Monday, August 22, 2011

Lower your phone and internet costs

Internet1Phones (including mobiles) and internet are so widely used these days, they have become part of our lives. With plenty of competition among the service providers, the phone (landline as well as mobile) and internet plans are getting cheaper. However, you can always find ways to lower your phone and internet costs. You gotta think carefully before choosing a plan by finding out your weekly or monthly usage.

Mobile phone plans are usually pre-paid or post-paid. The best plan for you depends on your usage. If you already have a pre-paid or post-paid mobile plan and would like to move to a better plan, first find out your usage before looking for a new plan. Go through your usage history as far back as it is relevant and determine your usage pattern. Your service provider usually sends you your monthly usage with your invoice. Don't throw away your usage data as it comes handy when you want to change your provider. If you don't have your usage history, you may still get all your usage history by logging into your service provider's website and going to your account information section.

With your usage data, you can determine some essential information such as:
  • your peak and off-peak outgoing calls and expenses
  • bandwidth, if you are using data download
  • SMS usage
Once you have determined the above information, you can then easily figure out your average spending per month. Then you can start comparing new plans and see how much you would be spending monthly with the new plan based on the above calculations.

Use the same method for determining your usage and expenditure on your landline phone and internet.

Caution: Some phone and internet plans may give you extra features but you've got to see if those extra features are really necessary for you. If they are not relevant to you, you can go for a cheaper plan or try to negotiate a plan without that feature.

Bundle landline and internet: Instead of getting landline and internet from 2 different providers, it may be a lot cheaper if you go with a single provider that provides landline and internet bundle plan.

Getting rid of a landline? If you don't make too many calls through your home phone, you may consider getting rid of your landline and just use a mobile phone- see if it comes out cheaper. Landline phones usually charge a monthly service fee on top of your call charges. On the positive side, landlines usually have a fixed local call rate (between landline to landline), which is usually a lot cheaper than the mobile phone rates. If you make a lot of local calls, then it might be better to keep your landline.

How do you lower your cost on your phone and internet? Feel free to share your tips.

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