These days an internet connection is an essential part of life. Most of us want more speed, unlimited data, highly reliable service, and we want it for a reasonable price.
At the same time the ISP's (Internet Service Providers) need to maximize profits and satisfy shareholders. This is amplified when the ISP's are the major telcos, and are seeing profits decline for telephone and television service as consumers embrace lower cost options such as VOIP, Kodi & Netflix. (See this article on how to lower your monthly bill with these options.)
These opposing goals would be really problematic for the consumer, except there is so much competition for your business that you can comparison shop providers. What I suggest everyone do is make the ISP's compete for your hard-earned dollars. Below is an example of how you can save hundreds a year by making a few calls.
A week ago I noticed my internet contract was coming up to it's expiration date, so I did what I recommend everyone do on an annual basis; I got quotes from other providers, then I called my current provider.
In the end it wound up being a choice between Bell and Rogers. Here's how the pricing broke down:
Amortized over 12 months that would be $130.70/month, or $1,568.35/yr, assuming I never went over my monthly data allowance.
I indicated that Rogers was being far more aggressive on pricing and asked what was the best they could do to win the business. We went back and forth a few times while I politely indicated the price they were discounting was still higher than what Rogers was offering.
In the end Bell offered me their Fibe 50MB downstream/10MB upstream service with unlimited data, no installation fee, and no modem fee for $64.95/month on a 12 month contract. The $49.95 activation fee was still required. They offered to maintain the pricing for an additional 12 months if I wanted.
In other words, for the first 12 months Bell offered to reduce the cost of their offer by $61.59/month. That's a savings of $739.08 for the year, 47% lower than their original offer! (Annual price of $829.35)
I asked if they wanted to do anything to try and keep the business because I had an aggressive offer from Bell.
I was transferred to a loyalty/retention agent. After we spoke the agent offered me two choices:
1) I could keep my current 100MB down/10MB up connection with unlimited data for $3/month less than I was paying now, no installation or activation fees, no modem rental fees for a 1yr contract. My cost would be $59.99/month. (I was already on a heavily discounted plan.)
2) I could upgrade my service to the 250MB down/20MB up package with unlimited data, no installation/activation or modem rental fees (I was already a customer so not a big deal for them) and they would upgrade the modem for free. There would be a small change to my bill, my cost would increase $4/month from my current amount. This was conditional on a 1yr contract.
Rogers' advertised rate for the 250MB service is $97.99/month + $49.99 installation and $14.95 activation. Amortized over 12 months that's $103.40/month, or $1,240.82/yr. Because I called to negotiate I am saving $36.41/month, or $436.92/yr. That's 35% lower than the advertised price!
The decision for me was pretty academic, we put everything over the internet, our telephone, gaming, television, and a growing number of connected devices. I like my speed, so I was pretty easily upsold to the 250MB service and stayed with Rogers.
At least for the next 12 months.
I spent a total of about 30 minutes on the phone getting the offers. I strongly suggest you check your bill and shop your business annually. Agents have some discretion on the offers they give you, so always be cooperative and polite, the agents will be more inclined to give you the best deal they can.
Everyone should be negotiating for unlimited data, and renegotiating price every year. The ISP's profit from consumer complacency.
Isn't it worth a half hour to put at least $400 back in your pocket?
-The Home Geek