Times are tough and looking at your Internet bill each month can be a painful reminder of how much is leaving your bank account. Fortunately, you can fight back and reduce the price of your Internet with a little knowledge and a couple phone calls.
Know What You Need
In order to get the lowest prices youll need to shop around. But before you shop around you should already have an idea of what you need. There are a lot of options out there for service: Dial-up, Cable, DSL, fiber optic. Do you need TV or voice service to go with it?
What happens if you can get a great deal on a bundle, will you be willing to pay more? Whats your budget each month for service? How much can you afford? Do you need blazing fast Internet or are you a more casual surfer and can make do with dial-up? You dont want to overbuy for your needs. Knowing exactly what you need will make the whole process easier, so when youre negotiating with a company rep you can ask better questions.
Do Some Research
Pay attention to your bill. Has the provider made a mistake? It can happen. Are they charging you for equipment rental? Maybe you can save money by buying your own modem or router.
There are several sites that will locate ISPs by area. Take a few minutes to see whats available in your neighborhood and what they offer. Depending on where you live, you might have five different companies that offer everything from DSL to fiber optics, or you may only have one dial-up provider.
Start saving mailers and ads youve been seeing. Check online forums and consumer reports to see what kinds of deals other customers have gotten. It will give you a good starting place when you need to make a deal.
Larger providers offer TV, phone, and Internet, and some a combination of the three. Most will offer a better deal when bundling services.
Some ISPs (typically in rural areas) will give you a huge price break if you agree to prepay for services. Socket Internet in Missouri, for example, will cut your annual bill if you prepay for the entire year.
Negotiate And Re-negotiate
Try contacting the company youre interested in via different methods, such as chat, website, or phone. Dont be afraid to call and then try back later if you dont get the deal you want. Some sales associates are friendlier than others.
Get a quote from an ISP and then take that price to competitors to see if theyll match it. Ask about any current deals and promotions they might be offering. What will the total cost be each month with taxes?
Generally providers will offer one price for the first six months of service and then jack it up after the introductory period is over. As soon as that promotional period is over, call them back and re-negotiate. If youve been a loyal customer for a few years, ask them why they treat other customers better than you. Call them up and ask to be transferred to the retention department, then threaten to leave and move to another company that will offer a better price.