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How to Save Money on Internet Service

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that competition is heating up among high-speed Internet service providers, resulting in consumers being able to save money on their Internet service. Problem is, providers still require bundled services to get the best rates.

You may not want or need cable TV or a home phone service.

In fact, subscriptions are the first place to look when you need to trim your budget. If all you use the Internet for at home is checking movie times, sending a few emails, and using Facebook, do you really need it? Of course, if you are a student, a blogger, or otherwise work from home, you probably laugh at the thought of unplugging at home.

In that case, you can try saving on Internet service by:

Shopping around frequently.
Most Internet service contracts start at a low “teaser” price and then go up after a year. It’s a hassle, but you’ll save money by switching over to a competitor every year or two.

Negotiate, negotiate. The telesales reps hawking Internet service work on commission and have lots of pricing flexibility. Work them as hard as you can for a better deal, then a better one.

Share (but don’t steal) a neighbor’s wireless. I know there are a lot of cheapos out there mooching off of other people’s wireless Internet service. Maybe someday we’ll have public wireless, but we don’t yet, and somebody else paid for that bandwidth you’re using. A more ethical alternative is to find a neighbor or two that you can go in with on wireless Internet together. (Obviously this works best if you live in an apartment). Split the bill three ways and you can knock down even a pricey $60 monthly Internet service subscription to $20.

Published or updated on September 2, 2008

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


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  1. Save Money says:

    I have never tried that before, it shows what a rip off some of these places are though.

  2. Eric says:

    Another part of negotiation is the disconnect department. The sales/service providers don’t have nearly as much power as the disconnect department. Those individuals have all the power in the company to make you happy and keep you as a customer. I tend to call, ask for the disconnect department and tell them my bill is too high.

    They would usually keep my cable modem bill pretty low, on average I saved over $15 a month. Now that I’m married and my wife forced me into cable I have the triple package phone, internet, cable. I get all the movie channels free as part of my “Stay with us as a customer package”, and I get the $150 service for roughly $80 a month.

    The only thing is you have to keep up on it. Most of the reps will only enable it for 6 months. I mark my calendar with a reminder to call and renew my “desire to disconnect.”

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