(Note:This post is a guest contribution by Kevin Connor. Read more about him from the author bio given below.)
Internet utopians like to imagine the web as a place where information is exchanged freely and openly for no other purpose than to enrich the lives of those who produce and consume content. And while in theory, this is true, the way the internet is structured today, this is not the reality. Instead of a completely free exchange of information, internet users such as us must rely on service providers to connect us to the web.
Intrinsically, this is not a bad thing. After all, the internet requires a certain infrastructure, and these service providers are the ones who provide it; their presence doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the principles upon which the internet was created have been completely supplanted.
However, it is a bad thing if there are too few companies controlling access to the internet. This allows them to get away with practices that are not conducive to creating a strong, global internet community. But lucky for us, there are now countless internet service providers from which we can choose, making it much easier to access the internet and all it has to Offer easily. The broadband service provider search engines help us compare different companies and choose the one that’s best for us.
But how do you know if it’s time to change? To help you answer this question, consider the following five signs that you’ve chosen the wrong internet service provider.
Image Courtesy : Pixabay
We could probably get into a discussion about how internet access should be a guaranteed human right. In today’s digital world, it’s almost impossible to participate in the economy if you’re not connected, which makes it inherently unfair that we ask people to pay for it. But then again, we pay for other necessary utilities, such as heat, electricity, and water, so maybe we shouldn’t be upset that it isn’t free, as long as the price is fair.
In general, we do not need to accept whatever price we’re paying for the internet. In the United States, the average cost of a 100 Mbps internet connection is 50 USD per month. And in India, the same internet connection costs around 1999 Rs (~30 USD), depending on which provider you choose.
If you’re paying more than this, then there’s a pretty good chance you’ve chosen the wrong provider. Sometimes Isps will lock you into a contract, but then over time they will either reduce the speed or raise the price. And they got away with this for a long time, largely because they faced almost no competition. However, this has changed, and if you’re paying above the market rate for internet, then it’s time to find someone else to help you connect to the web.
Long gone are the days where it’s okay to accept average or below average internet speeds. The technology has come a long way, and because the internet is so widespread around the world, ISPs have been able to offer faster connections at the same or lower prices.
But just because they can offer you better speeds doesn’t mean they automatically will. In fact, it’s in their best interest to offer you the lowest speeds, as this costs them less money and therefore improves their margins. And one of the most common things an ISP will do is to advertise that they offer a certain speed but then give you something much slower.
To find out if this is happening to you, consider running an internet speed test. Do it a few times over the course of a week, each time at a different point in the day. You should have roughly the same speed at all times, and if you don’t, or if what you’re getting is lower than what was promised to you by your ISP, then this is a good sign that you’re involved in a toxic relationship and need to look for another option.
Image Courtesy : Pixabay
Considering how much money we spend on the internet, the least we can expect is top-notch customer service. And if you’re not receiving this from your ISP, then it’s probably a good idea to consider making a change to another company. But what should you expect from your ISP in terms of customer service?
The first thing every good ISP should have is 24/7 support. Whether it’s by chat or by phone, you should be able to get in touch with someone whenever you have an issue, no matter if this is at 3, 6 or 9 am. And on top of this, you should expect a fast resolution to your issues. Of course, if there is a huge storm that knocks out power in the area, your ISP won’t be able to fix this on their own. But if there is a problem on their end, they should be able to resolve the problem right away, or they should be able to send someone out to you in a timely manner to help you fix whatever has gone wrong.
Another thing to look for in your ISP’s customer service is respect for your time. Internet companies are famous for scheduling service appointments during impossibly large windows—how many times have you been told someone will be around between the hours of nine and three? But again, these practices came about when there was much less competition amongst providers, meaning people had no way of protesting this disrespect. But today this is not the case, and if your ISP is guilty of doing any of these, then it’s time to accept maybe you’ve made the wrong choice and needed to make a change.
Again, ISPs have built quite the reputation for being less than honest. And in today’s world, you simply do not have to put up with this. If you catch your ISP doing something shady, then this is a sign you’ve chosen the wrong one and needed to make a change.
For example, ISPs are famous for adding charges to your bill without telling you. Perhaps there was a promotion you participated in, or perhaps they’ve changed their policies, but a reputable ISP will notify you of these changes before they occur so that you have the opportunity to make a choice. But many ISPs will simply add these additional expenses to your bill, and then they will send you through hoops as you try to get these charges taken off or refunded.
Another thing ISPs will do is to draw you in with promotional prices and then change things on you later on. For example, they may promise you a rate of 1500 Rs per month, but then in the fine print, it says that after six months this will jump up to 2500 Rs. Of course, it’s your responsibility to know what you’re getting into before buying something, but companies that engage in these types of practices are not concerned with delivering the best value and service. Instead, they are more concerned with making money, which is a sure sign they should be dropped for someone who is going to do a better job at providing you with what you need.
Image Courtesy : Pixabay
Along similar lines, you should be weary of ISPs that force you to buy additional services from them. For example, many providers also offer phone and cable TV services. And if you’re interested in these, it can be great to have everything in one place and on one bill. But if you’re not, then you should be able to pay a reduced rate for a more limited set of services.
However, many ISPs, in an attempt to get you to commit to them, will force you to get at least one of the other services they offer. And if this is the case, then you’ve chosen the wrong provider. You’re going to end up spending a bunch of money on things you don’t need, and this isn’t going to make anyone happy.
Try to find out before signing a contract if you’re required to purchase a bundle. But if you can’t, and you learn later on that you cannot drop services you don’t need, then take this as a sign that you’ve made the wrong choice and needed to make a change.
In the end, the best thing you can do is to always be vigilant. New ISPs are popping up all the time, and many of them are able to match or beat what current providers offer. As a result, take a look at your current plan and see if you can spot any of the signs mentioned above. And if you can, start looking around for alternatives so that you can freely and fairly enjoy all the web has to offer.
About the Author:
Kevin Connor is the founder of Vast Bridges, a customer acquisition and lead generation service headquartered in Florida, USA. His passion is helping companies develop and implement a strategic vision, and he also enjoys finding ways for businesses and individuals to save money and maximize their potential. Whenever he can, he will write for blogs and other online forums to share his experience and expertise.
This post first appeared on Digital Dimensions4u | A Digital Marketing Blog That Connects You With Anything Related To Blogging And Technology., please read the originial post: here