There are many broadband horror stories out there, and many people who worry that they are going to be the next victim. If you are one of these people then you should take some steps to ensure that you are not caught out.
Of course, there are going to be times when there is nothing that you are able to do to avoid a negative broadband experience. However, it is always possible to take certain steps to protect yourself. It is important that you know what the horror stories are, the facts, and how you can minimize the risk of becoming a victim.
The Horrors of Mobile Broadband Abroad
There are many horror stories about people who have used their mobile broadband abroad only to come back to shockingly high bills. This has happened to a number of people where their bills for the mobile broadband usage have reach thousands of pounds. The problem that the people in these stories face is that they went over the data allowance they had, and were facing charges for additional data.
This is something that the EU has tried to stop, but there has been limited success so far. The EU brought in legislation that capped the costs of mobile broadband for wholesale prices. This means that the amount the provider pays is capped, but they can still vary the amounts that the consumer is charged for excess usage.
One of the reasons many consumers are still facing these shocking bills is the small print that you find with the providers. The small print could be hiding excessive costs that you do not know about.
To avoid becoming a victim of the overseas mobile broadband horror story you need to keep track of what you use when you have mobile broadband. The mobile broadband provider should let you know when you are close to your capped amount. However, this is not something that they will all do automatically. You might have to set up the notifications yourself. If you do not want to rely on this then you should look at using Internet usage monitoring software. This will keep track of the exact amount of data that you have used so that you can ensure you do not exceed your data allowance.
The Auto-Renew Horror Stories
There are a number of horror stories about people who have had fixed line and HD broadband contracts that automatically renewed. This is something that the people only find out about after the contract has renewed and they are locked in for at least another 12 months. A lot of people worry about auto-renewal because it can limit choice and can be incredibly frustrating.
The automatically renewable contract, or ARC, is something that most broadband providers had before the start of 2012. This was popular because the providers knew that many people did not know the exact date of their contract expiry. This meant that they would be able to constantly roll over the contract until the customers stated otherwise.
The horror stories often have people who are unhappy with the broadband that they have looking at uSwitch and other comparison sites for a new contract. When they called up their current provider they are told that their contract already expired and had been renewed. To leave they would need to pay cancellation fees and other costs.
This is technically something that should not be happening anymore because of new regulation, and ban that was put in place by Ofcom. The regulatory service banned the use of ARCs, which means that any contract started after January 2012 would not be an ARC. All customers that were on ARCs should have been moved to a different contract that does not renew. Of course, this is not always something that happens, and you still need to be careful with your contract.
The broadband provider should contact you when your contract is coming to an end. However, this does not always happen, and this is why you need to keep track of your contract dates. When you do you will be able to avoid any problems that could come with being unknowingly placed on a rolling monthly contract, or a cut in service.
Horror Stories About Hidden Costs
The most common broadband horror stories are those about the hidden costs that people have to face. There are a lot of hidden costs out there and they will vary depending on the type of broadband that you are going to get. The hidden costs are usually found in the small print of the contract, but the fact that only 1 in 5 people actually read the small print means that the other 4 may be in for a shock.
One of the common hidden cost horror stories come when people want to leave their current provider. These stories often have excessive cancellation fees and other costs that the people have to pay before they are able to leave the provider. The costs of leaving will be outlined in the small print of the contract, and you need to read about them.
To avoid these costs you need to consider a number of factors. The most important is how long you have until your contract ends. Ofcom place a cap on the cancellation charges that providers can charge, but this is a per month amount. The longer you still have on your contract the more you are going to pay as a cancellation fee.
Another common hidden cost horror story comes with the phone line rental that you have to pay. If you are getting ADSL then you need to have a phone line. There are also certain fibre optic connections that need phone lines. When you rent the line you are going to be paying a monthly fee. However, there are many providers that offer you a special rate on this.
What these providers do not tell you in the large print is that there are conditions to this. Many people sign up to the contract and then face the full price of the line rental. The special price for line rental usually comes when you are able to pay for the whole year upfront.
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