Guest Post

An Open Letter from Shawna Yanke to Freedom “Sort of Like If You Take Things They Are Technically Free” Mobile

This week’s open letter is from Shawna Yanke to Freedom Mobile. Shawna is upset. Shawna did not write the title. I did. I think ‘Freedom Mobile’ is a silly name. So is Wind. You might as well have named it “Basically Bell Mobile”. At least the consonant repetition would have tickled my tongue.

An Open Letter to Freedom Mobile

I switched to your mobile service in early July 2016, despite being hesitant at all the reddit comments and online reviews saying your 3G-only service was slow and without great coverage of Calgary, but I was very optimistic about my bank account being less damaged by your prices. Coming off almost 10 years of having expensive plans with Telus, I thought I could put up with whatever you had in store for me if it meant not getting gouged every month.

I heartily went to the store to change my plan over, begrudgingly paid the $50 Telus demanded to unlock my device (because I would be given an additional $5 off my plan if I brought my own device). You let me keep my number, which was great, and I waited the 45 odd minutes for that to port through. The guy in the store set me up with an account that required I pay my monthly amount first to top up my ‘balance’ and then explained that Wind (as it was known by then) would deduct my bill amount after the pre-authorized payments were in my account.

Months went by without issue, and I even got an email from you guys excitedly saying you would be offering LTE speeds (albeit, at a higher price point) in my area in the summer or fall of 2017. I was very excited at this, naturally, and was a bit dismayed to find out I would not be eligible for that LTE speed unless I bought one of your two phones you offer. This seemed odd, as my current device worked just fine on Telus’ LTE network, but I looked online and decided the nicer of the two phones would be a nice update, as my current phone is over 3 years old and not the greatest anymore.

Now, bear in mind, at this point I am already making excuses/accommodations for you, because your prices are that good, but these are all things I didn’t have to deal with when I was through Telus.

But then the problems started that made me question how far I would stick by you guys.

I went to the store, current phone all backed up on my laptop and ready to wipe, as by trading in my current device, I would receive a credit towards my new one. The less money spent, the better, right? I wanted to get a device on a ‘MyTab’ boost option (discounted phone, you pay a certain amount towards the phone each month – basically a fancy financing plan for your device) because again, cheaper.

The guy there tells me I must be on a Pay After plan for the MyTab boost, an option I wasn’t even aware of or offered when I started up with this provider. Either way, I’m fine with being billed for my usage after the fact, so I tell him I’ll gladly switch to this plan. He says he must check my credit – fine, call your headquarters, I’ve been approved for a mortgage, car loan and my own phone plan every time, so fire away.

His face sinks, and tells me that unfortunately I didn’t meet the credit requirements for a Pay After plan.

Sorry, what?

He says I still have the option to buy out the device flat out – um, no thanks. I came in expecting to spend maybe $500/$600, not over $1000. I go home, and start composing emails.

None of your ‘customer service experts’ were able to help me, just say that this is how it is, you must be on a Pay After plan (which I already know, as stated in my email) and that if the guy says I’m not eligible for this, I’m not eligible.

I wrote back that I might as well buy that device outright elsewhere, as it may be cheaper, and then I could at least qualify for the $5 off per month for bringing my own device again. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

“Regrettably, we are no longer offering credits for bring a phone from another provider or company to Freedom Mobile.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Basically, I’m boned either way. I will not be able to take advantage of Freedom’s LTE speeds because I cannot afford this phone. I tell you this, Customer Service agent, and your response has simply been “I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause”. Insert bottled response here.

In conclusion, I am forced to say that I don’t believe the MyTab boost option is actually available to anyone with anything less than stellar credit, and this means that your LTE service is not only more expensive than your other plans, but also not available to anyone who cannot buy your phone flat out (cheapest option is $600 outright, the only other phone is $1000).

If switching to another provider were financially viable, I would be leaving you in a heartbeat, but for the time being, you have me and my cell phone held captive in your service, not entirely unlike financial blackmail.

So thanks for that.


A begrudgingly loyal customer,

Shawna Yanke

Guest Blog – Burn the Bra Week 2

It has been a hellish two weeks at work and I completely forgot to post this. I am so, so sorry Shawna! Forgive meeeeeee!


Hello to all of you Kathleen followers, I’m back!

I’ve just finished week 2 of Project #FreeTheNips and I have to say, I’m becoming more and more disenchanted in many ways, but oddly enough… I don’t know if I want to go back…

If you’re 100% confused and have no clue what I’m talking about, I encourage you to read my first post from week 1 of my month of no bra challenge, which can be found here.

So let’s pick up where we left off, yes?

Last Friday, we were just returning home from a meeting with our new landlord to get the keys to our new apartment. We have now moved, and I must say that moving sans bra was a blessing and a curse. A curse because it was somewhat frustrating to not have a ‘shelf’ of sorts to rest things on. I use my boobs (when they provide the help) to store things on, and mostly hold things, not unlike a hand without fingers. Trying to get your keys out of your purse and unlock your apartment door while holding a piping hot to-go cup of tea? Eh, just squeeze your tea between your tatas and free up some hand space. It’s convenient. Every girl does it, and some of us even admit to doing it.

Needless to say, I can’t do this now. If I was carrying boxes out to the car and I had something precariously perched on top (say, Kathleen’s book, for example), my boobs were not available to catch said item and it would fall sadly to the ground. This happened a lot. I am terribly uncoordinated, and whoever thought that giving me big boxes with loose items in/on them deserves to have their stuff dropped.

Speaking of stuff in boxes, I have no idea where 90% of my wardrobe is. In week 1, I was able to choose only the least exposing tops I own to wear to work. When everything is packed away, and you don’t have the foresight to go through the boxes or pick your outfit for the next day, your choices are somewhat (read: extremely) limited and therefore scary. That emotion brings me to my next point about the negative side of this; the anxiety. As I mentioned in my last post, I honestly don’t know how society is viewing this whole experiment. I’m very aware of the fact that my boobs, being the modest B cup they are, are pointy. Not just when I’m cold or aroused, but they are very Madonna-bra-esque. To me, this makes it seem a lot more obvious when I’m not wearing a bra. So I tried asking people.

I told coworkers and friends that I’m doing this, and they ask if I’m wearing one now. I respond honestly and they are shocked that they can’t tell. They then ask about the results (so far) and I tell them what I’ll tell you all now: so far, it’s made many things a lot more difficult, but I can’t decide if it’s worth it or not.

I can’t decide if I want to put it back on and never speak of this time again (because let’s face it, the girls look decidedly more even and therefore better with a bra), or continue on and go bra-less the majority of the time. I mentioned before that moving without a bra was a blessing in some ways. I found that my spacial awareness is somehow better without the bra. The bras I buy are, well, comfortable, that’s why I buy them. They are also push-up bras. (Side note: Again, I can admit it – I’m not well endowed, and they look rounder and better defined with a push-up.

Despite being as comfortable as possible, they tend to throw me off. The girls are being pulled upwards and supported by straps reaching over my shoulders and latching onto another tie about mid-upper back level. They say that bras are terrible for posture, and so it makes sense that it’s easier to throw yourself off if your posture isn’t good. It’s a hard feeling to describe, but whether it’s the posture or the lack of skin-stifling fabric being pulled against my chest, I feel a lot less out of place.

One last thing I have to tell you guys about, mostly because it’s something that I’ve been dealing with for at least a decade, and I’m surprised by its appearance in this matter.

I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, sometimes severe but most times manageable. I had been reading about these blankets that you can buy that are weighted throughout the blanket, and for some reason (primal nature, perhaps?) these weighted blankets can help reduce or eliminate anxiety attacks when you put them on. I haven’t done a lot of research on it, but I have been thinking on it, and I feel that not having the bra on during the day has led to slightly more stress for me. This could be due to the fact that I think people know I’m not wearing a bra (which is not widely accepted, socially speaking) or because the compression is actually keeping me from going into my anxiety-driven downward spiral. It’s probably a touch of both, but at this point, I don’t think I will continue to wear nothing underneath my shirts.

That’s about it for this week, I will be sure to keep you guys updated next Friday. The next hurdle for the #FreeTheNips movement (it’s a thing with a hashtag now – tell your friends!) is going to the gym. I’ll talk again next Friday! In the meantime, go buy Kathleen’s book, Between Fire and Pines!