Are you tired of overpaying for your cellphone plan? Of consistently watching your plan increase in price? What if there was a phone company that rewarded you for your loyalty by decreasing the cost of your plan every year? Public Mobile does just that.
If you have never heard of Public Mobile before or are thinking about switching phone plans to save money, then this Public Mobile review will cover everything you need to know.
The Hesitation with Switching Plans
I will admit when I first heard about Public Mobile I was hesitant. It was difficult to find a reliable Public Mobile review online.
I was so hesitant, that I didn’t take the leap. We switched over hubby’s phone plan and waited.
He is not a big cell phone user so I didn’t think he would notice if the phone plan turned out to be crap.
Well it could not have been further from the truth.
Now over a year, later hubby is still with Public Mobile and I have (finally) switched over my plan too.
Hopefully this Public Mobile review helps convince you too.
This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you purchase through my links. Please read my disclaimer for more information.
I’ve written before on how I like to save money on everything from groceries to car insurance. And I had shopped around for what I thought was the cheapest phone plan.
Then I would call my cell phone provider and negotiate a better rate.
But every so often my phone plan would increase in price – which drove me nuts. I owned my phone outright so I didn’t have a contract. That meant I was at the mercy of the phone company and the plan rates they wanted to set.
Money Saving Tip – Own your phone. This enables you to be in control of what you pay for it (especially if you buy it used). And you can prevent being locked into a long term phone contract. BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) plans are often much cheaper than contract options.
Then I found out about Public Mobile.
Eventually we switched over both phones (hubby’s and mine) and saved $30 a month. Every month.
My in-laws had much higher cell phone plans so I’m trying to convince them to switch over. (Maybe they will read this Public Mobile review) They are currently paying $100 a month for their cellphone plans. Switching to Public Mobile they will only be paying $36 a month.
That’s a savings of $64 a month – over $750 a year.
The only thing holding the back is getting set up.
They live in a small town so we will have to order them SIM cards and then sign them up for Public Mobile the next time we visit.
If after reading this Public Mobile review, you’re ready to start saving money on your phone plan every month, use referral code E9P6R3 to get an instant $10 bonus towards your first bill.
But remember to use the referral code E9P6R3 or the bonus won’t be applied.
How to get a $0 Cell Phone Plan
With Public Mobile it is possible to get your cell phone plan for $0 with their Public Mobile Rewards program.
Just imagine if your cell phone plan was free. No other cell phone provider offers this option.
The Public Mobile rewards is one of the reasons why Public Mobile is the best cell phone provider in Canada.
Here’s how to get your cell phone plan for free:
Sign-up for AutoPay
By signing up for Autopay, your plan with be automatically paid by your credit card. If you do not have a credit card, you can purchase a payment voucher in order to set up Autopay.
For more information on payment vouchers click here.
When you set up Autopay you save $2 every billing cycle. So a $25 cell phone plan now only costs you $23.
Refer your Friends & Family
Public Mobile has a great referral program. To take advantage of the referral program sign up using code E9P6R3 to save $10 instantly.
Once you sign up then you can get your family and friends to sign up with your referral code. They will save $10 instantly and you will save $1 every billing cycle.
That’s $12 a year.
It doesn’t seem like much, but there is no limit to the amount of people that you can refer. I know of a few people who now pay $0 for their cell phone plan thanks to referrals.
How does the Public Mobile referral code work?
When you sign up for Public Mobile using the referral code E9P6R3 you will earn $10 of instant savings. How it works is you will pay for the first month in full so that the transaction can be processed. Then the $10 referral is instantly added to your account and your plan for the next month will be $10 cheaper.
If you sign up for the $15 a month plan with the referral code, your second month will only cost you $5. Imagine a $5 phone plan.
For every year you are with Public Mobile your bill will go down $1 per billing cycle.
Hubby has now been with Public Mobile for over a year which means he is now saving an extra $12 per year on his cell phone plan.
Most other cell phone companies I know keep increasing their rates. Public Mobile rewards you for your loyalty by decreasing your rate.
Participate in the Community
When it comes to customer service, Public Mobile is anything but traditional. They do not have brick and mortar locations or foreign call centres.
All of their customer service is done online through their community forum.
By going online and answering other people’s questions you can earn up to $20 off every billing cycle. If you have a $15 phone plan that means your phone plan will be free.
To be honest, I think the community reward is too much work so have not participated in it.
But I have gone online to have my questions answered and have always found it to be very helpful.
Public Mobile Coverage
Maybe you’re thinking that you get what you pay for and by opting for a lower cost option phone plan you are sacrificing coverage.
Public Mobile is owned by Telus and runs off of Telus’ towers. Telus has the best network coverage in all of Canada.
Going with Public Mobile is a win-win, the cheapest cell phone plan in Canada, on the country’s best cell phone network for coverage.
Now, if you happen to live in an area that does not have good coverage with Telus’s network, then switching to Public Mobile is not a good choice for you.
Public Mobile Phones
Recently Public Mobile announced that it will now be selling certified pre-owned phones. These phone come with a 1 year warranty through Telus and are only available for purchase online through the Public Mobile website.
You do not need a credit check to purchase these phones and they also come with a 30-day refund policy if you’re not happy with your phone. And when you buy a phone through PM’s website, they will send you a free SIM card – a $10 savings.
The phones offered are first come first served so check back often for the phone you’re looking for.
Every phone is refurbished, tested, inspected, cleaned, and repackaged. They guarantee 100% functionality and come with a manufacturer’s charging and data cord.
This is a game-changer in the discount cell phone competition. Now with Public Mobile not only can you get a $0 cell phone plan (use referral code E9P6R3 to save $10 when you sign up with Public Mobile), you can also buy a discount phone saving you money and keeping phones out of the landfills.
Public Mobile Plans
Public Mobile has lots of plans to choose from. The lowest plan starts at just $15 a month. For more information on specific phone plans, click here for the most up to date information.
Remember to use referral code E9P6R3 when you sign up to save $10 instantly.
Phone plans are pay as you go so you don’t have to worry about overage charges. And you can change your phone plan every 30 days if you would like.
So how does Public Mobile stack up to Canada’s other discount cell phone providers?
With all of the cell phone providers available now, how do you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck. This Public Mobile review would not be complete without offering a competitor analysis.
Here’s how Public Mobile stacks up to the other discount and non-discount cell phone providers.
Public Mobile vs Freedom Mobile
Both Public Mobile and Freedom Mobile have phone plans starting as low as $15 a month.
Freedom Mobile is owned by Shaw Communications, while Public is owned by Telus. Freedom has coverage throughout the country with a concentration in the big cities. Outside of the country’s big cities you will be covered by one of Freedom Mobile’s partner networks.
Public Mobile has coverage through Telus – Canada’s best network coverage.
Need to Know
Public Mobile only offers certified pre-owned phones or you can bring your own phone. And the customer service is self-serve through the Public Mobile Community.
Freedom Mobile offers voice over LTE technology. This means that when making a call within wi-fi or LTE range your call will be clearer over these networks. But if you start a call in a wi-fi range and then leave the range, your call may be dropped.
Freedom Mobile charges a 1 time $20 connection fee for every new line added. Public Mobile does not charge an activation fee.
Public Mobile vs Koodo
The cheapest monthly plan offered by Koodo is $30. But they do have a $15 prepaid plan that is very similar to Public Mobile’s $15 plan.
Both companies are owned by Telus and have coverage through the same network.
Need to Know
If you activate your Koodo plan in-store, there is a $40 activation fee. The activation fee is waived if you activate online.
Both Koodo Mobile and Public Mobile offer add-ons or boosters that you can buy. These add-ons are for data, text or talk minutes. They come in various sizes and prices. And rollover until you use them up.
Koodo does not offer the referral bonus Public Mobile does. Sign up for Public Mobile with referral code E9P6R3 to save $10 instantly.
Public Mobile vs Fido
Fido’s cheapest plans are prepaid plans. There are a lot of options, depending on your phone needs. The lowest plan with data is $15 a month for 250MB but that doesn’t include any calling. If you want calling without data, then the cheapest plan is $10.75 a month for 50 minutes of local calling and 50 outgoing texts.
Public Mobile’s cheapest plan is $15 and includes 250MB of data, 100 minutes of Canada-wide talk, unlimited text messages and unlimited incoming calls.
Fido is owned by parent company Rogers Communication. If your area has good Rogers coverage, then you will have good coverage with Fido.
Public Mobile is owned by parent company Telus and has coverage on Canada’s largest mobile network.
Need to Know
Fido does offer new phones for purchase whereas Public Mobile currently only offers certified pre-owned phones. If you set up your Fido plan online, then you do not have to pay the $40 activation fee that is charged with in-person activations.
Public Mobile vs Telus
As stated previously, Public Mobile is Telus’s low cost cell phone carrier. The cheapest Telus plan is a $10 prepaid plan with limitations. Public Mobile’s cheapest plan is $15 a month.
Public Mobile is owned by parent company Telus and therefore both operate on the same network – Canada’s largest mobile network.
Need to Know
Just like Public Mobile, Telus does charge $10 for their SIM cards. If you set up your account in person at a Telus store you can often get this SIM card fee waived. But just know that you will more often than not pay more overall for your Telus phone plan than with Public Mobile.
The $10 savings on a SIM card is not worth it to pay more for your cell phone plan month after month.
A better way to save $10 instantly is to sign up for Public Mobile with referral code E9P6R3.
Public Mobile vs Lucky Mobile
The cheapest plan at Lucky Mobile is $15 a month, the same as Public Mobile. The $15 a month plan at Lucky Mobile is either 1GB+ data only or 100 minutes, unlimited texting and 250MB of data.
To compare, Public Mobile’s $15 a month plan includes 250MB data, 100 minutes, unlimited text messages and unlimited incoming calls. A slight step up from Lucky Mobile.
Lucky Mobile is owned by Bell Canada. Bell Canada (and Lucky Mobile) have the largest LTE network in Canada.
Need to Know
As with most other cell phone providers, you will need to purchase a $10 SIM card in order to activate your Lucky Mobile plan.
Lucky Mobile and Public Mobile both offer no credit checks, no data overage charges and no long-term commitment.
Public Mobile vs Chatr
Even though Chatr is considered to be a discount cell phone provider, it’s cheapest cell phone plan is $35.
Public Mobile is a discount cell phone provider as well and only charges $15 for its cheapest cell phone plan that includes talk, text and data.
Like Fido, Chatr is owned by Rogers Communication. Rogers claims to have Canada’s most trusted network. If you currently have coverage with Rogers then you will have no issue with Chatr.
Public Mobile is owned by parent-company Telus. Telus (and Public Mobile) operate on Canada’s largest mobile network.
Need to Know
Personally, I found the Chatr website very difficult to navigate compared to the other options. As there are many other easier options, Chatr would not be my first choice.
Before you Switch Cell Phone Providers
In this part of the Public Mobile review, I want to make sure you have as much information as possible before making the choice to switch to Canada’s cheapest cell phone provider.
Certified Pre-Owned Phones
Public Mobile only sells certified pre-owned phones. This means that the options of phones offered may be limit. You won’t be able to get the newest model of something. And some of the newer models may only have limited inventory so check back often for the phone you’re looking for.
You can also bring your own phone to Public Mobile. No pushy sales tactics here and no need to buy a phone to get the best plan rate either.
Your cell phone just needs to be unlocked.
This should not be a problem in Canada.
In 2017 the CRTC regulated that cell phone companies were no longer permitted to charge a fee to unlock your cell phone. And all new phones sold after that date have to be unlocked.
Once you have an unlocked phone, the next thing you will want to do before you proceed is to make sure your cell phone is compatible. To do that click here and input your cell phone information.
Next, Public Mobile does not have brick and mortar locations or a customer service phone number you can call.
Public Mobile is a self-serve carrier.
All questions are answered online through their community forum or live chat on their website.
So if you have any issues you will have to post your question online and wait for an answer. Or search the forum to see if anyone had a similar question.
I have used the forum many times to get help and have found it to be great. Often times someone else has already asked my question so I can find the answers I’m looking for by doing a quick search.
3G vs LTE
Public Mobile offers their data through 3G speeds. That doesn’t mean that you will not have access to Telus’s LTE network.
What this does mean is that downloading speeds are throttled back to 3G speed (approximately 3Mbps) as opposed to LTE speed (approximately 100+ Mbps).
So if you are a heavy data user or downloader, then Public Mobile may not be for you.
But, I personally do a TON of work off of my phone and have never had an issue with Public Mobile or its network speeds.
These are a few of the reasons why Public Mobile is so cheap.
Use referral code E9P6R3 to save $10 when signing up for Public Mobile.
Public Mobile SIM Card
You will need to get a Public Mobile SIM card when switching plans. These SIM cards can be bought on Amazon, directly from the Public Mobile website (that’s what I did) or from a number of third party brick and mortar retailers.
To see where you can buy your Public Mobile SIM card in person click here.
But a word of caution.
When you buy a SIM card in-store the employee will try to get you to sign up on the spot and not do it yourself. Avoid this if at all possible.
When you sign up in-store you lose the ability to get your $10 referral bonus (and any other current bonus at the time) when you sign up on your own. Remember to get your $10 bonus use referral code E9P6R3 at sign up.
How to get the most out of your Public Mobile Plan?
Has this Public Mobile review convinced you yet?
If you are ready to save money on your cell phone plan every month and be rewarded for your loyalty, then Public Mobile is for you.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your switch to Public Mobile
- Take advantage of the Rewards program to start saving money on your bill right away. (On top of the already low prices)
- Use referral code E9P6R3 to get an instant $10 savings when you sign up
- Choose the right plan for you and don’t get too much plan than you need.
- In order to find out how much plan you need, check your current cell phone usage for the past 3 months.
- Watch your email regularly because Public Mobile often sends out bonus rewards like free data and long-distance minutes
Signing Up for Public Mobile
Signing up for Public Mobile is quick and easy.
Once you have a SIM card, head over to Public Mobile’s website by clicking here.
Fill out all the relevant information and then input your phone information.
You can keep your same number. And Public Mobile will take care of cancelling your old plan.
With just a few clicks of a mouse you will be set up with your new cheaper phone plan.
Public Mobile IS for you if:
- You live in an area that has coverage from Canada’s largest mobile network
- Saving money is your thing
- You own your own phone
- Overpaying for your cell phone plan does not appeal to you
- You feel comfortable getting your questions answered online instead of calling a foreign call centre
- Being rewarded for your loyalty sounds good
Public Mobile is NOT for you if:
- You use a lot of data every month (Public Mobile does not have the best options for unlimited data usage)
- The thought of not being able to talk to someone in person if you have issues is a no-go for you
- You happen to live in an area that currently does not have good service offered by Telus
- You are okay with being at the mercy of cellphone companies and their ever-changing rates
- Currently, you don’t own your own phone
- Being rewarded for your loyalty doesn’t appeal to you
I hate paying more for things than I have to – but I’m also not always willing to sacrifice to save money. With Public Mobile you can really get the best of both worlds. You have the possibility of getting a $0 phone plan on Canada’s largest cell phone network.
This Public Mobile review includes everything you need to know to save money and switch your cell phone plan. Remember to use referral code E9P6R3 to instantly save $10.
And if you have any other questions leave them below in the comments and I will be sure to answer them there and add them to this Public Mobile review.