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Questions to Ask When Shopping Around For a New Internet Service Provider

May 29, 2014 | Comment

The Internet is an important part of everyday life for most people so nothing less than a reliable and affordable connection will do, but with the industry overflowing with internet service providers, it can be difficult for consumers to figure out which one they should sign up with. There are numerous things to consider before committing to a company. The key to finding satisfaction with your service is to spend as much time as you need shopping around and asking plenty of questions. Some of the most important things to clarify are listed below.

What Discounts or Bundling Services Do You Offer?

Since cost is one of the biggest determining factors for a lot of consumers when choosing an internet service provider, you will want to inquire about rates for various levels of service, special discounts or bundling packages and any other promotions that may be offered. If you’re in need of telephone and/or cable as well, bundling can provide a good bargain. Some of these price reductions will only last for a limited time or may only apply to new or online customers. Certain features or higher speed connections will probably cost more but offer better service.

 

What Equipment Do You Supply?

Some companies include the use of their equipment and will install everything you need for you, while others will require you to purchase your own and set it up yourself. If you aren’t very tech savvy, you might want to save yourself the hassle and go with a provider that will supply all the equipment necessary to get you connected to the Internet without any problems. Or you may find that it’s more cost-effective in the long run to purchase your own equipment than pay additional rental fees.

 

What Speeds Do You Provide?

If you live in a household with many people who utilize many devices to access the Internet or you are a business owner who can’t spend precious time waiting on slow internet speeds, the speed that an internet service provider can offer will matter a lot.

 

What Are the Terms of Your Contract?

It’s important to fully understand the terms of any contract before signing on the dotted line. Some may stipulate that you remain a customer for a certain period of time, and terminating the contract before this time has ended can result in a cancellation fee. There may also be a question of limits on data usage, which would incur extra charges if you go over. A binding contract could become a nuisance if you decide you no longer like a company’s services.

 

Do You Offer Safety Features?

It’s becoming more common for internet service providers to offer safety features, such as anti-virus, spam filters, firewalls, etc. Make sure to inquire about this option and whether or not it’s a complimentary service. Security is critical for guarding your privacy and enforcing protection when using the Internet, so these features can make a difference in your final selection.

 

What is Your Customer Support Policy?

You definitely want an internet service provider that is willing and able to help you at almost any time of the day. Experiencing internet downtime is frustrating and can be damaging to a business that’s trying to be efficient and productive. Ask about customer support hours and what you can expect if the time comes that you’ll need assistance.

 

Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with the choice you make when picking your new internet service provider.

Image credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AInternet1.jpg

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