The 'Lite' is $36, and the next package up is $47 -- the extra $11 gets you up to 10M down but still only 512K up. The package after that is $60, and you increase your upload speed to 1M, with the same 10M down. So, let me get this straight -- for an extra $13 you get 512K down more. Wow!
I don't understand why those brainfarts don't realize that they are selling crack, here. All they have to do is give *everyone* the fastest access speeds they can and then just charge the cap limits. I should be in marketing/sales. But that's for another rant.
The reason I'm still with Rogers is because when I "ditched the dish" a few years back I got a rent-free-for-life HD PVR, a second digital box and a cable modem. They no-longer charge separately for the modem, but the PVR and second STB is a savings of $30 per month. Given that I now have internet, cable TV and home phone with them, this is no-longer as big a savings as it used to be, relatively speaking.
So how does Bell compare? Right up front I'd like to say that I was with BEV for nearly 4 years, but I did not have either HD or a PVR during that time. I was not happy with the (at the time) fairly frequent signal dropouts due to snow on the dish, rain or even threat of rain. I hear things are better now with a larger dish and more satellites?. My friends with BEV tell me the dropouts are not frequent -- couple of times due to heavy snow; comparable to cable but more predictable. Their guide is infinitely better, which also makes their PVR better (for instance, you can select to record *only* first run shows and skip reruns).
Pricing is hard to gauge, because of bundling, special discounts (which apply only to new customers, it seems) and the fact that they are *all* b*stards and keep raising their rates. That said, after that exercise in futility also known as trying to work from home, I went to the Bell site and priced myself a package. Surprisingly (and, to be entirely fair, I have no idea if the TV package I picked was the same -- it *sounded* comparable but, of course, the devil is in the details), for roughly the same total amount that I am paying now with Rogers, I would be getting the following *upgrades*:
- 6M down versus 3, and 1M up versus 256k
- two HD PVRs versus one HD PVR and one SD box (I'm currently enjoying an HD box as my second STB, but that's only for 12 months; they'd probably extend that to keep me happy)
And that's even though I'm saving $30/month in the rent-free-for-life deal! And I'm discounting any of the "save $10 per month for the first 12 months" stuff -- I'm comparing the *regular* monthly charges, if there is even such a thing.
So, what's the catch?
Comparing the prices side-by-side (on the packages I'm either getting now or interested in getting). The Bell prices I see are usually bundle prices, so I'll also apply 10% off for Rogers:
- Rogers Express (up to 10M down, 512K up): $42.30
- Bell Performance (6M down, 1M up): $32
Rogers package gets you 60GB cap versus 25 for Bell, but 25 has been more than enough for me so far (even with my 13-year-old download shows to watch on his laptop).
Rogers VIP: $51.75
Bell Digital Basic Plus: $48
Hard to say which one is better since I don't really know what's in the packages. The "plus" in the Bell package gets you three themes. I like the fact that Bell throws in the time-shifting of US channels but don't know if that applies to the HD channels; with Rogers I'd have to add $9 to get the West-coast HD feeds; it would also get me TSN-HD and some crap I'll never watch. I don't have enough time to watch TSN-HD other than a few additional Sens games in HD. Probably not worth it for me.
Rogers Classic Value: $25.15
Bell Home Phone Basic: $29.95
The two packages are very similar, but Rogers lets you chose the 2 features, where Bell fixes them at Call Display and Visual Call Waiting. I think Rogers is the clear winner here when you consider that the 500 NA LD minutes will cost you an extra $5, plus the call display when watching TV is pretty cool
Rogers HD PVR: free for me, but regular monthly charge (with 10% off) is $22.45
Bell HD PVR: $20 (and free for 12 months)
If I didn't have a rent-free-for-life deal Bell would certainly be the better deal. They charge less, give you better discount on buying, and they have a better PVR, to boot.
With Bell, if you want more than two receivers you'll have to get a multiswitch. Not sure how much extra that will be. With Rogers, they charge for extra outlets, which pretty much forces you into VIP if you have 3, and even with just 2.
So, what do I do? I went to the Bell "build a bundle" page and tried to build a bundle similar to what I now have with Rogers but with 6M download and 1M upload, and it came out to $109..85. Add taxes and it's $122, or roughly what I am now paying with Rogers. Granted, this is with free PVR for 3 years, so after 3 yeas I have to "re-negotiate".
Is the better internet speeds enough to overcome the inconvenience of switching?
Share your thoughts and opinions.