As COVID-19 has put unemployment at an all-time high, many Americans are starting to feel the need to cut back on all family expenditures. If you're looking for options to cut back on your monthly expenses, taking a hard look at your internet bill can provide a few extra dollars of relief.
It's worth taking a few moments to look over your bill, internet plan and what other internet providers are out there if it puts money back into your pocket. Here are five ways you can lower your monthly internet bill this week.
1. Negotiate With Your Provider For A Better Deal
You can always call your high-speed internet service provider to negotiate for a better deal! If you notice your bill has gone up suddenly or there are new charges you don’t recognize on your bill before it is due, it's time to negotiate. Customers call in to their internet providers all the time to try to get a better rate when their promotional rate expires. You may already know when your promotional rate expires, if not, it’s usually the 3rd, 6th or 12th month after you’ve subscribed to their service.
Unfortunately, it’s different with every provider. When you call to negotiate, just be persistent and as non-confrontational as possible. Getting angry or upset will not help you get a better deal. As they say, you catch more flies with honey, but don't be afraid to say you'll go to a competitor to get a better rate, even if you don't actually intend to leave.
2. Switch Internet Providers
If negotiating with your current internet provider fails, be prepared to switch internet providers for that better deal if you’re in a dire situation to pinch pennies. However, it’s not guaranteed that switching your internet provider will actually get you a better deal. Like with everything else, it’s super important to shop around first.
Search for all internet options available in your area before making a decision on any one particular provider. Internet providers will offer very enticing new customer promotions to get you to switch over to them right then and there especially if you’re speaking with them over the phone. Read all the terms of your new internet plan carefully to ensure switching to that new internet provider makes monetary sense in the short term and in long run.
Look for hidden fees, downgraded features, and when the promotion they’re offering to you expires. It may not make sense to switch internet providers in the long run. If it doesn’t, it might make more sense to call your current internet provider again and take another shot at negotiating for a better monthly rate before haphazardly switching to the new provider.
3. Stop Leasing & Bring Your Own Modem
Are you leasing your modem? If the modem does not come free with your internet service, you're being charged an extra monthly fee to use your internet provider's modem. You can stop giving your internet provider your hard earned money for their lack luster modem and buy your own! If you plan on staying with your internet provider for some time, buying your modem or router could actually save you money in the long run.
Your internet provider will keep charging you the same fee even if you’ve long since paid for how much it's worth. Just keep in mind, your new modem will have to be from an approved list provided by your internet provider to ensure it is compatible with their service.
4. Bundle Your TV & Internet
If you and your family like having paid TV service, consider bundling your TV and internet together. Many service providers will offer discounted rates to customers who get double (internet & TV) or triple plays (internet, TV & phone). These discounted rates are often for all services you subscribe to. Just keep in mind, these rates can also be promotional rates that expire sometime in the future.
5. Check Eligibility For Low-Income Internet
Sometimes, being a part of one federal program can get you qualified for discounted rates elsewhere. This does hold true for special low income internet plans with some internet providers. Here are some of the federal programs you may already be a part of that will also qualify you for a discount on internet service from many large providers:
- Public Housing (HUD)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF)
- Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the NSLP
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Women, Infants & Children program (WIC)
- Federal Pell Grant
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Tribal Assistance (TTANF, FDPIR, etc.)
If you or someone in your household is a part of any of these government programs, call your internet provider or prospective internet provider to ask about low-cost internet plans. How to get the Affordable Managed Cyber IT Security packages offering enterprise level protection.
Even if you think they do not have any options for you, it’s still worth a call. Not all internet providers have information about their low income or low cost internet plans easily accessible. Also keep in mind not every internet provider who does offer a low cost internet plan has the same qualifications.