We can’t function without our internet and phones. Most businesses can’t. And although the internet connection is becoming the most critical piece of your business technology, many people do not carefully check their contracts or bills or may not understand them. Here are a few stumbling blocks to look out for when it comes to dealing with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Your contract’s expired or autorenewed without your knowledge
With business-class internet, you usually sign a contract for certain services for a timeframe, which makes perfect sense. Sometimes when your contract is up, however, your ISP will autorenew it for another few years without your knowledge. It’s important to pay attention to the date your contract expires and notify your ISP that you want to go month to month before it ends. If you are considering changing your services to another vendor for better pricing or speed, you typically must notify your current provider in writing at least 60 days in advance. Each ISP has a specific form for this.
You’re eligible for a lower rate or better bandwidth
This also ties in with number one. Many organizations set up their contract with their ISP and then never touch it again. Generally, connectivity has gotten more inexpensive over the years or the bandwidth available has increased. Typically your ISP won’t actively let you know when you may renegotiate your rates or bandwidth – it requires you or your IT provider to stay on top of it.
You’re being billed for things you’re not supposed to be
Unfortunately, this is rampant amongst business and residential ISP contracts alike. ISPs take advantage of the fact that we may not scrutinize our bills carefully every month and leave erroneous charges on there as long as they can get away with it. And then they bank on the red tape runaround they put us through to call in and get it taken off to deter us from bothering. We had a client who requested to cancel 20 phone numbers from their contract years ago and they are still being billed for it!
You may be overspending or missing out on better features when it comes to your ISP. Check your bill and verify your contract, your bandwidth, and what exactly you’re being charged for. If your services have been in place for more than two years, phone and/or internet, check to see if you can get better rates. The industry is changing quickly and there is a lot more competition.