An Internet Provider isn’t always up front with their pricing structure. Tiered bandwidth levels, software add-ons, and premium installation are all words that salespeople use to try to get extra money from leery customers. However, you can beat the system and get the Internet service you want without surrendering as much of your hard-earned money every month.
Get the Service You Need
When you speak to your Internet provider salesperson, over the phone or in-person, they will probably ask you what tier of service you need, and they may frame it as “Do you want slow or fast Internet Service?” However, this question is a bit misleading, as low bandwidth doesn’t necessarily mean slow.
If you only use the Internet for reading email, checking social networking sites, and looking at news articles, than a cheap, low-bandwidth option will give just enough speed at a reasonable price. Though salespeople may try to convince you that you need the highest-tiered service, unless you are uploading videos, playing intense video games, or streaming movies over services like Netflix, then you do not need an expensive high-speed service.
If you’d prefer to shop online for a low-cost Internet provider in your area, click here and enter your address to find the services available to you.
Stay Away From High-Cost Premium Bundles
Though bundling your services usually saves you money, if the bundle includes premium phone or cable service, don’t be afraid to stay away from it. While some companies do offer low-cost basic bundles, most use this topic to offer premium services to customers who want more channels or features at a lower price.
If you do find a basic bundle that only offers the services that you want (with absolutely nothing extra) make sure you do some math to make sure it doesn’t cost more to put the services together than to buy them “à la carte”. Make sure to ask the salesperson for exact prices (including surcharges and sales tax) for both the bundle and each service and don’t be afraid to let them wait while you get your calculator.
Take Advantage of Start-Up Rates With a New ISP
Even if you have your Home Phone and Cable TV service through a single company, it may behoove you to go through a different Internet Service Provider (ISP) as you will likely get a promotional rate that is quite cheaper than what your existing company might offer you. Once the promotional period ends, don’t be afraid to switch again to another Internet provider if the numbers add up.
Don’t Accept Charges For Hardware/Installation
Most companies will give you free installation and a free modem when you are a new customer. But if you are signing up (or modifying) your service through an Internet provider that you already use, they might tack on these extra fees as part of your service. However, don’t be afraid to tell the salesperson that you do not want to pay these charges, especially when new customers get them for free.
Ask if there are existing customer waivers or ways you can get discounts elsewhere to make up the cost if they are not working with you, and don’t be afraid to tell the company that you don’t mind taking your business elsewhere.
Say “No” to Software Packages
Often, ISPs will offer “discounted” rates on subscription-based software (such as Anti-Virus software) that they can include with your service. While this might seem convenient at first, generally you can find competitor’s products for a cheaper rate, and you won’t have to worry about your Internet bill fluctuating as software license fees change from year to year. Even if the software they are trying to sell you interests you, do some research first and check out reviews and look for discount prices before accepting it as part of a package.
Though it might seem a little old-fashioned, when all else fails don’t be afraid to negotiate and offer your own reasonable billing rate to the person you are speaking with. Salespeople are surprisingly willing to work with you on finding a price and service that meets your needs. Give the Internet provider representative you are speaking with your budget and a realistic number you can afford, and let them figure out what they can do to meet your needs. It is their job to earn your business, so let them do the heavy lifting while you weigh your options.
Getting a better rate on your Internet is a daunting task. But by being diligent, and unafraid to make some telephone calls, you can get just the right amount of bandwidth you need at a price you can easily afford. Again, you can check the rates on services in your area here, and feel free to call the toll-free number listed on their provider page.