With the variety of internet providers, internet plans, fees, installation dates, terms and conditions; switching internet providers is a lot of work. If you know that you’re ready to break up with your current internet provider and need to find a new one that fits your needs better, you likely already know you have some work to do. To help you switch internet providers as smoothly and low stress as possible, we’ve put together this guide. Let’s dive in!
Know Why You Want To Switch
This sounds like an obvious step, but before you make any decisions when it comes to switching your internet service; know why you want to switch. Are you moving into a new town or city? Is your current internet provider simply not delivering on its promises? Whatever the reason or reasons are, the only way to be sure you’re getting the same or better internet service is to know what you want.
Research Internet Providers In Your Area
As you may already know, internet providers have different service areas and availability. What internet service providers that are available at your friend’s house across town might not be available at your house. You’ll need to research which internet service providers are serviceable at your address and then compare each provider’s internet plans to your needs. You might be thinking that this is a lot of work, but don’t get overwhelmed. If you do your research thoroughly, you shouldn’t have to do it again for as long as you stay at your current address unless a new provider moves in. In the long run, it’ll be worth the time you take to research internet providers and their plan offerings. You might be surprised at what you find like faster internet speeds, better new customer deals and prices.
Know The Extra Costs
Switching your internet provider might come with some extra costs. Are you currently in a contract with your internet provider? If you’re under contract, you could be facing heavy early cancellation fees if you decide to cancel before your contract is up. Make sure you really think over the pros and cons to cancelling, especially if your main reason for switching internet providers is to save money. Early cancellation or termination fees can cost you an upwards of $500 with some providers if you’re not careful.
Some internet providers do offer contract buyout programs you can take advantage of. However, these generally come with minimum plan stipulations including bundling your internet, phone and TV service together. This might defeat the purpose of switching or cost you more money for services you don’t want or need. Also keep in mind that contract buyout programs are in the form of a reimbursement, so you’ll likely have to put up the money first before your program money arrives.
Pick A New Internet Provider
Once you’ve done all your research, it’s time to pick your new internet provider and new internet plan. Things you should consider while picking a new internet provider are:
- Availability: You’ll need to check to see if your prospective new internet provider can service your address.
- Internet speeds: Make sure you pick an internet plan with the internet speeds you need.
- Data plans: Does your prospective new internet provider have data plans? If so can you live with the limits outlined in their agreement?
- Monthly bill: Find out what your monthly bill will be so you won’t find any surprises later. Keep in mind most internet providers also offer new customer promotional pricing that’s good for a certain amount of time. Your price may increase at 12 months, 24 months, and other increments down the road if you don’t negotiate for current promotional pricing later.
- Reliability: How reliable is your prospective new internet provider? Check their outage history to see if they’re a service you can really depend on.
- Customer service: Are current customers of your prospective new internet provider happy with their service? Not everyone will be happy, but if their internet reviews are downright terrible, you might want to reconsider your choice.
Keep in mind many internet providers now offer a 30-day money back guarantee depending on where you live. If for some reason you try out their service and you’re not happy, a good amount of internet providers will refund your money and cancel service without a hassle.
You’ll also be able to switch internet plans up or down if they’re available at your address at any time, regardless if you’re in a contract or not. If you decide that you picked the wrong plan, you can change it, but will likely see some proration on your next bill.
Call Your Current Internet Provider
Before you start the switching process, call your internet provider. If you’re looking to switch internet providers because you’re not happy with their service, maybe there’s something they can do to remedy your problem. This call wouldn’t be to cancel service at this point. You’ve done your research and know what else is available to you. Using this information you might be able to negotiate a better rate if pricing was your main reason to switch. If nothing your current internet provider says to satisfy you and prevent you from switching, it’s time to move to the next step; ordering your new internet service.
Order Your New Internet Service
If you’ve made it this far along the process, you know what internet provider and internet plan you want. Call your new prospective internet provider to order service and schedule a convenient installation date for you and your internet provider. On your installation date, be sure that you have someone at home who is 18 years old or older or your internet provider won’t be able to complete installation that day.
Cancel Your Current Internet Service
Only after your new internet service is installed and working properly should you cancel your current internet provider. To avoid any surprise fees on your final bill, be sure to return any leased equipment upon cancellation. Equipment fees can be outrageously high, so return it on time and ask all your questions when you cancel. Your current, now old internet provider will be way less inclined to help you if you wait post cancellation.