The following are the main types of charges that appear on monthly bills from Canadian cellular providers:
Basic monthly charge – a flat rate fee for being subscribed to an account with a phone number.
Cellphone equipment costs – there are often additional fees for adding features to your basic cellphone, such as getting texting functionality or choosing a way to access the internet over your cellphone’s data connection.
Roaming fees – if you use your phone outside of your provider’s service area, you will be charged roaming fees based on how much time you spend out of the area and how long it takes before you contact your provider to let them know where they can send their service technicians (for example, if you take a day trip into the next town over for lunch, you may not use any of your regular provider’s service area).
Monthly data usage fees – if the plan you are on has a set amount of data each month, it can lead to significant additional fees if more than that is used. People who rely on their phone as an internet connection also pay higher rates for this service since those connections tend to eat up bandwidth much faster. Additional messaging charges – if you have a cellular plan with unlimited texting or a fixed number of text messages each month, there may still be extra charges for using over that allowance.
Cellphone insurance is an optional package that can be purchased to protect your phone against damage or theft.
Directory assistance – there are often additional fees for calling directory assistance, which provide only basic numbers and not directions or other information.
Network activation fee – some providers charge a fee for activating service on a new phone. However, this policy varies by provider, so it’s worth checking with whichever provider you are shopping around to see if they charge this fee.
Administrative fees are small charges imposed by the company to fund incentive programs for employees, contract prices between wholesalers and retailers, etc. The number of administrative fees charged over one year can become significant even without adding any additional items to your monthly bill.
Taxes – as with any taxable good or service, taxes are applied on top of the total price for those services. You can often determine how much those taxes will be by looking at previous bills from the same provider. Still, you might also want to check with a customer service representative since there is not necessarily a fixed percentage charged every month, and some providers may vary their rates over time.
Fee for ending your service early – although many people consider this another way of charging customers who terminate their contracts before the term ends, it isn’t always about punishing customers who break their contracts early. Cell phone providers will sometimes offer deals where specific prices are combined with certain agreement terms, including a specific length of time that the contract is valid. In those cases, a fee for ending your service early may be applied if you terminate your agreement before the term ends.