Paying more. Getting less.

In Canada the monthly price for my mobile phone service is nowhere near the advertised price. Among the fees added on is a $6.95 charge per month per phone. So with my four phones I pay about $28 for that item alone. When I moved to Canada I was led to believe that this was yet another government tax; there are so many it would not be surprising. Apparently the fee is a levy to cover network costs, licensing fees and other regulatory costs. Shouldn’t that be covered by my monthly charge? To put this in perspective, voice mail ($8) and call display ($7) are in addition to my basic charge as well.

Apparently some people got tired of being charged the fee, and being misled as to what it was for. They have filed a class action lawsuit against Canada’s four biggest cellphone carriers. Those operators will make more than $800 million from the special fee this year alone.

This wouldn’t be so bad if Canada at least had some decent choices in mobile phones, but we are perennially behind what is available in other countries. I have to suffer through reading all about Robert Scoble’s new Audiovox phone without any idea when, or if, I’ll be able to get one.