I have been on Fido's $10 a month prepaid plan for many years. I very rarely use my phone, very, very rarely. That is why this $10 a month plan suited me fine. Fido recently increased the cost of this plan, to $12 a month, not something I was happy about. I have been thinking about switching to the $15 a month prepaid plan, but I have several apprehensions. It says we get 75 free minutes for local calls, that's good, but apparently calling our voicemail to retrieve a message someone may have left us is not included in these 75 free minutes??? Why would calling my voicemail not be included in these 75 free minutes??? That would mean in the rare event that someone calls me, I better answer, otherwise I would need to call my voicemail to listen to any message that may have been left, and be charged extra for it. That's not right. At least 80% of the calls I receive are spam-like calls, or wrong numbers, but how would I know that unless I call my voicemail and listen to the message left? So, if someone calls me from an unknown number, and leaves me a message, it will cost me money to find out whether it's a junk call, most likely, or an important call I want to be aware of? Again, that's not right. I should not be charged extra money to find these things out. Calling our voicemail to listen to a message should be included as part of these 75 free minutes.
I would also like to know what exactly are considered local calls? If my car breaks down, and I need roadside assistance provided by my insurer, I would need to call them using one of their 1 800 numbers. Are those considered international calls (even though my insurer is located in the same area as me)? Thank you.
Thank you for your reply. When I wrote about the allotted 75 minutes in local calls, I should have specified that, yes, I meant Canada-wide calls. It doesn't really matter to me because I would not be calling anywhere outside of my local area for those very, very rare occasions that I need to contact someone. So, if I understood, you are confirming that accessing voicemail to listen to a message someone may have left me would cost an extra 60 cents per minute. That is enough of a deal breaker for me to abandon any serious thoughts of ever adopting this $15 prepaid plan. I will stick to the $12 a month plan where airtime is 15 cents a minute including voice mail. I cannot imagine why someone would want to pay 60 cents a minute to listen to their voicemail, something that absolutely destroys an otherwise attractive plan.
I believe these are the details of the plan to which you refer:
~taken from here.
It does appear that access to the voicemail service is on a pay-per-use basis with the Talk & Text plans. I cannot speak to why the decision to make that service pay-per-use was made. However, I did want to clarify that the included minutes are Canada-wide minutes and not local as you suggested. Calling Canadian phone numbers from within Canada would not incur additional long-distance (LD) charges.
In addition, 1-800 phone numbers are considered toll-free phone numbers and are not regarded as International. However, there are some important things to note. While North American toll-free numbers can generally be called free of LD charges from Canada or the US, it depends on the designated area as determined by the business owning the phone number. In addition to restricting those numbers to either Canada or US, some businesses may also place additional limits on their free usage (ie only from certain states or provinces etc)(see here). It all depends from where they wish to accept the long-distance charges.
Since the designated call area is determined by the businesses, it's not possible to know the availability of a particular toll-free number in specific regions just by the phone number itself. Since Canada and the US (and other countries) utilise the same North American Numbering Plan, those phone numbers all have the same format, regardless of their intended call areas. The only way to determine whether a business is willing to accept the LD charges for their toll-free phone number from a particular location would be to enquire with them directly. Some companies may even offer separate calling options for different regions. For example, one of my credit cards has a 1-800 for the US and a Canadian phone number (not toll-free) for within Canada. You would need to contact your insurer to determine whether the 1-800 phone number you have is free of long-distance charges from Canada. I understand the particular Catch-22 aspect of the situation. However, the company may have other means of communication to determine the company's designated call area (ie social media, email, etc).
You should also note that even if a particular 1-800 phone number is free from long-distance charges in Canada, the calls would still be counted against your allotted minutes -- they just wouldn't incur additional LD charges.
Hope this helps 😀
To Cawtau: My reply (inadvertently to myself) up above was intended for you. I don't come to these forums very often, and I have the most difficult time navigating this Fido website, so forgive the placing of my reply. Thank you again.