If you’re looking to switch broadband provider, there’s more to choosing a broadband supplier than just speed, data and price. Other factors can make or break your experience with a broadband supplier.
To help you avoid that ‘gotcha!’ moment, we’ve outlined the things you should look out for when choosing a broadband provider.
Surprisingly, the first and most important thing to check is something you’ll only experience if you become a customer of that provider: the customer support team.
To evaluate a broadband provider’s customer support, seek the advice of existing customers.
Ask a neighbour, family member or a friend that has a service from them and ask about their experience. Neighbours are also helpful if you’re questioning is the broadband in my area what it should be.
If you don’t personally know any existing customers, check online reviews. Reading company reviews on Google and social media platforms gives a sense of how helpful a broadband company is about its customer care.
Extra Charges & Fees
The headline price on the package is only the first of many price points. Here are some of the other potential costs you need to ask about:
- What is the WiFi installation cost? Is there an activation fee?
- Is your data really unlimited? Or will you be charged ‘overage’ fees for using more data than you should? Most companies have a Fair Use policy. Read it to know exactly how the Fair Use policy works.
- Other fees, particularly relating to changes to your account. For example, to change a name or contact information could incur administration charges.
- After the initial contract, what happens to the price? Many broadband companies increase the price even within the contract period, for example, after the first 6 months. Others increase the price after the contract. These are terms to pay attention to. Which leads us on to the next important thing to note.
Always assume there’s a contract with any internet service provider. Most providers will have a 12-month contract as standard, while others have 24-month contracts.
If you're staying at a property for less than a year, this won't suit. Make sure you can last the full term of the contract you’re signing.
Latency is delay. It's the quality of the internet connection. 1Gb speeds are great but if your latency is high, you're unlikely to benefit from this. See our top five tips for reducing latency. Aptus is proud to deliver one of the lowest latency rates in the broadband industry.
The ratio of contention is the number of other connections on the same part of the network as you. In other words, it’s how many people you ‘contend’ with for the same high speed internet.
For example, Aptus’ contention ratio is 12:1 for homes with rural internet. When compared with other networks, which are 300:1 or sometimes 1000:1, this contention ratio is very low. This ensures customers receive the high speed internet they sign-up for.
It’s worth asking a broadband provider about the contention ratio of the network because it reflects the quality of the service received.
In summary, before you switch broadband, ask the right questions to find out how good that deal really is.