- Look for the total cost over the whole contract
Pay attention to the information and prices next to the asterisks (often at the bottom of the ad) to find out the total cost you will be paying over the whole contract. Don't be distracted by headline prices.
- Set-up fees
Check what the set-up/installation fee is (you might also need to buy a modem). These fees are often listed separately to the headline price.
- Time to be connected
Ask the provider how long it will take for your new service to be connected.
- How much data is included in the plan?
Most plans have data allowances that are measured in gigabytes (GB). Sites like WhistleOut have tools you can use to check how much data you are likely to use every month.
- Will you be charged extra fees if you go over your data allowance?
Some providers charge "excess use" or "overage" fees if you go over your data allowance. It's important to check the cost of these fees. Most providers won't charge you more for exceeding your data allowance, but your internet will be slowed down for the rest of the billing month. If this happens, you can still do the basics like check your email.
- Monitor how much data you use
To avoid going over your data limit, ask your ISP how to check how much data you've used during the month. Normally you will be able to login to your account on the provider's website to check your usage.
- What is the duration of the contract and what is the cost to cancel it early?
Most contracts are for 12 or 24 months. Some ISPs will require you to pay out the entire remaining contract months if you want to cancel your contract early. Some ISPs offer services on a "no lock-in" or "month-to-month" basis, but you have to pay higher installation and set-up charges.
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