Real price of the Rogers Essential Connect package for Seniors

Rogers has recently introduced “special” package for seniors, which is called “Essential Connect”. I have received this offer today in my mail box. So I decided to do some research and make a short review.

The offer makes you think that it should be inexpensive deal: “affordable price”, “a few calls a week or a few calls a month”, “plans starting at only $15 a month”.

Rogers states the price of the cheapest plan – $15 for 100 minutes per month (there are also $20, and $25 plans).

Let’s figure out what customer will pay:

  • Rate of the plan: $15
  • Government Regulatory Recovery Fee which is mentioned in the small print section on reverse at the very bottom: $2.56 – $3.46 (depending on province)
  • Wireless 911 fee: $0.75
  • Call Display: $5
  • Voicemail: $2 (only with purchase of call display)
  • + $0.35 per minute for airtime over 100 minutes limit
  • Plus applicable HST on everything above

Total: $29.62 tax included… instead of $15 in all the colorful flyers and advertisements. We took $3.46 recovery fee and 13% Ontario HST in the current calculation. Let’s just round it to $30 per month. Plus the customer will pay $0.40 (tax included) for minutes over limit.

Is this a good price? For some people it is affordable, for some is not. But what about existing wireless plans? Rogers has Pay As You Go “All day plan” with $0.25 per minute rate for the first 5 minutes you talk each day, and $0.15 per minute for all other minutes of the same day. The minimum amount which the customer must pay in order to keep plan working and keep unused balance from previous months is $20 ($22.60 tax included).

This Pay As You Go plan already includes Call Display, Voicemail, Call Forwarding, Group Calling, Call Waiting. Balance check at *225 short number is also included. The remaining balance rolls over each month if you pay $20 each month. 911 access fee is deducted from $20 monthly.

You may think about Pay As You Go “All day plan” as a regular Rogers Wireless plan with $22.60 per month including all the necessary features and an ability to roll over unused airtime to the next month! What else needed for the person who wants to do “a few calls a month” as pointed out in the offer?!

There is a big difference in cost between the new “Essential Connect” plan and known Rogers Pay As You Go. In the first case you must pay $30 per month and everything will expire at the end of the month regardless how much you are talking, even 10 minutes / month. In the second case you have control over you airtime for $22.60 per month: you may talk for 10 minutes / month for several months, but then you may use your accumulated balance on long distance calls, for example.

One more very important thing: customers can not use existing cell phone with this plan! You have to buy Doro PhoneEasy 410gsm cell phone from Rogers (they put $99.99 price in the offer). However I did a search and found that recommended retail price is approximately $250 CAD (150 GBP), and you may buy it on Amazon for approximately $160 CAD.

So, additional costs for Essential Connect plan at the time of purchase would be:

  • At least $99.99 for the Doro PhoneEasy 410gsm cell phone
  • $35 as an Activation Fee
  • $40 for SIM Card
  • taxes on all the above

Total: $197.75 at 13% HST rate. That is at least $200 more at the time of Essential Connect plan purchase.

Think about it when considering to buy the new Essential Connect plan from Rogers for yourself, or for someone else. Well known Pay As You Go plan can happen to be twice cheaper…

20 thoughts on “Real price of the Rogers Essential Connect package for Seniors”

  1. My neighbors hubby died and she gave me his Doro cell phone which was paid up to the end of the year. I never wanted one because of the cost but as my hubby and I have to use VON volunteer drivers for hospital trips every month and local doctor visits the cell phone came in handy to call the driver when we were ready for home. So I don’t know what to do.

  2. I used the Rogers $100/yr plan for my husband. He used a total of 5 min over the year.
    He needs a phone for emergencies but I sure feel ripped off at having to pay $100 for 5 minutes of airtime.
    There must be something better.

    Would love to know what “HappyDaughter” was using for her mom.

  3. This ad was originally introduced as the “Simple Connect Package” for “People like us.”
    I complained to to the “Advertising Standards Canada.”
    saying the the advert did not explain exactly who, “People like us” referred to, and seemed to suggest that all “old people,” are idiots.

  4. Hello :-)

    When we got this phone for our elderly Mother, we didn’t pay a thing for the phone. ($0.00 on a 3 year plan which can be cancelled at any time without charge if…well if Mom’s maker calls her home before the contract ends).
    We paid nothing for the SIM card and pay nothing for the call display.

    In fact, her total monthly bill including all charges and taxes is $21.40 per month.

    A small price to pay for the peace of mind we get knowing that if Mom needs us all she has to do is push the panic button on the back of the phone and not only does it automatically text selected people telling them that she needs help but turns itself into a hands free speaker phone that automatically phones me for immediate verbal assurance until the help she needs arrives. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this phone and knowing that thanks to its features and minimal cost, Mom will have the re-assurance and help she needs within a couple of minutes after she pressed the panic button :-)

  5. I’m looking for a phone that I can use anytime DURING THE DAY only without paying for every minute used. Is there such a PLAN out there. I have a land phone for evening and weekends and a phone card for long distance.

  6. I have a’sr’s rate” I have 100 long distance, 250 anytime minutes, evg,wknds free. This costs $21.17 mthly, including all fees. I have just upgraded to 100 text calls for $3.00 per month. Most of my calls are local, but all my children are long distance.

  7. I have two Rogers Pay as You Go phones, one for me and one for my wife, that I top up annually for $100.00. I have $250.00 credit on one and $125.00 credit on the other. I am good until Jan.1, 2013. Rogers has transferred funds from one phone to the other for me in the past to balance the credits out. However, I see that using the annual $100.00 top up, I will still have a large balance on my phones next January. I have been in touch with Rogers concerned this issue and I was told that in the fall Rogers often run a deal that will let you recharge your phone until January 2014 by using $100.00 from your balanace and thus I will not have to buy vouchers to top up in January 2013. Has anyone ever done this and how did you find out about it?

  8. First of all, I find their tv ads patronizing and offensive. Jeez, us old geezers are far too stupid to figure out how to use a cell phone? Hello???

    Secondly, I’m sure it’s a rip. Seriously, think about it. When did any public traded company EVER do anything to help anyone other than their shareholders? Be sure, if a company like Rogers is trying to present themselves as having concern for ANY segment of the population other than their shareholders, it’s crap.

    Their ads are no different from Vince and his chopper. Just more polished, and really targeting a market that can’t afford to get sucked in by their garbage.

  9. Thanks for the very useful info. I just signed up with Rogers for Pay as you go ALL DAY PLAN. I spoke to two reps, but what both of them neglected to tell me was that the rates of 25c and 15c are applicable only to LOCAL calls in the TORONTO area (I hope they meant GTA…that’s bit vague.) And they also did not tell me that not only the outgoing but even the incoming calls are charged. AND if you receive or call someone in US, you pay 40c per minute over and above the local rate, which comes to 65c or 55c per minute, as the case may be. Same rules for text messages froom or to US. In spite of all this, for people like me who make only emergency calls,this is the best plan?

  10. I have a Doro phone Easy – how can i check my minutes balance?
    I have the $15.00/100 minute deal. Can i opt out of that at the end of the month when it expires? How much notice do i need as i do not want to be sent another bill.

  11. The basic plan includes incoming SMS. However you cannot add any sort of evenings and weekends to the plan. If you live in SK there is currently an awesome $10! Voice plan.

  12. I have a PAYG with Bell Canada for which I pay, tax included, $11.30/mo. Any unused balance is carried over. I usually run with a balance of $50.00 – $100.00. My cell phone is used for emergencies and/or very occasional use. A friend has the same plan and has a balance of $700.00…

  13. Hi Alan,

    From Rogers website it seems like there will be an additional charge per outgoing or incoming text message of $0.20 cents + tax, i.e. 26 cents per message in or out, as in pay as you go plan.


  14. Can you tell me with the essential connect plan what does Rogers charge for extra text messages in and out? It seems that I am texting my parents quite a bit . Is the pay as you go plan effective there also?
    Alan Gilchrist

  15. Even using the Rogers pay as you go $100.oo voucher, it is too expensive for a senior who only wants the phone for emergency use. They will never use that amount of airtime in a year. The remaining minutes then roll over the next year, provied you buy another 100.oo voucher. There should be cheaper vouchers available like they have at 7 eleven, where you can buy a 25.oo voucher to keep the 365 days for the year. If you run out before the 365 all you need to do is buy another 25.oo voucher.

  16. Kay,

    As I know pay-as-you-go 0.25 + tax rate works only with $22.60/month top-ups. Otherwise it is 0.33 + tax.


  17. You can use the Rogers PAYG and buy a once a year $100 airtime voucher which lasts 365 days, so it works out to $8.33 per month. Calls are 0.25 per minute, long distance is more but you’ll never use up the $100 if you only use it once in a while or for emergencies. The unused balance rolls over when you buy your next airtime voucher next year.

  18. Thanks Raiph for information. It is good that you do not charge for the sim card. But I suspect that it is true only when activating a line on a two-three years contract. As for opting out to pay as you go, there is absolutely no need to buy expensive mobile device such as DORO phone.

  19. Just wanted to add, I work for Rogers, and I don’t know business practices in other cities, but we do not charge $40 for the sim card. We give it for free when you activate the line. You can also opt to go on the pay as you go with the DORO phone,in which the sim costs $10.
    The shoppers drug mart also offer an $85 gift card, if you sign up with them, which kind of offsets the cost of the phone.

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