'm not sure how far along they are in Alberta but in Ontario they are planning to launch in November, according to Bell's Press release.

    With that I think I'm done commenting.

  10. Personally Jess, I'd frown at the ethics falsely reporting your cell phone stolen, but that's just me.

    I would say go for option 4, getting a cheapo phone to cover you until the end of you current contract, then maybe start looking at the other options out there. My Virgin Mobile phone is ~$10 a month with no contract, it includes the frills like voicemail and call display and well... no contract... and that's pretty rad I'd say.

  11. @ Nelson - I agree with you - I think that it's not right to falsly report a phone stolen.

    In addition to that - I know that it wouldn't make a different b/c Bell/Solo have set up their system so that you can swap hardware between the two.

    I think I probably will just look for another phone.. it's just lame. Sigh. Got to find another $150 somewhere.

  12. I think I'd go with 4. Do you know anyone looking to get rid of their phone, or maybe something on eBay or similar?

  13. Why can't you use your old Bell phone? In yoour reply to Nelson you say you can swap hardware - should that have been can't?

  14. @ Mom - You can swap hardware only if it is branded from the same provider. So although Bell owns Solo, and it runs on the same network, sold by the same people - you cannot put a bell phone on a solo account. The computer recognizes the serial number (ESN) and won't process the change.

    It blows, but it's teh way it is.


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