When you are looking at broadband and phone packages you have to consider what the overall price is. While it is very important that you get broadband and phone packages that suit your needs, you have to consider the cost of the package as well. When you calculate the cost of the package, you should not only look at the price that is being advertised, but also the hidden costs that you do not generally think about.
What is Included in Broadband and Phone Packages?
You might think that this is a bit of an obvious question, but you should consider what is going to be included in your package. The different parts of the package will affect the overall cost that you should be prepared to pay.
The broadband is possibly the feature in these deals that most people look for. The reason for this is that more people use the internet at home than make use of home phones. There are a number of things that have to be considered with the broadband parts of the package. Firstly, you will have to consider the download allowance that you are given. Are you going to need an unlimited data allowance? Or will you be able to cope with, say, 10GB per month? You also have to look at the speed of the connection. The speed offered with these deals can vary from 14mb per second to 100mb per second depending on the connection type, and the deal you are getting. It should be noted that the speed you see on the advert is generally not the speed you will actually be getting. Only 10% of consumers will achieve the stated maximum speed. Of course, while you do not have to have high speed internet, the faster speeds do make the overall internet experience more enjoyable and efficient.
The phone line part of the deal is actually overlooked by many potential consumers. The main reason for this is that most people use their mobile phones more than their land lines. Free and inclusive mobile minutes have made using the mobile phone increasingly attractive, as you receive the minutes every month and they are free for most of the day. If you are going to be getting ADSL broadband, then you have to have a phone line, as this is what the connection will run off. These deals will have special call rates, and you should consider these before you sign a contract. The rates will be for free calls at certain times of the day, and certain times of the week. It is important that you note if the calls are completely free, or if they are simply inclusive. The difference between these two types of rates can save you money in the long run.
Now that you know more about the component parts of the available broadband and phone packages, it is time to take a closer look at the price. The pricing of the deals will vary, depending on the provider and the incentives they are offering you.
The cost you see advertised
The cost you see advertised is generally not the actual cost of the package. To get your attention providers will have very attractive and highly competitive prices on display. You need to look deeper to see if this is the actual price, or if you are going to be hit with a number of hidden costs. The overall price of the package will depend on what you are getting. If you are getting unlimited broadband and unlimited calls, then you can expect the price to be higher. To get a lower overall rate you will have to give something up.
What are the hidden costs?
Most people do not read the terms and conditions of broadband and phone packages before they get them. This is a major mistake as the providers will place all of the hidden costs in this area. There are a number of different costs you should look out for, but two of them are particularly common.
The installation cost is one of the most common hidden costs. It should be noted that most of these deals will have an installation cost. This cost can come as an actual installation cost, or the cost of the technician. The reason why you should expect these costs is that technicians will be sent out to set up your broadband in most cases. Of course, many providers allow you to set this up yourself, but you may not get adequate levels of support or guarantees if you do this. Of course, it is bad to make generalised claims about the hidden costs, as there are some providers who do not ask for installation costs. One of the additional traps of the installation cost is a fee if you have to cancel the appointment and reschedule. You therefore need to make sure you know all about the costs of installing your package.
The other common hidden cost is the line rental amount. Line rental has to be paid if you have a phone line regardless of whether or not you actually use the phone. Even if you simply have the phone for your broadband, you will still have to pay. The line rental is a set fee that the provider needs to pay BT. However, you can get a cheaper rate with certain packages. The catch is that you have to pay 12 months worth of the discounted rate upfront. This is an amount that many people simply do not have. If you are unable to do this then you will not be eligible for the discounted rate.
There are a lot of incentives that providers offer to get you to take their deals. You should think about how these will affect the cost of your broadband and phone packages.
Get a number of months at a lower rate or ‘free’. This is a common incentive, and in reality it affects the advertised price. When there are special rates the advertised amount is generally the monthly average of the contract.
Vouchers are often given as an incentive, but do not actually affect the price you are paying every month for the package.
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