While technology has made it easier to do many things, when it comes to streamlining your bills it can still be pretty confusing. If you’ve successfully cut the cord and lowered your bill by moving to streaming services, it’s natural to take the next step and look for money-saving moves to help cut internet costs. You can save money, but it’s important to know what to look for – and what to avoid – or you might end up paying more in the long run.

Internet service provider (ISP) marketing campaigns would have you think that by choosing a new service you’re guaranteed to pay less. But those splashy, too-good-to-be-true offers don’t give you the whole picture. And as the saying goes, the truth can be found in the details. So here’s what you need to know about how to cut internet costs:.

Check contract details

What might seem like a good deal at first can quickly become a nightmare when you find out about fees and penalties that might be hidden in various ISP contracts, like these:

EARLY TERMINATION FEES: Before you sign up with a new provider, you’ll want to look into the cancellation process for your situation. Often, ISPs lock their customers into 2-year contracts, and if you cancel before then you have to pay an Early Termination Fee (ETF). ETF fees depend on the ISP and their contract terms, but can run up to $400 or more. To find out the cancellation process for your ISP, check their website or give their customer support line a call.

BELOW THE LINE FEES: These are sneaky charges added to bills that can significantly increase the amount you owe each month. Things like “Regulatory Recovery Fee,” “Property Tax Allotment Surcharge,” and so on. These can add $15 or more per month to your bill on top of what you’re already paying.

Softcom doesn’t require you to immediately sign up for a contract to try our service. We offer a hassle-free 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee for all services and plans. If you aren’t happy with the results, we’ll give you a full refund. We also don’t add below the line fees to our billing process. The price that is advertised is the price you pay per month.

Reevaluate your service plan

Another way to save money on your internet service depends on the service plan you choose. ISPs usually offer a variety of plans to fit each customers’ unique needs. You might be paying for a higher speed than you need. Check out this chart to learn more about the different plans and pricing options we offer, and contact customer service if you have any questions about your usage and needs.

Research data limits

Promises of never-ending and unlimited data may sound like a good way to cut internet costs up front, but before you make a switch, be sure to look deeper at what you’ll really get. Most ISPs charge customers extra fees or slow down available speeds for customers who exceed data limits. See The Hidden Limitations of Unlimited Plans for more details about how “unlimited” plans can turn into an expense you didn’t count on.

Here at Softcom, we don’t play word games with our customers. We know that you want unlimited data – which is why we already provide it with no data caps, no overage charges, no extra fees and no hidden restrictions.

Reputation and customer service

This may not be part of your bill, but your overall experience as a customer can play a big part in your satisfaction with an ISP. As an independently owned corporation, Softcom has the freedom and flexibility to offer onsite support and customer service that you expect. Our local technical support teams get boots on the ground quickly when phone troubleshooting doesn’t do the trick. No other carrier in our region comes close to Softcom’s level of service and support.

While other internet service providers try to save money by outsourcing support operations overseas, Softcom doesn’t do that. All our employees live here in the Sacramento area and work out of our Galt facility. Whether you call us, drop by the offices, or are visited by our techs on-site, you’ll work with people who know you and know the community.

We understand that you want to cut internet costs to keep them low, and we’re committed to helping you do so by providing the best service at the best price to enjoy the high-speed internet you deserve. We know that all this information can be a little overwhelming, but we want to make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for. Still confused about caps and coverage? We’ve got your back! Give one of our Softcom customer service professionals a call, we’re here to help.