This post comes from partner site WhistleOut.com.
Your home internet bill is easy to forget about. You sign up for internet service when you first move into your home or apartment and then leave it be. But paying attention to your internet bill could mean saving hundreds of dollars each year. There are a couple of simple steps to get there.
First, find out what you’re really paying
When you sign up for a home internet plan, most providers will give you a special introductory rate for the first 12-24 months of service (depending on the provider).
But once this introductory period is up, your monthly cost goes up without warning. Your bill could go up by $20 a month or even $50 a month. Make sure you know when your special monthly rate ends and how much you’ll be paying for internet from that point forward — or if you are already past the introductory period.
Be prepared to switch providers
Call your current provider and tell them you would like to cancel your service. They will undoubtedly ask you why and try to keep you when you tell them that the cost is too high. This is the first thing you should do before your monthly rate increases.
If your provider won’t continue to give you a good deal, then it’s time to move onto Plan B — switch to a new internet provider.
Switching to a new internet provider may seem like a hassle, but it’s not bad if you get big savings, like I did. Here’s how it worked:
I was on an AT&T Internet 50 plan which cost me $50 a month for 50Mbps speeds. It was going to go up by $10 a month in May, and AT&T wasn’t willing to continue this rate for me. So I switched to Spectrum, with an introductory rate of $44.99 a month for 200Mbps speeds. So, not only am I now saving $15 a month ($180 a year), I’m also getting internet speeds four times faster than I had before.
After 12 months on this plan, Spectrum will increase my bill by $15 a month, but I’ll just switch back to AT&T after that to their $50 a month internet plan.
Some additional things to know
- Contracts: Before canceling your internet plan, make sure you’re at the end of your contract (if you have one), otherwise you may be charged early termination fees. The good thing is, your introductory rate usually lasts for the length of your contract. Some providers, such as Spectrum, will actually pay for your early termination fees if you switch to them.
- Installation fees: It’s common for internet providers to charge upfront fees for installation when you first sign up. However, it’s also common for them to waive this fee for you. If in doubt, be sure to ask one of their representatives if there is an installation fee and, if so, whether it can be waived. Or, if you are comfortable doing so, install it yourself to avoid the fee.
- New customer: You may be thinking that you’re technically no longer a “new” customer if you were a customer a year or two ago. However, most internet providers count you as a new customer in as little as 90 days after you’ve canceled your service. So, yes, you’ll still be eligible for introductory rates.
- Additional discounts: When choosing a new internet plan, be sure to look for online deals first. There are a number of deals offered to customers who order online only, including:
- Free modem/router rental
- Free installation
- Rewards cards
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