Wireless number portability (WNP), the ability to keep your cellular phone number when you change service providers, came to Canada in March of this year. The masses of consumers looking to free themselves from their frustrating cell companies cheered. Those cheers turned to grumbles with the realization that the spiffy new phones received for “free” came attached to lengthy service contracts. Breaking a contract can make switching to (or from) the company with the cute dogs in the ads prohibitively expensive.
Cue the smart university student using the social networking capabilities of the Internet to solve a problem. Bijan Shahrokhi, an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Toronto, has created CellClients.com, a trading post for unwanted cell phone contracts. If you’re looking to dump your phone plan for something with better coverage or lower long distance rates, sign up and let people know what company you’re with, what your rate plan is, and how much time is left on the contract. If you want to take over a cell phone plan in order to save on activation fees, SIM card fees and all the other sundries that inflate the first phone bill on a new plan, you can browse what’s available and contact a contract holder directly to make the switch.
CellClients.com is a new service, so the user base is rather small. Still, if you want to take advantage of WNP and don’t want to wait out your contract, it’s at least worth a look.
Photo by Bitpicture from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.