In 2010, a study released by the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society stated that the average Canadian spends around $189 for Internet and that the majority were paying too much. If you feel like you’re you’re overpaying, there are a few ways to cut costs, spend less and feel better about the price you’re paying. Here are our tips on how to save on your next Internet bill:
Reevaluate Your Current Internet Plan
Many Canadians are paying for Internet packages that are too large or too small for their usages. Revisit your past bills to measure how much time your household spends and what your household does (video, page browsing, etc) online. If you’re constantly going over and racking up overcharges or are constantly under your allotted usage, it’s time for a new plan. If you’re not streaming video or music, you can probably lower your bandwidth to a cheaper plan with slower speeds. If you decide to make a change, check out the cheapest Internet packages in Canada to get started.
Negotiate and Leverage the Rates of Competitors
If you’re happy with your Internet service but not with the prices, try negotiating. Call your provider’s help line and ask to speak with the department in charge of cancellations – this is your key to successful negotiation as often times, regular customer service representatives don’t have the authority to lower prices on accounts. Once you’re on the phone with someone in the cancellation department, tell them you’ve found X plan that is cheaper than yours (use our list of cheap Canadian Internet packages as reference) and that you’re thinking of switching plans. They will most likely offer to match the plan or offer a better service & price than your current.
If you’re paying separate fees for your cable, Internet and/or home phone, stop! Bundling your cable, Internet and home phone subscriptions could mean major discounts on all three services. Sticking to one provider for your subscriptions also significantly increases your positive outcome when negotiating for better rates.
Use a Connected Device
This option works best for those who primarily use the Internet for web browsing, sending emails and minimal music or video streaming. If that sounds like you, consider canceling your regular home Internet plan and use your smartphone as a personal hotspot. Before you make the jump, take a peek at past bills to see how much Internet you’re actually using. If it falls under 5 GB, it is probably worth it to make the switch considering you can find budget-friendly 5GB plans from Wind Mobile ($39/month*) and Bell ($50/month). Just be mindful not to exceed your monthly data cap as overcharges will deem the switch pointless.
Disconnect and Go Completely Free
With more and more places offering free WiFi, going off the grid and cutting Internet services at home is a perfect way to maximize savings. This Internet-free lifestyle won’t work for everyone, but if you find you only use the internet for basic tasks like checking emails or minor browsing, cancelling might be worth the extra money in the bank. Before disconnecting, just make sure your Internet provider doesn’t charge a big termination fee. When you’re in need, just head to one of the many places that offer free WiFi access including public libraries, fast food restaurants, coffee shops and most malls.