Internet services have become more necessary in everyday life as people work from home or log on to streaming services to watch movies and TV shows.
But getting internet service to your home can be confusing. You need to find out which providers you have access to or which speed you want to pay for.
So what kind of secrets do ISPs not want you to know about this process? There are a few that can help you get better services and some that can even boost your bank account and put some extra money in your pocket.
1. You can negotiate your contract
Providers want to keep you as a customer and if you call them about your contract they can renegotiate it with you. They may even have secret discounts for loyal customers that you can ask about.
But to negotiate well, you may also need to be willing to walk away. Do your research before you call and be ready to tell them about a better deal you may have found with a competitor. If they can’t match that deal or give you a better discount, it might be time to switch.
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2. You can buy your own router and modem
If you’ve looked at your internet bill recently, you may see a line item for equipment rental. This covers the router and modem you rent from your provider, along with any additional equipment for your service.
If you’re trying to cut back on your internet services, it might be a good idea to buy your own router and modem instead of paying those rental fees. There is an initial cost to investing in your own equipment, but it pays off in the long run.
3. Their hardware may be outdated
An advantage of renting equipment from your provider is that they can send you updated equipment as your older version potentially becomes obsolete. But in other cases, they may drag their feet on updating your hardware due to costs on their end.
Call your provider, especially if you’re having problems with slow internet access, and see if they can provide you with an equipment update.
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4. You may have the wrong plan for your data needs
Do you have a limit on how much data you can use each month? This might not be a big problem if you have the right plan for your daily usage rate. But if you have a data plan with a cap that you regularly hit, it can hit your wallet in a big way.
If you’re trying to save money, you may need to pay a little more to upgrade your data plan to avoid overage charges. Check your bills and see if an upgrade could save you money compared to overage penalties you might be paying.
5. You can save by bundling
Some companies may have ways you can save by bundling several of their services with your internet plan. Perhaps they also offer cable services that could be cheaper than if you choose a live TV streaming provider to pair with your internet services.
6. They can reward loyal customers
Some customers switch from provider to provider every few years. But if you’re a loyal customer, you should ask to be rewarded for your loyalty.
Providers may want to encourage you to continue to stay with them, so see if they can offer you a loyal customer discount or additional services without increasing your bill.
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7. Your unlimited phone plan could be better
Several cell phone providers offer customers an unlimited monthly plan, which means you can turn your phone into an Internet hotspot when you’re at home and ditch your traditional ISP.
However, there are some downsides if you decide to go this route. Using your phone as a hotspot while streaming shows or movies to your television can drain your battery charge. And you might not be able to get the same internet speed through your phone, which can mean lots of buffering if you’re trying to stream a movie on a Friday night.
8. You may qualify for an income-driven plan
Depending on how much money you make and other factors, you may qualify for a cheaper plan based on your income. There may be minimum requirements to qualify, and the service may not be as good as if you were paying for a traditional plan, but it can be a good option if you’re on a budget.
There are ways to lower your internet bill, but don’t be discouraged if your bills are getting the best of your income, there is a way to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Shop around and talk to your provider about how you might be able to adjust your monthly bill and give yourself a little break from fighting inflation.
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This article 8 Secrets Your ISP Doesn’t Want You to Know originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.