It’s a guest post contributed by Zack Bauer, all content rights belong to the author only.
Cable, phone, and internet services almost always carry hidden charges. Some of them we can let go, such as tax. Others are a little more suspicious. Others still catch us completely by surprise. It is no secret that sales representatives sometimes choose to withhold information to up their chances of making a sale. It’s best to be informed, so here are a few possible charges that may appear on internet bills.
1. Data Overage
Some ISPs treat broadband plans like phone plans. If data usage reaches the threshold indicated by the plan, two things can happen. The first is that you will experience a slower internet than what you signed up for. The second is that the speed is maintained but you’re being charged for each megabyte. Most ISPs these days employ the first method on users.
2. Installation Fees
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, and is commonly employed by schools. Ever heard of a school saying there’s no tuition fee increase for next year, only to be met with an increase in other fees?
ISPs do that as well. They will tell you that internet service installation costs a certain amount, but they will waive it. Little do you know there will be extra charges related to installation; only they say it’s payment for wirings and equipment and whatnot. Not all ISPs do this, though.
Most internet price tags only cover the service itself. Installation fees are not included in the brochures. Modem rentals are also not covered. When purchasing a wired broadband plan, you also pay for the modem. Different ISPs have different policies on this, but some would waive this entirely while others divide the charge by the number of months on your contract and add it to your monthly bill.
4. Early Termination Fees
Getting an internet service will always come with a contract. High-speed broadband plans at cheaper prices often come with a longer lock-in period. This is normal. The problem comes from not reading the contract before putting the name on the dotted line. This leaves a lot of people unable to get out of the contract without paying an early termination fee, which they didn’t know about because they either didn’t ask questions or didn’t read the contract.
5. Wireless Network Setup Fee
Most people love smartphones due to the fact that they can be anywhere in the house and still connect to the internet. Internet service does not come with Wi-Fi, it has to be setup. You’ll need a wireless router, and someone to configure it. ISPs usually offer wireless setups for a fee, so be careful when requesting a Wi-Fi service. If you can purchase your own router and do the networking yourself, you can save some money. The drawback is you can’t expect your ISP cannot perform fixes and repairs on routers that you own.
Some of these charges are avoidable if you take the time to ask questions. For others that are unavoidable, such as the early termination fee that comes with every contract, at least you’re now informed and it won’t come as a total shock to you.
Zack Bauer is a blogger and a web consultant for various Australian home improvement companies. He occasionally writes for Compare Broadband, which offers information on different internet service providers such as TPG broadband