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The need for a good internet connection at home has become more essential than ever now that most of the world is working from home. However, internet is anything but cheap, and it seems to only get more expensive the longer you’re with your internet provider. Although we can’t make your bill go away, here are some steps any household can take to lower their internet bill without making any major sacrifices.
Buy your own equipment
One of the simplest ways you can cut costs on your monthly internet bill is to buy your own modem and router. Although internet providers don’t advertise it, most will allow you to buy your own equipment instead of renting from them. Renting a modem and router usually costs $10-$15/mo. That’s up to $180/yr. Conversely, buying your own modem and router usually costs between $50 and $100. That means you could save as much as $130 just in the first year.
Bundle your services
If you have cable TV, you might want to consider bundling your services together in order to save money each month. Bundling internet, TV and even home phone can save you anywhere between $5 and $40/mo. That can make a huge difference.
To save even more money each month, consider reducing your cable TV service to a more basic package or even cutting the cord and opting for a streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu, instead. Cable TV is a major expense and there may be more opportunities for cost shaving with your cable TV bill than with your internet bill.
Make sure you are not paying for more speed than you need
Most people don’t know how much speed they need when they are signing up for internet service. It can be easy to think you need faster speeds than you actually do when internet packages go all the way up to 1,000 Mbps. However, in reality, very few households need speeds above 200 Mbps and most can do with under 100 Mbps. If you think you could manage with a slower internet plan, consider downgrading to save on monthly costs.
Look into switching providers
Although switching providers can seem like a major hassle, it can potentially save you a lot of money. Not only will you get access to the promotional rates again with a new service provider, but you also may be able to find a provider that offers better long-term rates than what you are currently paying.
Your best chance of paying as little as possible when you switch providers is by:
Ordering online: Most providers offer discounts or waive certain fees, such as the installation or activation fee, when you order online.
Switching to fiber optic internet: If fiber optic internet is available in your area, that is likely your best option.
Choosing a long-term contract: Most providers offer discounts for customers who enter into long-term contracts. If you feel comfortable entering a two-year contract, that will likely save you the most money.
Negotiate your bill
Before you go and switch internet providers, try negotiating your bill with your current provider. Negotiating costs can seem intimidating, but if you just stick to the facts and come prepared, it can be fairly straight-forward. Providers don’t want to lose customers so it is likely in their interest to lower your bill in order to keep you as a customer.
Here’s everything you need to know before you start negotiating with your internet provider:
Don’t bluff: If you say you are considering switching internet providers to save on costs, make sure this is true. Do your research and find out which internet providers are available in your area and if you can save money by switching. If your current provider can’t lower your bill and there are better options in your area, then it is time to switch.
Know your customer information: The best way to prepare for negotiating with your internet provider is to know as much information about your monthly bills and any other customer information. To fully prepare for negotiating, collect the following information:
- How much you pay each month
- What each charge on your bill is for (you may be able to get rid of certain charges)
- How long you have been a customer
- How much you are paying now vs. when you signed up
- Any problems you have had with your internet service or with your provider’s customer service
Be polite: Remember you are speaking with another human being and not a robot. Remaining polite and respectful can only help your cause as the person you are speaking with will be much more likely to want to help you if you are likable.
Just remember, as long as you keep the conversation professional and truthful, you’ll do great. Good luck!
Written by:Ari Howard
Associate Writer, Broadband & Wireless Content
Ari is an Associate Writer for the Allconnect team, focusing on broadband and wireless news, as well as broadband and TV provider deals. She recently graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree in… Read more
Edited by:Shannon Ullman
Editor, Broadband & Wireless Content
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