Shopping for a new ISP certainly isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, though it’s necessary to ensure that your business or home is equipped with a good connection for a good price. ISPs have plenty of marketing tricks up their sleeves to get you to sign up, but it’s unwise to jump right into a service package without first looking around. You might find that the competition is more willing to budge on pricing or features, or that there’s a similar package somewhere for less money per month. Essentially, you should always shop around when choosing a new ISP, and here are four reasons why.
Obviously, the price is going to be at the very top of your consideration list. The price of your services will vary from brand to brand, and different packages, though similar in nature, will cost either close to the same amount or an entirely different amount if it’s being offered during a promotional period. Internet is relatively affordable in most cases, but ISPs often have other services to offer such as phone or TV, and they’ll likely attempt to convince you to sign up for a bundle to “save money”.
First and foremost, consider your budget. Whether it’s for a business or your home, what’s the maximum amount of money that you can allocate to internet services per month? $60? $90? $20? This amount will help you stay firm when you’re being bombarded with “new offers” and “savings packages”. No doubt each ISP will have its own marketing techniques, but if you remain true to your budget, you won’t so easily fall victim to the ISP’s efforts.
It’s important to compare pricing between competitors because many ISPs offer similar services. Spectrum and Comcast may offer nearly the same monthly service packages, but the prices could be vastly different. Consider the features of the package, including speed, reliability, the customer service record of the company, and the cost of the equipment.
2. ISPs are Notorious for Poor Customer Service
Let’s talk about customer service, because your friendly neighborhood ISP may not be so “friendly” after all. Many ISPs have received numerous complaints about their customer service efforts and have earned for themselves a less than favorable reputation among customers. Unfortunately, the number of ISPs in the US has dwindled as a seemingly monopolized industry has come to be. Although there are around 2,000 ISPs in the country, the largest five are AT&T, Spectrum, Comcast, Verizon, and Charter. Of these five, three at least have had a record of poor customer service, leaving many to wonder why ISPs treat customers so poorly.
When you’re shopping around for internet service, you must consider the customer service records of the ISPs you’re looking into. Good customer service can certainly come in handy when issues arise, and you wouldn’t want to do business with an organization that doesn’t value its customers.
If you’re trying to find the best ISP in your area, you’ll want to do as much research as possible to ensure you’re getting a good deal, good customer service, and reliable equipment.
3. Increased Competition
The competition between the largest ISPs in the country is as heated as it gets. Each is vying for the loyalty of its current customers and the business of new customers. Promotional periods, discounts, and other incentives are being offered across the board, and you might be able to benefit from the ISP wars.
Many companies are willing to offer an introductory price to new customers that’s nearly half the cost of regular service for the first few months or years. This marketing technique is effective, but be certain of when the introductory period ends, as well as how much more the service will cost once it’s over.
Many companies are even willing to match the competition’s price, or, in better circumstances, modify service plans to beat the competition. With so much competition, you should be able to find the right service package for the best price you can get your hands on.
4. Your Area Might Have Limited Options
Unfortunately, not even high-speed internet is offered in every area of the country. It’s important to shop around because your area may offer only limited options, especially if you live in a rural area. The inner-city usually offers more choices, but rural customers are far more limited in their choices and, therefore, must be more careful when making a decision.
Check the price and features of each available package and determine which will fit your needs the best. You may only have access to two or three different options, depending on where you live.
ISPs are in constant competition to attract new customers, and you can use this to your advantage to acquire the best service package for the best price. Don’t forget to check the company’s service record to ensure you’re not signing on with a company that doesn’t value its customers.