Website adds new alert function in hopes of triggering group discounts with carriers.
PlanHub Wireless Comparison:
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This Wednesday, June 3, is being dubbed “Cellphone Freedom Day” thanks to the fact that three-year contracts will effectively become extinct in Canada thanks to a new CRTC rule kicking in. If you’re gearing up to walk away from your cellphone contract as a result, there’s a cool new tool that you may want to check out as you hunt for a better deal.
PlanHub is a wireless plan comparison site where you plug in the details of what you need, which province you live in, and bam, you get a list of offers available from carriers.
Entering that you’re looking for unlimited calling and 2 gigabytes of data with your own phone, in Ontario, for example, turns up a list that looks like this:
The website has just added a new “reminder” function for people who may still have a few months left on their contract. You enter the desired plan details as normal, and when you get close to your contract’s expiry date, you’ll get an alert sent with potential deals via email.
There’s a bit more going on behind the scenes than just an email alert, though. As Nadir Marcos Mechaiekh, the entrepreneur behind the Montreal-based site explains, building up a database of individuals seeking deals will allow PlanHub to negotiate group discounts with carriers:
The idea is to build a massive pool of users that have the same needs in the same time window. For example, 1,000 people looking for an iPhone 6 with unlimited calls and 1 GB of data for June 2016. We would have the time and the power to negotiate better offers directly with the providers. Large companies already use this method for their employee’s phone plans. The result is that we could get substantially cheaper plans. Biggest benefit for the user is that he will save big. It’s simple (he just sends him an email), free, and there’s no engagement. The Reminder e-mail will simply include these exclusive proposal[s], he can chose to not consider it if it doesn’t suit him.
Mechaiekh says he has spoken with the sales departments of the major providers and they have shown interest in his plan. Carriers spend big bucks in acquiring new customers, so this will save them money too.
“Sales departments always have their doors open to new sale channels. We have a clear target number of users that we need to start the negotiation,” he says. “Of course, the more users we represent, the more we have leverage allowing us to get better deals for them.”