I was just out grocery shopping and we are far from being able to unbundle ourselves with respect to winter clothes. I needed boots and a heavy coat and gloves. The "Unbundling" I'm talking about has to do with putting all your services (TV/Phone/Internet) in one basket in order to get a good deal. I want to talk this week about how good a deal you are getting and if, indeed, it is a deal at all.
Maybe it is. Really. Honestly. If you have looked at your usage patterns: How much phone time you use, what you use the web for, what you like to watch on TV - and found a bundle that honestly costs less than all the other services separately, then by all means: Bundle up.
But if you aren't getting all you'd hoped from your bundle... Let's talk.
"You have Netflix? Do you have unlimited internet?"
"No, we just watch till we hit our cap, and then wait till the next month"
"Yeah, us too. We have a pretty high limit, but we still have to watch it"
"I want to get unlimited, but it is so expensive"
WHAT! You have a bandwidth cap on your internet? It's so expensive?
I honestly forgot people still did that. But of course, they, like most people, got their internet as part of a bundle from one of the big Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Let me introduce you my friends: The Independent ISPs!
|Click here to find an Indie-ISP near you|
Compare those to:
Bell -Unlimited is a $10 month Add-On to a basic $35/month plan (introductory rate only). Sounds vaguely competitive - but only if you are in a 3 service bundle. To get basic Bell unlimited Internet without a bundle, you would pay over $70/month! Barf!
Rogers - At least lists their prices in "Unbundled" Form - they don't offer truly "unlimited Internet" but... let's pretend that for most people 150GB is pretty well unlimited... $78/month!
|Yup - for the price of Rogers cheapest Internet you can have unlimited access from an Indie-ISP!|
Convinced yet? I know - it probably took a lot of fancy talk and statistics to convince you that your internet provider was ripping you off. So what next?
How to Break Up with your overpriced Internet Provider
- Get a free Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Email Address: A number of people don't switch ISPs because they'd have to change their email. Don't be one of those people - get an email address you can use forever and take with you when you shop your business around. I am partial to gmail, but I really don't care which one you pick. Get away from your YourName@(Bell/Rogers/Telus).com address. While you still have the old address - email everyone you know and tell them your new address will be YourNewName@Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail.com. Done. Start using your new address.
- Find an Independent ISP that sells a package you can use. Use CanadianISP in Canada or DSLReports in the US or just Google search for Independent ISPs in your area. Compare what they offer (we get the cheapest 5Mps service and can stream Netflix on multiple devices at the same time, so speed isn't really a huge deal). Sign up. And if you don't like it, you can take your business elsewhere without any bundle concerns.
- Enjoy the benefits. In addition to lower cost, we've noticed the following greatness:
- Amazing customer service- When we call customer or account services, we actually talk to a person. They almost always are polite and know how to help us. They work harder than the big guys.
- Independent ISPs care - In Canada, the Indies have been fighting for more transparency in billing (apparently they are getting ripped off by the big guys too) and more privacy and rights for consumers.
- A general peace of mind - You don't have to track your bandwidth usage, you don't have to be chained to one company, you don't have to wince when your bill arrives.
Unbundling yourself isn't easy, but getting an Independent-ISP provider is a fairly painless first step. Have a close look at your bundle "savings" and ask yourself if having unlimited, lower cost internet might not sound like a better deal. Unlimited Internet opens the door to many other things...
And Streaming TV.
And Voice of Internet Phone
And Cutting the Cable...
But that is for next time.
Who do you get your Internet Service from? Would you recommend it to others?