The Town of St. Paul is moving their cell phone services from Telus to Bell after receiving proposals from both companies and seeing there would be significant cost savings by switching providers.
According to CAO Kim Heyman, the town has been looking for a plan from Telus for close to a year now.
“But at the end of the day when we take a look at it, it’s really not much different than what we have now, which is when we need a phone we go get one and we get the plan of the day,” said Heyman.
She said Bell is offering a three-year contract with one plan for all the phones which would be renegotiated after two and a half years.
According to the information presented to council, the town currently spends approximately $1,675 per month for 21 phones with Telus, many of which are in different stages of contracts. Heyman said to cancel the existing contracts would cost almost $3,500 but Bell is also offering a port credit of $7,350. Telus is offering a loyalty credit of $3,900.
“And just for the service it is considerably lower,” said Heyman.
According to the proposals, Bell is offering service at $733 per month if the town brings their current phones or $1,048 per month if they choose to replace phones and pay for them each month like they currently do with Telus. According to the proposal, Telus wants $1,438 per month, which includes device fees.
Over the three year term being discussed, making the switch to Bell will save the town between $11,000 and $25,000 depending on how many devices need to be replaced. In an interview after the meeting, Heyman clarified those savings are as compared to the current cell phone bill, not the final quote received from Telus. The savings as compared to the final quote from Telus are approximately $9,000.
Coun. Nathan Taylor made a motion to switch the cell phone services to Bell. The motion carried.
Heyman noted that her experience trying to get the necessary information from Telus for council had been “painful.”
“You just feel like they’re not that interested in our business, and Bell has gone out of their way to give us all the information that we needed so I think it’s a good move for us. And now all the phones will be on the same rate, it won’t be the rate of the day.”
In a follow up interview after the meeting, Heyman clarified her comments about Telus.
“It was not the local Telus dealer that was the problem. Lakeland Communication has been absolutely wonderful to deal with through all of this. That’s why we pushed so hard to get a rate from Telus because we’ve had a very good relationship with our local dealer for so many years. The issue was with corporate Telus Mobility. They just weren’t getting back to us, and then our representative at Lakeland Communications tried to get us some numbers, but it still wasn’t a government rate and that’s why Bell came in so much cheaper,” said Heyman.
The cell phone services will be reviewed again in three years.
An earlier version of this article stated the Town of St. Paul has 36 phones. The Town of St. Paul has 21 phones. Lakeland Connect regrets the error.