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Old 02-25-2010, 09:11 AM
 
705 posts, read 1,762,894 times
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After reading the "I start to hate Canada" post, one thing that does strike one as a real and painful blow is the monopoly problem. Having lived in the largest city in both Calfornia and Ontario, I know the grass is not always greener on the other side, but on this side, one thing that has always bothers me is the brutal monopoly that gives rises to way higher cost to the consumer and much worse and less services. however we intend to deny that or try to find excuses, Canada needs to find a solution to fix this in order to be competitive in the long run.

Let's start with airflights. Flying the same distance in Canada usually costs 2 to 3 times the cost in the US. And it is NOT simply the higher fuel tax and airport fees. It is more the fact that we only have Air Canada (Westjet and others, well, not exactly real competitors). They have very little competition. Flying from Toronto to Vancouver usually costs $550-$600 while from New York to Seattle $200-$300 (a shorter distance actually). Eventually consumers have to live with that while Air Canada gains. The reason is simply, there are a dozen competing big US airlines who are constantly compelled to cut unnecessary operating costs and lower air fare in order to stay in business. while in Canada, it is like whatever.

Rogers along with Bell and Telus are not really competing against each other. If you look at the plans they are offering, you can but notice that they must be colluding. $7-$9 system access fee, for real? You have to pay for caller ID and voicemail?? Three year contracts?? Roaming charges?? Domestic long distance changes?? I am sorry but they don't exist in the US. If you say customers need to pay any of these "services", you will be out of the business instantly. If you are in a $50 a month plan with At&T or T-mobil, you can call anyone to anywhere in the US with no extra charge. Why is that? Bigger market of course is one reason, but more importantly is competition. There is hardly any among the Canadian service providers. Every time there is a new entrant, Rogers simply buys it in order to maintain this market power. I don't know why the government tolerates that.

Car insurance. I am not very familar with this, but the cost in TO is more than twice higher than LA. I can't think of a reasonable reason except that the drivers are being ripped off due to lack of competition.

TTC: the biggest shame for the city. I don't even want to comment on that any longer. Some enjoy quoting it as "the second most extensive" in North America, why not talk about cost and efficiency. I am sure it is among the highest and lowest respectively.

I don't deny there are other factors contributing to the higher cost for everything, but one fundamental reason is the existance of monopoly power and the lack the competiton and therefore the motivation to really manage their operating costs and providing better and more services at the same time. And we as consumers eventually have to pay for all this because we don't have much choice. For example, if you find the cable TV service is horrible and cost keeps rising, you are mad and call Bell, only to find theirs is even worse! That is, from my experience, the greatest misfortune and frustration about living in Canada, as I can't help wondering, I have got less and worse services, but the cost is even higher??
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Colorado
1,524 posts, read 2,559,764 times
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No, no you're just imagining it! Plus, unlike in the US, in Canada the cable and internet companies will be a lot nicer to you on the phone!


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Old 02-25-2010, 12:29 PM
 
Location: B.C., Canada
11,874 posts, read 10,079,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkgg7 View Post
....... Canada needs to find a solution to fix this in order to be competitive in the long run..............
Maybe the solution is for Canadians to breed like rabbits until Canada has 10 times the population it has now. 10 X the population = 10 X the competition and the service costs can be lowered because there'll be 10 X as many paying customers needing 10 X as many more services. Then everyone can live high off the hog and spend like crazy.

That might work out okay as long as Canada's economy doesn't take a nose-dive and end up with a huge national debt, needing bailouts, going into recession with many services going out of business, declaring bankruptcy, and the country being owned by all it's international creditors.

Just a thought.

.

Last edited by Zoisite; 02-25-2010 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:54 PM
 
155 posts, read 432,608 times
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Canada actually does have the competetion, but its not available throughout the nation. THAT is the problem. In Nova scotia and other areas you have Eastlink. Rogers in Toronto. Shaw out west. Bell is around.. And probably a few others in between. If all these companies were available everywhere it would help solve the problem because then, as a Toronto resident who hates rogers to death, I could switch to Eastink, or Shaw. Then maybe their retentions dept would change things up a bit and reduce some of the stupid fees, charges and rates. Instead, when you feel like your being cheated, they sit on the phone doing nothing, knowing full well they are the only one available to you. Then you get mad, then they hang up. The cycle then continues, people in this country continue taken er' up the rear and the government continues to allow companies to own you.

As for insurance, I'm not that familiar with how it works in other provinces, but here in Ontario, Its BS! If your under 25 with a lease that requires full coverage, GOOD LUCK! because even with a non sport car, 4 door, hell even a minivan, your looking at 300.00 a month easily. Before I got my own place when I still had a car, it was my own, not financed or leased. It was a 1993 acura Integra with liability only and I was paying 360.00 a month. No prior tickets or anything! WHy is it like this? Who knows?.. Because they can I guess!

TTC... Yeah, lets not go there!
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Central Alberta
156 posts, read 368,192 times
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Air Canada? My family has been flying Westjet for the last 8 years, not so popular out east?

We have Bell Rogers and Shaw here, with a new company called WIND Mobile. Nice to see, many people I know pay more than $100/month for their cell phone.

Insurance in Alberta, well I'm under 25 and not married so I pay alot. 4 years with no tickets and I'm -4 on out 'grid' system and I pay $1200/yr for liability only. I have fire + theft on my truck which is another $400/yr. If I rolled it tomorrow I'd be out of $15,000 though. You must have full coverage with a lease here as well, but I think thats a good thing. That $1200 liability is the same no matter the vehicle. Here is how it works: Alberta Automobile Insurance Rate Board - Premium Grid Rate Calculator btw full coverage on my truck would run me at least $340/month.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:22 PM
 
705 posts, read 1,762,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiD310 View Post
As for insurance, I'm not that familiar with how it works in other provinces, but here in Ontario, Its BS! If your under 25 with a lease that requires full coverage, GOOD LUCK! because even with a non sport car, 4 door, hell even a minivan, your looking at 300.00 a month easily. Before I got my own place when I still had a car, it was my own, not financed or leased. It was a 1993 acura Integra with liability only and I was paying 360.00 a month. No prior tickets or anything! WHy is it like this? Who knows?.. Because they can I guess!
That's what confuses me. I had my first car when I was 24, and it was a sport car. The insurers in LA changed me only about $1,300/year with full coverage. And LA is the most expensive when it comes to car insurance in CA. I can only surmise that insurance companies in TO are either extremely inefficient in managing cost, or they are making huge profits, because statistically speaking, there should not be significant difference between LA and TO in terms of expected accident rate and amount of claim.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:32 PM
 
705 posts, read 1,762,894 times
Reputation: 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Maybe the solution is for Canadians to breed like rabbits until Canada has 10 times the population it has now. 10 X the population = 10 X the competition and the service costs can be lowered because there'll be 10 X as many paying customers needing 10 X as many more services. Then everyone can live high off the hog and spend like crazy.

That might work out okay as long as Canada's economy doesn't take a nose-dive and end up with a huge national debt, needing bailouts, going into recession with many services going out of business, declaring bankruptcy, and the country being owned by all it's international creditors.

Just a thought.

.
As I mentioned, economies of scales is one factor, but is by no means the whole story. Just imaging, if you are the only seller of bread in the neighorhood, why do you bother trying every way to reduce your cost. Charging an increasingly high price will be the most convenient way to do it. But if there are 2, they need to think about, and if there are 20, you really don't have much choice but to the best you and everyone else can, either by reducing cost, or providing even better products.

When I wrote this, I knew many will use this as an excuse. If population is the main reason, why not let At&T, Tmobil etc all enter the Canadian market and see what happens?
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:27 PM
 
Location: B.C., Canada
11,874 posts, read 10,079,619 times
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Quote:
If population is the main reason, why not let At&T, Tmobil etc all enter the Canadian market and see what happens?
Are they Canadian businesses? Do they NEED Canadian customers and Canadian support? I don't think so.

Personally I prefer to support Canadian businesses and Canadian economy, I like to keep my money at home. I'm not comfortable with the idea of international mega-businesses putting Canadian businesses OUT of business and profiting at the expense of the Canadian economy and infrastructure. Wal-Mart comes to mind. LOL.

.

Last edited by Zoisite; 02-25-2010 at 04:35 PM..
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
2,200 posts, read 4,087,620 times
Reputation: 1374
Sorry if this pokes anybody wrongly, but the title of this thread makes me want to play a Monopoly board game where all of the streets/places are based off of streets/places in Mississauga.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Central Alberta
156 posts, read 368,192 times
Reputation: 73
Ohhh here's another that grinds my gears! I like to shop online because of much better pricing and selection. How come it is free to ship to sweetgrass, or any other border city. Yet if it comes over the border 20 km the shipping shoots sky high?

Oh, can't forget UPS brokerage fee's! Anyone who has shopped online knows about that fantastic deal! I'm just happy I'm close enough to the border to use shipping outlets inside the USA.
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