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If your Internet bill is causing your stomach to churn, you’re in luck — there are ways to lower the cost of this modern-day necessity.
Stephen Weyman, founder of HowToSaveMoney.ca, a site dedicated to helping Canadians maximize their dollars, says cutting the cost of your Internet service can be tricky for a couple of reason.
First, it’s quickly becoming the most valuable service consumers subscribe to, and second, in many regions in Canada there are few competitors.
But there’s hope: here are some of his top tips for saving money on your Internet bill.
Call and ask for a discount
It may seem like it won’t work, but calling customer service and asking for a discount is often a successful method — particularly if you have a competitor’s offer in hand. Many companies will knock off $ 10 a month at a minimum — and up to as much as 30 per cent off your bill, said Weyman. You may need to call each year to get them to apply the discount, but it can save you hundreds in the long run.
If you live in a large urban centre, Weyman recommends researching low-cost Internet providers like TekSavvy, which run on the networks of the bigger companies but offer much lower rates.
Looking to research other companies but stumped on where to start? A good website for comparing prices is comparemyRates.ca, a Canadian price comparison site that makes doing your homework as easy as possible.
Keep it simple
If you can’t save directly on your Internet bill because of a lack of competition, Weyman recommends unbundling or eliminating other services such as television and home phone lines from your Internet provider to cut anywhere from $ 50 to $ 100 per month.
“If you need a landline, consider getting a VoIP device like magicJack or Ooma to replace your home phone — and if you have a little patience you can get a lot of TV legally and free off the Internet,” he adds.
Be a new customer
New customer promotions are another great way to save on Internet service, Weyman says, noting that in some areas providers will offer a low introductory rate for as many as three years.
“(The deal) typically costs around $ 100 a month locked in for three years and includes fibre Internet, TV and home phone,” he adds. “When your three years are up, switch to a competitor. Repeat the process every three years.”
Use common sense
Make sure you’re paying for the plan that actually matches your needs.
Internet speeds have been rising dramatically along with prices, says Weyman, and you might be able to get away with considerably downgrading your package and still have fast enough speeds for work, web browsing and light video streaming.
In a nutshell, bigger and better isn’t necessarily what you need — and realizing this can often save you money.