The cost of home internet service is such a frustrating thing because the market is not truly competitive.
In so much of the country right now, 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? Here’s What to Do
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 can find the latest promotions for internet plans online. Visit the websites of the companies that provide internet service in your area to see the cheapest offers. Deals for new customers are typically a better value.
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
- Kinetic by Windstream
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 back to the competing offer.
It’s also helpful to have a copy of your last bill to know exactly what you’re paying for, including monthly equipment fees.
There are companies that will negotiate a lower internet bill on your behalf, including Trim and Truebill. But these services take a big cut of the savings. That’s why Clark recommends that you try to do the negotiating on your own.
If you’re offered a better deal for a limited time (12 or 24 months), mark your calendar so that you know when to renegotiate.
T-Mobile Home Internet and Verizon LTE Home Internet
Clark says that more competition could mean lower internet bills over the next few years. T-Mobile Home Internet and Verizon LTE Home Internet are two new services that are fighting for your internet business.
T-Mobile and Verizon are using their 4G LTE networks to provide home internet service for around $50 a month.
As of this writing, T-Mobile Home Internet and Verizon LTE Home Internet are mostly available in rural areas. You can enter your ZIP code on their websites to check eligibility.
Although availability is limited for now, Clark expects that these services and others will expand access to cheap internet service.
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!
Here’s your action plan:
- Check new customer offers and switch providers
- Negotiate a lower rate with your existing provider
- Check availability of LTE home internet
YOUR TURN: Have you been able to lower your monthly bill for home internet service? Leave a comment below to let Team Clark know what’s worked for you!