How to break up with your internet provider and still get what you want

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Time to upgrade your current internet to a newer service? Here’s how to make the switch.

Maybe it was love at first sight with your current internet service provider. Or maybe it was just a temporary fling. Either way, your relationship has grown stale, and it’s time to move on. It’s not you, it’s them. You’ve put up with their lagging speeds, dead zones, and constant outages for too long. When you finally tried to confront your internet service provider (ISP), they offered to upgrade you to a higher speed, and you thought maybe this time, things would be different. But then another week went by, and you found out they charged you for that upgrade, and your internet is still slow. Plus, you never use that phone line they threw in for “free.”

If this feels similar to your experience, it’s probably time to break up with your current internet provider. You know what they say: there’s plenty of fish in the sea, and this statement could not be more accurate when it comes to your internet. Internet services have come a long way since 2005, so there’s no reason to settle for outdated technology. Follow this guide to see if it’s time to bid farewell to your current ISP.

Already found a new ISP? Click here to skip ahead and learn how to break up with your old one.

Reasons to find a new ISP

The most important thing to know is that you’ve likely got more options than you realize. If you’re frustrated with your current service or just want to find one that better suits your needs, it doesn’t hurt to shop around. Here are a few things to look for in a new provider:

  • Upgraded technology – If you’re still using the internet provided by your cable company, chances are their technology is behind today’s standards. Look for high-speed, wireless internet with mesh WiFi instead of traditional routers.
  • Better customer service – If you feel like you’re always being ghosted (aka the silent treatment) by your current ISP or are experiencing generally unpleasant service, you deserve a new provider.
  • Price that matches quality – You get what you pay for when it comes to your home internet service. Find an ISP that is worth your time and money, even if the price seems higher in comparison.
  • Available networks – Occasionally, you or your ISP may move locations, so you’ll need to find a service that covers your area.
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Step one: find a new ISP

Ask your neighbors for recommendations, search online, or read online reviews to find internet providers near you. Make sure to pay attention to the details, like what speed you’ll be getting, if they have a data cap, what their service includes, if you need to sign a contract, and if there are any hidden fees or add-ons. Be wary of companies that charge you to upgrade your equipment or require you to pay for equipment you don’t need. 

To give you an idea, average speeds today are around 100 Mbps if you’re streaming content in high-definition or playing video games online. Anything slower than that is likely too slow.

What if I have cable or phone service included?

One of the reasons for keeping your current internet provider might be that they provide you with other services besides internet, like cable TV or landline phone service. If these add-ons are the only reason you’re hanging on to your current ISP, we’ve got good news for you. It’s easy to not only replace your cable TV box with online streaming services, but you can also pick and choose what you want, a la carte. These streaming services will make ditching traditional cable TV a breeze. Some broadband providers will also let you keep your cable TV without internet, so give your current provider a call if you’d prefer that option. Regardless of what path you choose, remember that you’re in control of the situation.

If you like the peace of mind that comes with having a landline, you can also consider plenty of landline alternatives you can consider. You might even save some extra dollars when you try these options without a bundle.

Step two: compare upgrades and cancellation fees

When comparing ISP plans, try breaking it down by the following categories:

  • Monthly cost – Make sure to compare similar plans to get the most accurate pricing.
  • Connection type – What type of broadband technology does the service use? Depending on where you live, there could be several options available to you, and some technologies are typically going to be faster or more reliable than others. Learn more about broadband home internet services here
  • Download speed – Do they offer at least 100 Mbps speeds? What’s their minimum and maximum?
  • Customer service – Do they have good online reviews or are they barely hanging on by 1-star?

Another important factor in whether you should keep your current internet or not is if they have early termination fees (ETF). ETFs are fees that apply when you cancel your service before the end of your contract. When these fees are significant, you have a few options: you can keep your service active, see if your new ISP will cover some or all of your termination fees, or pay the termination fees yourself.

Step three: get your new internet

Don’t cancel your current service yet. Make sure your new plan is up and running before you make that phone call. Most providers try to make setup and installation as quick and easy as possible, but your installation time will vary, so make sure to plan ahead.

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Step four: cancel your internet provider

If it’s finally time to break up with your current ISP, here’s how to do it as easily and painlessly as possible.

First, try logging into your current ISP account online and see if you can cancel your service digitally. (That was easy.) If that’s not an option, you’ll need to call their service line and talk to a representative. They may offer an attractive discount or another add-on (that you probably don’t even want) to entice you to stay, but keep calm and stick to your guns. Remember, you have the right to cancel services that you pay for, and it’s nothing that they should take personally.

Sometimes, ISPs make their cancellation process difficult. You may need to provide written notice, or they may pass your call from person to person, trying to prolong the inevitable. Whatever happens, keep calm and maintain your composure. When you’ve successfully canceled your service with them, make sure to return any equipment that belongs to your ISP.


Moving on never felt so good

Now that you know everything there is to know about canceling your internet provider, you can feel confident about making the switch. Rather than trying to rewrite history or get back at your old ISP, we recommend you take what went wrong and forward and start afresh with your new provider.

Ready for better internet with no add-on fees or data caps? Chat with us about our plans and find out if WeLink is available in your area.

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