Pick and Pay TV packages were launched today, amid a lot of confusion. Customers of Rogers, Bell and other servers will all have new options and limitations within the new CRTC mandate. But what do “skinny” cable packages and Pick and Pay options mean for you?
There will be a $25 basic cable package: The “starter” package, or basic package, is part of the mandate by the CRTC that customers be given the option of a cable subscription for under $25 per month. Bell will have one for $24.95 and Rogers for $24.99.
Controversy already has arisen, with CBC reports indicating that Bell employees are being told to “downplay” the starter package, and play up the (likely more expensive) Pick and Pay option. But for many people a “skinny” cable package will suit their needs fine if they’re happy with basic channels.
You can pick the channels you want to pay for: On top of the basic cable options, you can choose which additional channels you want. This is a good option for someone who only wants to watch a couple of specialty channels. You can also pick supplementary packages to add onto your basic, starting at $3 and going up to $18 per additional package. (Previously, packages cost about $40 for 150 channels, so you’ll wind up paying more or less than that, depending on how many add-on channels you want).
It can add up: People who want many extra channels might pay more than with bundling, because the channels will be individually priced at market value (with Shaw some extra channels cost $3 per month).
Customers confusion and upset over various aspects of the new system are already all over social media:
After looking at Rogers offerings for pick and pay TV, I'm betting a huge majority of people will keep their plans.— Matt Padanyi (@MattPadanyi) February 26, 2016
If you are going to call Bell or Rogers to change your tv package, make sure you record the call. If they lie about pick and pay, NAIL THEM— Tom Crinstam (@THCrinstam) February 27, 2016
UPDATE: One user reports the following experience with trying to order “American News” bundle,
“Rogers was “unable” to sell me the bundle for $10/month because I was a current Basic platform subscriber. Basic package holders are unable to add small bundles or individual channels I was told. I would need to switch my plan to Skinny and pay a fistful of fees and equipment rental charges, and THEN I’d be able to get CNN. I’d be willing to pay $10/month more to them, but they won’t take my money unless its $25/month for the next group of premium channels.” –anonymous customer
– Ashley Foy & Sergei Bleta