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HTC Touch now "free" from Bell and Telus

A fierce duel is being fought at retail by Telus and Bell.  When Bell announced unlimited data plans on HTC Touch devices for $7/month, Telus responded by dropping the price of the Touch to $0. In the last two days there have been full page advertisements offering the device (with certain conditions) from either Bell or Telus for $0, when signing on to a long term contract.  At Rogers, the HTC Touch is still a whopping $199… on a three year contract.  Presumably, Rogers is keeping its powder dry in anticipation of a 2008 launch of iPhone in Canada.  Meanwhile, Bell and Telus are scooping up as many customers as they can with the only viable alternative to iPhone. By locking customers into contracts now, they're hoping that they can make iPhone's Canada debut into little more than a damp squib rather than the explosive market changer it's been elsewhere.

Read the fine print on that unlimited contract carefully, however.  As one unlucky Bell subscriber in Alberta recently found out, after receiving an $85,000 data bill from Bell, unlimited doesn't often mean what the dictionary says after a telco lawyer has finished redefining it in the fine print on the contract.  Even after Bell's agreement to adjust the price to the best possible rate, he still owes over $3,000.  As the Globe pointed out, in the US a plan from Sprint would have only charged him $70 for the same service.  Despite the claims to the contrary, Canadian "unlimited" data plans are anything but unlimited.  The BBC noted in its coverage of the story that "Canadians complain that their mobile phone charges are much higher for comparable service in the United States." 

No doubt.

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Jason Yeung December 13, 2007, 7:01 am

    Well, the person in question was tethering – which is expressly stated to be a charged service.

    If you wanted to tether, go with the $75 unlimited PC card plan from Bell or Telus.

    By the way, Telus's offer for $0 smartphones covers the HTC Touch, BlackBerry Pearl 2, and HTC S720…all of these work on the $15 unlimited web/email/IM plan they are offering right now.

    – Jason

  • Alec December 13, 2007, 7:53 am

    Granted, Jason. Clearly he misunderstood, too. I think a lot of people misunderstand when a word like "unlimited" is used, though. Certainly it caught me the first time I encountered it.

    And that's cool that the smartphones are all free now. Wonder when Rogers will wake up?

  • Eddy December 15, 2007, 4:09 pm

    Bell, Telus, Rogers= LOCKS, LOCKS, LOCKS until they decide to be honest and innovate. Subsiding handsets and locking customers in "unlimited" contracts can't be the synonyme of INNOVATION. They should
    – let canadian engineers express their talents (they are as much talented as asians and europeans in rolling up new and cheaper broadband and 3G services)
    – fire 99% of their lawyers (Bell-Telus-Rogers business is innovating in services not re-defining "Unlimited")
    – fire 95% of their marketing guys
    – close their websites and build clean,clear and usable ones with simple plans (how do they dire to advertise a 25$/month plan that ends up costing 50$ to the customer?). They still advertise basic plans w/o voicemail, calling number display, with network access fees (what's the usage purpose of a phone w/o access to the network?)
    – don't subsidize devices designed by others (bankers are better in managing credit) and don't lock CDMA users (no portability of the phone from Telus to Bell or VirginMobile. We all know it isn't a technical issue buy a policy one). It's a shame.
    – how can Canada still lags far-far-behind Europe 4-play and fiber penetration (50Mbps+ for 45$/month in Paris, Pau, Lille and more to come http://offres.neuf.fr/fibre_optique/home-fibre-op… in mobile internet (tenmobile.fr, 3skypephone.com,…).
    – the only thing I am happy with is Bell-Telus-Rogers don't design mobile phones. If they were to be thaught of as their mobile plans, they would be TOTALLY UNUSABLE.
    I hope someone sees this as a call to bring canadian mobile market in the 21st century. Come on we are on the G8 group and may be the country most people would like to leave in.


  • Mr.C. December 30, 2007, 7:27 am

    The HTC Touch is garbage…. I got one from Telus after over 1 year of fighting with them over the crap they 'sold me' as a phone before… now I have this touch — it locks up frequently requiring battery removal or removing the stylus and hitting the reset button on the bottom.

    Try fussing with that when you work in emergency services field and are in the middle of "something"… or… having the stupid thing lock up/crash in 'sleep mode' and not realizing you are missing calls (until you try to turn it back on.. realize its crashed – then go through the reset procedure and listen to voice mail).

    Its a nice 'try' by HTC.. and I really like it when it works… BUT.. it doesn't work as often as it should be working.


  • Jenn January 11, 2008, 12:04 pm

    This phone is garbage the HTC touch it freezes up in calls all the time, when its in stand by mode ect. you cant receive or send picture messages and the technical support team has no knowledge on the phone what so ever. I hate this phone and really regret spending my hard earned money on the damn thing DO NOT BUY ONE as nice as it looks its garbage!

  • David January 30, 2008, 6:57 am

    I'm on my way to return the HTC touch for the second time this week. This time for good. What a useless device. Freezes all the time. Receives about 1 in 5 calls , and would only start it's first ring when the caller is already hearing the 5th ring ( and usually hangs up). What a piece of junk! I was hoping for something to help me organize a little bit , but got something that just took more of my time and was extremely aggravating . DO NOT GET THIS PHONE.

  • Nicolai February 6, 2008, 12:48 pm

    Just got my touch yesterday and it worked fine. but today has been one long reboting nightmare, it woun't run for more that 15 minuts before it frezzes up and need a reset.

  • bdox February 8, 2008, 1:03 pm

    You guys must all have the CDMA version of the Touch. My Rogers/GSM version is running just fine, not a single lock-up, calls come through fine, and battery life is almost 3 days.

  • RJM February 13, 2008, 4:11 pm

    Yes – I have the CDMA version of the HTC Touch and am experiencing all the same lock-up problems others are describing. I reset the piece of junk at least 4 times a day…

  • Nick March 26, 2008, 10:56 pm

    Oh man, I completely agree with you ALLL! I HATE the HTC Touch, I’ve gone through 4 batteries, alllll within my first and second week of owning my phone, the touch aspect is unbeliveably horrid! I can’t even get this thing to work properly, actually after just compleing my worst fight ever with this stupid touch, I ended up having to do a hard reset! LOST EVERYTHING!, the friggen phone wouldnt even turn on, I wouldnt ever recomend this phone to anyone! I’m just trying to sync, and hopefully I’ll get most of my stuff back! I’f not, i’ve got alllottt of work to do! I would take the money I spent on this garbage, and cross the border and get myself an iphone and hack it, its CHEAPER, and 100% better!

  • Gregory March 31, 2008, 12:29 pm

    Watch out about installing applications on the phone. Mine was a total nightmare until I hard reset it a few weeks ago, and very carefully monitored what applications I installed. Don't install programs on the SD card – that makes it *very* mad and it will provide lock ups in between card corruptions. Been working flawlessly with it now, running the Telus model.

  • jason April 15, 2008, 2:19 am

    My bell htc touch is great- had it for 3 days now. Have surfed the net for about 24 hours now, battery lasts about 4 hrs of straight surfing. Speaker is a little bad but usable. I shut down some usless apps, to stop from crashing and no problems. They should put in more ram though.

  • deb April 29, 2008, 3:27 pm

    My touch seems to have issues. Installed programs a few weeks back and all of a sudden messaging disappeared. Program gone. Poof. Hard rest and installed just just a news and keyword.

    I have to remove battery often because the phone stops ringing and no text notifications. Visual notifications there, but no audible alerts.

    Also, phone won't pick up bluetooth devices. If bluetooth turned on and in standby for longer than an hour, crashes. Could also be Windows Mobile. Microsoft notorious for releases buggy OS.

  • James September 12, 2008, 10:42 am

    If you are having the problem your device freezing after entering sleep mode leading you to miss calls and not even know about until hours later like I had been here is what I found to work. Do not activate the telus mobile mail icon on the bottom of your home screen ( the green envelope) .If you already have the simply uninstall and do not re install. just leave it alone. I think it is this little bit of software that is causing the crash in sleep mode. Guess that is why telus ,bell,and rogers should stay out of the softare bis. hope this helps

  • John Liedtke November 10, 2008, 8:29 am

    We purchased the Touch in July and have swapped it 5 times. Telus says to go to HTC for warranty but when contacted they replied " we do not provide warranty service at Telus request" When contacted by the writer, Telus says go to HTC. They have no idea why HTC would say such a thing.

    I have an idea. Let's start a class action law suit. Seems as though there are enough of us with the same problem.

    I spoke with an associate who is regional mgr for Rogers and who has a cousin with Telus. He confirmed that it is common knowledge in the industry that there is a problem with the phone. Upwards of 70% are swapped.

    Let's make Telus stand up to the bar and admit there are issues.

  • Ely Goldberg December 28, 2008, 3:20 pm

    I am with Bell and am suffering from all the problems that were mentioned by others and more. I also have been getting the runaround from bothe Bell and HTC. Bell is aware of the problem as is HTC, however it seems apparent that Bell prefers to push its clients out the door rather that force its supplier to pay for its sins. If there are other HTC Touch owners with the guts to stand up to both Bell and HTC let me know because I would certainly join in any class action

  • Scotty May 29, 2009, 11:01 pm

    Whats with the battery?!?!?! Its already DEAD and i just got it this week!!!

  • John August 2, 2010, 11:50 pm

    Had all sorts of battery problems, lucky to last half an hour, apart from that a great mobile.

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