If there's one thing I learned from being a seminomadic co-op student at UW, though, it's how to change addresses and deal with people hooking up utilities. So, I spent the early part of this evening talking with lovely representatives from various companies, trying to rig up a home phone, internet service, and some form of cable-delivered television entertainment service. If you're moving soon, click here to read the gory details.
I'm sick and tired of having to pay Bell the $55 "connection charge" for some schlep in an office tapping a few keys and turning on my phone line. It's extortion, plain and simple. Rogers has the right idea: it costs $0.00 to install any service, anywhere. I mean, why should I pay before I start using a service? It's not like a gold-plated phone is hand-delivered to me by a barely-clothed Halle Berry so I can begin making calls. (That would be worth $55, though. Are you listening, Bell Canada?)
(...of course they are. They're the phone company. But I digress.)
At any rate, both Bell and Rogers are about the same for monthly phone service with voicemail. The long-distance packages at Rogers are better, and they'll give me (a.) $45 worth of credits and (b.) a free cordless phone for signing up online. The only downside is that Rogers (a.) doesn't have calling cards, and (b.) can't give me my old Toronto phone number back, even though I'll be just around the corner from where I used to live. But I'm sure my nightly baths in crisp $50 bills from all the money I'll save will nicely balance that out.
Cost per month: approx. $33, not including long distance or phone-sex calls
Again, a battle between Rogers and Bell (i.e., their Sympatico service). A charming young man named Gavyn, a Rogers representative, cut me a deal (I can email him anytime) in which I get a cable modem for free for a year, saving a cool $3 a month.
Aside: Gavyn reminded me of Mark McKinney's "Darrill" character on Kids in the Hall. You know, that clueless waiter? Gavyn went on and on and on, oblivious to my increasingly-monosyllabic responses to his statements. Oh well. At least I'll milk him for a sweet sweet discount.
Moneywise, it's pretty much a wash between Sympatico and Rogers, although Sympatico has some sort of "Home Networking" package that they'll throw in for free. Whatever, I already have a wireless router that's been out of the box once, and that'll do me nicely.
Approx. cost per month: $45, not including all the goat-porn I'll buy online
This one's all Rogers, because I don't really feel like putting up (and probably can't put up) a satellite dish for Bell's ExpressVu service.
This one really steamed me, though. Rogers is all-digital now with its cable service; this sounds cool and awesome, except that every customer now has to have a digital cable box in their house. This costs $7 a month. For everyone. So, the statement "ooooh, we're all-digital now, aren't we awesome?" actually means "if you want cable, we're going to squeeze another imported-pint-of-beer-in-a-bar-a-month out of you, even though CBC Newsworld would look just the same using either digital or analog service, you lucky motherfucker."
I'm seriously considering going the rabbit-ears route on this one. A decent cable package is $50 a month... but really, if I just use rabbit-ears I can pull in TVO and the CBC, and possibly some American broadcast channels I'd never watch anyway. But, because I suckle at the teat of the Comedy Network, I'll probably end up caving and getting cable. I'm such a pussy.
Approx. cost per month: $50, not including all the pay-per-view porn I'll buy
In conclusion, total cost of phone + internet + cable = $128 per month (!!!)
...which is why having a disposable income again is going to rock.