When you sign up for internet service, you want to be sure that you know what you’re getting into from the beginning.
Especially if it comes with an internet service contract – since contracts are known for the most part to be confusing and contain things that might not work to your advantage. You don’t want to risk getting beat up with some fine print that was hidden in the agreement that you were legally bound to when you agreed to use your internet provider to fulfill your need to get online.
The idea of contracts alone may be enough to get one thinking. When you start seeing technical terms, small print, and a lengthy agreement you’re more than likely going to be overwhelmed. After all, you want to know what you will be paying for as well as what’s required of you without beating around the bush. For a long time, there wasn’t a true resource to decode contracts for internet service, until this guide came to life and simplified everything for consumers.
How Internet Service Contracts Came to Exist
In the early days of broadband internet before mobile broadband was commonplace, just about every provider would require a contract to be entered by their residential customers. It benefited them in more ways than one, and their customers didn’t benefit this much from it. Simply put, it ensures that they have an increased customer revenue for longer period than if they didn’t require a contract for their broadband internet.
The Time Requirement Associated with Contracts
When you sign a contract for internet, you’re also committing to your ISP for a set length of time in order to “guarantee” your pricing (in most cases) and show them your level of commitment.
The most common contract lengths for high-speed internet are 1, 2, and 3 years with 2 years being the most popular option required by internet service providers. They expect you to stay with them for as long as the contract runs for, and they’ll hit you hard with ETFs (Early Termination Fees) if you don’t.
There’s one thing many people seem to overlook every day when they sign a contract with internet providers is what’s going to happen if they move before the contract runs out. Most importantly, what happens if they move somewhere that they can’t transfer their internet with them? This is one of those things that one doesn’t think about until it happens, and then be faced with early termination fees.
Service Charges That Are Common Among Internet Providers
Contract internet is very popular for hiding the details of extra costs in their contracts, so know what it entails before you sign a contract, regardless. The service charges do vary from provider to provider so it’s hard to lay it all out in a way that it can be accurate for every one of them. However, the most common additional charges with contract high-speed internet are listed below for your convenience.
· Administrative Costs
These are fees that ISPs claim are meant to cover back-office expenses of their company. Everything from their billing department to their customer service reps. One of the most common remarks is it enables them to charge less than others.
· Charges for Service Calls
Not every ISP has these kinds of extra costs, but there are still several that do. If you have issues with your internet and technician must come out, they hit you with a charge for the service call. Some ISPs have criteria where it isn’t charged this way if the criteria are met by their customer beforehand.
· Network Recovery Fees
The reasoning for this is that they pass the cost of maintaining and upgrading their infrastructure to residential customers. It can also be claimed that this is how they’re capable of bringing the lowest costs to the market. Keep your eyes open for this as it does increase the bill just like when taxes and fees are added.
· Overage Fees
While this is rarer than it used to be, overage fees do still exist. At times an ISP may even eliminate caps and hard limits on their network usage just to be able to bill their customers with overage fees. It helps them make more money whereas a bandwidth limit just cuts off usage.
It’s no secret that utility companies aren’t going to intentionally advertise their monthly rates that includes taxes and fees. That would make their service seem even more expensive which they don’t want to risk. After all, if it’s looked at in that light, they’re risking losing residential customers as nobody likes thinking they’re paying more than what they should.
Discover the World of High-Speed Internet Equipment Costs
It’s hard to find an internet provider that doesn’t charge you for the equipment needed to connect you to the online world. The most common ways for them to do this is to pass off additional charges in full when you install your new internet service, or to rent it out to you over time. If they rent it to you, the contract will lay it all out as far as the total purchase price and how the payments are split up over time.
Understanding the Promotions & Their Technicalities
When monthly rates are advertised, it’s usually the monthly rates that are a promotion which is only available for a set amount of time. After the period is up, the price goes to the normal rate forcing subscribers to swallow the higher price point. Don’t be like many people already have and let this sneak up on you only to make your wallet lighter. Do your homework and read your internet contract.
Not only do you need to keep an eye out for increased internet charges, but one common way to find you in violation of the agreement would be to find you in violation of the Terms of Service just to shut your down. If you go to customer service over it, the common response of the violation was valid reason to disable your account permanently.
One more thing. A common marketing tactic for maximizing the earnings from each subscriber is discounted pricing if one opts for a TV package, like how bulk orders receive a better discount than non-bulk orders. Those who take advantage of a TV package that are bundled with their internet will get the better deal. At least that’s how they make it appear, but that’s for you to decide.
Be Forewarned That the Contract Can Change Any Time, Without Notice
Forget what anyone says, because at the end of the day it matters how the contract is worded since that’s their “fallback.” Most internet providers intentionally leave open the option to change up their contracts at any time without giving any notice that it happened. This is like walking into a casino blindfolded and dumping your whole paycheck into the first machine you bump into. Extremely risky and not all that beneficial to the subscriber. Many have found themselves in violation of the Terms of Service due to being unaware of changes made by the provider.
The Alternative to Contract High Speed Internet
With no-contract mobile broadband or prepaid internet there’s no need for a contract. This helps reduce any risks that may surface from being entered into a legally binding agreement with your ISP. You simply pay in advance for the service that you get. At times, you may be required to pay a setup fee and then you’re billed for monthly service at the end of each billing cycle.
Essentially you get the same service with prepaid internet as you would under contract. It may be a few dollars more, but the stress it saves you is priceless. Not to mention, you won’t be hit with any surprise charges because you used too much bandwidth, or you moved out of their service area.