The cost of home internet service is such a frustrating thing because the market is not truly competitive.
In so much of the country, consumers only have a choice between one cable monopoly and one phone monopoly for high-speed internet service.
But money expert Clark Howard says that’s enough to put them in competition with each other.
Want to cut your internet bill? Follow these steps…
For example, if you get internet service from your local cable company, you can call up the phone company and see if they’ll offer you a better deal as a new customer.
“If you’re willing to go from one to the other and then maybe a year later go back to the first, that’ll help,” Clark says.
You don’t have to look far to find cheap internet plans. You can visit the websites of the companies that provide internet service in your area and see the latest offers for new customers.
Here’s a partial list of major internet service providers in the U.S. and links to their websites:
- Verizon Fios
- Optimum by Altice
- Suddenlink by Altice
- Spectrum (Charter Communications)
- Xfinity by Comcast
- Cox Communications
- Frontier Communications
How to save money without switching internet providers
Don’t want to leave your current internet provider? You may be able to negotiate a lower rate on your own by calling them up and presenting an offer from a competitor.
I’ve had success by asking for the retention department and following a basic script:
“Hello, I am thinking about discontinuing my service. I saw an offer from (competitor’s name here) and it’s much cheaper. Is there any way for you to work with me on the price?”
The retention department may try to sell you other products or offer you a lower price for slower internet service, but that’s when you refer to the competing offer — don’t lose sight of the reason you called.
It’s also helpful to have a copy of your last bill to know exactly what you’re paying for, including monthly equipment fees.
What’s next: Get ready for 5G
Clark says more competition is on the way with the introduction of what the wireless industry calls 5G. It will allow for wireless to go as fast as most home wired internet connections.
With more companies fighting for your internet business, Clark hopes that will mean better service at a better price.
In the meantime, if you have internet service available in your area from a cable company and a phone company, do some comparison shopping (and bargaining) and it may save you money!