I recently switched from my cell phone provider of 15 years (Bell) to Koodo. I will describe my experience a bit here.

Why The Change?

Two main reasons.

  1. I was looking to upgrade my phone hardware.
  2. I was looking for a cheaper phone plan.

In regards to #1. Almost all the cell phone providers in Canada had no good offers for getting a new phone. If I calculated out the additional cost they were charging on monthly plans and the initial device payment, it was more than if I purchased the phone from a retail location. However, Koodo had a promotion on the iPhone 8, which they still have in September 2019. If you take the initial device cost (currently $0) and the monthly tab ($15/month for two years), that is only $360 for an iPhone 8. Currently in Canada, that retails for $599. So not a huge deal at savings $240, but not bad. Not that many phones are actually a deal either.

For #2, a cheaper phone plan. Koodo is a discount brand of Telus, so they have offerings that are cheaper for less data. Which is fine for me as I don’t need 10GB of data, which is what Telus/Bell were offering.

I ended up selecting the $50/month plan from Koodo which was 4 GB of data, unlimited evening and weekend calling, and 500 minutes of weekday calling. All I need, whereas the base plan from Bell was $75 for unlimited calling and 10GB of data.

Experience So Far

The experience has been great so far, but I will note some things to be aware of.

  1. Koodo is a discount brand of Telus, so you are on the Telus/Bell network of towers. So coverage is excellent. I haven’t verified this next part, but my understanding is that Telus and Bell customers are prioritized higher than a Koodo customer on a tower if there are a lot of customers on there. So perhaps that means if you were at a festival or sporting event, you could have a coverage issue, but I haven’t heard of that. My coverage has been excellent.
  2. Koodo encourages you to use their self-serve website and will actually charge a fee if you phone in to do a change that is possible through their website.
  3. Ordering and setup. Was very straightforward and worked well.

Regarding the Setup

My setup essentially went like this. Keep in mind I needed to transfer my old number.

  1. Ordered my phone and plan online through Koodo.
  2. Received the phone and SIM card in the mail. Note: They begin your billing cycle the moment they receive a delivery notice for your phone/SIM. In my case this was to Canada Post and was actually at the post office. I had not actually received it yet. When I phoned in to complain on it, they did credit my account. But if you are switching from another provider, don’t take too much time as you are paying for both accounts.
  3. When you receive the new SIM card, you have been given a new phone number from them.
  4. On your computer or cell phone, create an account on the Koodo website for your self-serve account.
  5. You boot up the phone and insert the new SIM card. The phone should connect to Koodo network and you can make a call.
  6. If you need to transfer over your old number: Login to your self-serve account again and go to Self-Serve -> Manage Your Services -> “Manage your phone number. This will walk you through how to transfer an existing number to your Koodo account. You will need some info from your other provider account to proceed (account number, etc).
  7. Within a couple hours your previous cell phone number will be working on your phone.

Unlocking your Cell Phone

Just a note about unlocking your phone. I had assisted someone else moving from Telus to Koodo (also owned by Telus) and the representative on the phone told me that if your phone is locked to Telus, it will still work with Koodo without unlocking it. Save you the step if you do not feel like calling into Telus to have it unlocked.