Thanks to the rapid spread of digitalization, people can easily shop for competitive and cheap Wi-Fi plans. Moreover, cable companies aren’t the only ones who offer these services. Phone providers, amongst others, allow you to lower your average internet bill and pick between different cheap internet deals. However, cable corporations still have a strong monopoly, even though it is diminishing.
In many areas in the United States, consumers only have access to one or a few Wi-Fi service providers. As a result, these companies can charge two consumers a different price for the same service, based on where each of them lives. In fact, some firms’ prices depend on your ability to pay, rather than the value of your deal.
Nonetheless, consumers still have a lot of power to lower their average internet bill. Negotiating with your service provider, to begin with, allows you to unravel cheap internet deals that companies may hide from buyers. Similarly, certain corporations will add items to users’ packages, even if customers didn’t ask for it. If you only have one provider in your area, there are still other ways to lock in cheap Wi-Fi plans.
Negotiations and Cheap Internet Deals
A recent study looked at the pricing policies of different Wi-Fi providers across the country. The Wall Street Journal report found that Comcast’s average internet bill is between $45 to $155.
To clarify, this is how much the corporation charges households that have the exact same service and speed.
Equally as important, internet providers, in general, do not reward long-term customers with cheap Wi-Fi plans. However, those that used the same company for one year or less receive a $21 discount per month, on average.
Knowing that cable providers can easily make your bill more affordable, just as they do with other consumers, gives you plenty of room to bargain. After all, these companies prefer to lower your average internet bill instead of losing your business all together.
Your bargaining power is even more effective when you have other options. For example, consumers in areas that have more than one service provider get a 25% additional discount through Comcast. The company’s customers who live in competitive locations also pay seven dollars less each month.
Extra Charges and Your Average Internet Bill
More than two-thirds (68%) of Americans only have one option. In most cases, it happens to be Comcast, the country’s largest provider. This, however, doesn’t make their ability to negotiate any weaker.
Firstly, customers should check their monthly billing statement to make sure that they’re not paying for unneeded services. To illustrate, at least two state governments are suing Comcast for adding services that customers never asked for or, at times, outright declined.
Minnesota’s attorney general sued Comcast for lying about their fees. Consumers in the North Star State paid over $18 per month when they signed up for certain cable programs.
Initially, Comcast told customers that the government mandated this fee on sports channels and related services. However, the information is not true, which is why Minnesota’s government filed charges against the company.
Similarly, a Washington State court fined Comcast almost nine million dollars because of this practice. More specifically, the corporation charged consumers an extra five dollars per month for protection plans.
The court found that not only is this plan worthless, but Comcast also added these charges without their customers’ consent.
In short, check your invoice and make sure that similar fees are not included. This is one way to lower your average internet bill.
Phone Companies and Cheap Wi-Fi Plans
If Comcast (or another company) is the only option in your area, resorting to telecommunications firms might help you find cheap internet deals.
On any smartphone, users may turn on a Wi-Fi hotspot. After that, they can connect their laptops and other mobile devices to this network. This allows you to go online just as a traditional modem does.
However, there are certain downsides to mobile hotspots. Firstly, the connection is relatively slow, especially after consumers use a lot of data. Secondly, hotspot connections may dramatically increase your monthly phone bill.
Having said that, certain companies, such as AT&T, will provide you with a modem that is separate from your phone. Since the firm operates nationwide, customers can resort to their services when there is only one cable provider in their location.
While you don’t have to get an AT&T phone to get this offering, existing customers may receive cheap Wi-Fi plans by signing up for internet services.
Equally as important, other telecommunications firms have their own discounts, whether its through utilizing mobile hotspots or ordering a traditional modem.
Contracts and Competition
If you signed a contract, your cable provider will charge you fees for cancelling the services early. Most of the time, companies require customers to pay a fine on each month that remains in their contract.
A consumer with a two-year contract, for instance, may want to cancel their services a year after they go them. Their provider would charge them a fee of ten dollars on every remaining month, which is equal to $120 for the 12-months period.
As inconvenient as this may be, there are several ways to avoid these penalties. Needless to say, a good place to start would be to find a company that doesn’t require you to sign a contract.
However, this is not an option to those that already committed to a Wi-Fi and/or cable plan. Dealing with the fees, in this case, goes back to your negotiating power.
By contacting a provider’s customer service team, you might successfully convince them to drop these cancellation penalties.
Highlighting your concerns, such as when you don’t need high-speed Wi-Fi anymore, could lead the representative to offer you cheap internet deals instead of canceling the account altogether.
Equally as important, because of how competitive this industry is, some companies will pay your previous provider’s late fees in order to incentivize customers to switch.
Cheap Wi-Fi Plans and Your Average Internet Bill
Whether you have one or multiple service providers in your area, there are several ways to get cheap internet deals.
Consumers who live in locations that have more than one company can negotiate a lower price relatively easily. Even if you only have one choice, users can still remove certain fees or resort to telecommunications firms for internet services.
If you find cheap Wi-Fi plans, contact your provider and explain to them that there are more affordable options elsewhere. Since many companies charge customers different rates for the same services, they can certainly offer you a cheaper price.
Another way to lower your average internet bill is by checking it. Some providers will add unwanted services (and, therefore, fees) to your statement. You might be able to have them removed or, even better, refunded.
At the end of the day, informed consumers that understand their options and the makeup of their bills will likely find the cheapest internet prices.