After a brutal week without internet we finally have a new provider! Yes, we survived a week without home internet, but I tell you, it was tough getting things done. Our router started to malfunction a few weeks ago. It was getting disconnected occasionally until it finally gave up.
We’ve had wireless 4G internet service with Clear for the past four years. Unfortunately for us, Clear was acquired by Sprint two years ago and the monthly bill went up by $5 to $39.99. We certainly weren’t happy about the price increase, but didn’t see any better options out there worthy of the hassle of switching providers.
Then a few months ago, Clear (under Sprint), told us that we needed to find an alternative service plan by November 2015, since they were no longer going to serve the Clear 4G network. Therefore, instead of getting our malfunctioning Clear router replaced, we decided to speed up our search for a new provider right away. After googling alternatives and trying unconventional methods (illustrated below), we realized that we were left with little choice but check the big providers in our area.
Our needs and wants
Our TV-watching preferences consist of Netflix and DramaFever, so we were basically looking for high speed internet that could handle streaming well. We also needed unlimited data because streaming uses a ton of it. Given that Netflix uses the most data, we went to their site to check what their speed recommendations were. According to them, five megabits per second (Mbps) would get us high definition viewing, so we would be happy with that. 25 Mbps is recommended for ultra high definition and that would be more than ideal, but we were willing to forego it, if it meant additional savings. Armed with this information, we went shopping for our new provider!
We usually try to see what the small guys have to offer before going with the big boys, but with limited choices in our area, we had to knock on their “big” doors. To make a long story short, we ended up with the following options:
- Freedom Pop – This wireless 4G internet service provider offers 10 gigabytes of data for $23.99 plus $.007 per additional megabite. We use 60 GB a month of data on average, so that would cost us over $350/mo.! No, thank you…
- Xfinity (Comcast) – This “tiny” competitor is known for awful customer service, so we cringed while even checking their offers. Xfinity offers unlimited internet with download speed up to 25 Mbps for $44.99/mo., as well as local channels and HBO for free, which we don’t really need, for the first 12 months. After a year, it would go up to about $69.95 – $74.95/mo. This was a contender for us, at least for a year, but let’s see what the other communication giant had to offer.
- Verizon FiOS – I was surprised to see that we were able to find an unbundled offer at such a reasonable rate. They also offered unlimited internet with download speed up to 25 Mbps for $29/mo. with a contract for 2 years. The plan usually costs $74/mo.! After browsing online I had
manya few questions and decided to talk to a chat service representative. He was surprisingly very helpful and indicated that such offers usually go away after a few days, and increase until they get closer to the regular rate. This was the best offer so far, and overall a better deal (higher speed for less money) compared to what we had with Clear!
Our new provider
We are now officially Verizon customers, paying $29 a month for the next 2 years, and are able to cut our monthly bill by $11. Cha-ching! Cha-ching! More money in our pockets means more opportunities to invest, and that we are closer to reaching financial independence. And it gets better: with 25 Mbps, Netflix looks better than ever as our connection is much faster. Their customer service has been great so far, and the chat service representative wasn’t kidding about the rate going back up soon. After we got our service up and running, I visited the site later that week to recommend the offer to a family member, and it was already up to $44 for a one year contract. I guess we really lucked out with this deal. We’ll keep you posted on our experience and hope for two painless years of high speed internet and more happy blogging. 🙂
How have you saved money lately? Which fixed expenses monsters are hiding in your closet and eating up your potential savings?