So you’ve gone online and found an internet provider that’s offering a great price for service. All that’s left is to sign up and enjoy great discounts, right?
Not so fast; signing up with an ISP based solely on price or another feature they’re promoting won’t tell you all you need to know about a company.
And not finding out these three things beforehand can leave you a very unhappy customer later on.
Throttling Policy of Internet provider
No, we’re not talking about what the company will do to you if you don’t pay your bill. An important aspect of any provider research is to find out whether or not they will slow your connection down during times of peak usage. This activity, known as “throttling,” is a common practice among many ISPs who simply don’t have the network resources to handle high amounts of traffic during times when a lot of people are online.
To find out what a company’s stance is on the practice of throttling, conduct a search using that company’s name and include terms like peak periods or throttling. If the internet provider has received a substantial number of complaints from customers about slow internet during peak times, you may want to reconsider your options.
However, just because one or two customers are unhappy does not mean that the internet service provider is a bad investment. Make sure you read between the lines. Try to see if you can find more authoritative information from a neutral, third party resource.
Capped Usage of the Internet provider
Don’t be fooled by internet providers who say their connections are super fast without digging a little deeper. You might be able to watch HD videos and play online games without lag, but the amount of data you can use might be limited.
Usage caps are a hot topic right now, and for a good reason: many people think there’s no reason to limit the amount of data your computer sends and receives online because traffic costs only make up a small part of what it costs your ISP to give you service.
However, a growing number of internet providers are not only putting usage limits on their customers but are either charging for the amount of data allowance customers exceed or disconnecting a customer entirely for repeated overages.
This can really put a damper on your internet experience and your budget if you are someone who is a Netflix subscriber or chooses to back up their data online with cloud services such as Dropbox.
While this may sound like a common-sense thing to consider, a surprising number of would-be subscribers overlook this aspect of finding the right company. It’s easy to sign up for service with a provider if they promise high speeds, easy setup without a tech, and a connection type that seems reliable.
But many internet connections are at the mercy of interference from devices either inside or outside the home, the weather, and traffic loads from other customers.
Furthermore, that portable device that will allow you to access the internet while on the go may only work in very specific areas. To research reliability, find out more about your internet in terms of its track record for things like uptime and dropped connectivity.
And check out their team of service technicians; if there seem to be long wait times for repairs, the company may not be as reliable as it looks on the surface.