Hidden costs you need to be aware of with long-term internet contracts
Internet | 6 February 2018
Admit it: few things are more annoying than trying to stream a video that constantly stops to load the content. The buffering icon can drive even the calmest person insane. That’s why finding the right internet service provider (ISP) can make a world of difference.
But, navigating the marketing jargon and understanding the difference between upload and download speed can at times be a challenge. And, don’t even let us get started with the fine print.
Technical language combined with the small font can make it difficult for almost anyone to understand what they’re signing up for. You may be thinking that you have found a great deal when, in fact, hidden costs are just waiting to jump out at you when you least expect it.
In this article, we’ll make sure that you understand your internet service contract so you can avoid any unwanted charges or inconveniences.
Hint: You may choose to go with a no contract service like MATE instead of signing your life away on a long-term deal!
1. there’s a limit to your “unlimited broadband”
If you choose a plan that has a data limit of 15GB per month and you download 20GB then, of course, you can expect to pay an overcharge fee.
So what’s the solution, you sign up for “Unlimited Broadband”, right?
Unfortunately, unlimited still doesn’t mean unlimited in some cases. Some services will simply slow down your internet significantly after exceeding the data cap that is hidden in your contract, instead of charging you for every extra megabyte you download.
2. cancellation fees
Most internet providers offer the cheapest deals to the users that sign lengthy contracts (two years or more.) But, if you decide to cancel your plan after only a few months, then you can expect to receive a hefty fee.
You can easily avoid these costs by planning in advance. For example, don’t sign up for a two year contract if you’re only going to spend one year in your new apartment. It will cost you less in the long run if you pay the regular monthly fees than if you cancel your contract or transfer it to another address.
3. line rental
Some internet service providers will try to squeeze every penny they can with services you had no idea you would pay for in the beginning. Providers tend to forget to include the line rental fees when presenting their services, but it’s there in the contract.
Look for line rental and broadband bundles that can reduce this cost significantly. Or, if you want to cut out this fee altogether, purchase fibre optic or mobile broadband since neither of them require a landline connection.
4. free hardware that isn’t exactly free
Internet service providers like to throw in a few freebies, such as a free wireless router or anti-virus to make it look like you are getting an excellent deal. Be careful, though: most of the time you will have to pay higher monthly fees for the free hardware you receive.
Some ISPs may also offer you incentives, such as a free laptop to persuade you to choose their services. If that happens, read the details of the contract carefully. More often than not, the long-term contracts these providers offer aren’t very competitive on price because they are building in the cost of the equipment.
Every internet service provider out there wants to make you think that they are the best option on the market. So, they will promise you the fastest internet for an impressive monthly package, and a trip to Unicorn Island with every internet/phone bundle.
Don’t fall for these tricks.
These promotional deals often don’t last for the entirety of your contract. Most of them expire after 6 or 12 months, and then they will charge the standard rate. In some instances, they may even take away the extras they offered in the beginning.
Double check to make sure you know what you are signing up for. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The best word of advice that we can give is that you should never settle for the first offer that comes your way. Shop around, compare deals, and look for a provider that can meet your needs and budget.
Don’t let any big promises or claims fool you. Although it can be a pain in the neck, it may be worthwhile to read through the details carefully and look for any hidden fees or charges. That way you know that you are always the one in control.
Here at MATE, we know that you want no compromises when it comes to your internet needs. So, we strive to provide a great service with no lock-in contract. That means no fees for changing or cancelling your plans.
Sound interesting? Check us out!