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Penny pinching: How changing your internet, TV and phone provider could save you money
With the end of the year quickly approaching, Christmas might already be on your mind.
 
September has seen us fork out a fortune on school books and uniforms.
 
And, Christmas is no different - between outfits, presents and the big dinner on the day, stretching the household budget might seem like an enormous task.
 
But what if you actually had potentially hundreds of euro sitting around at home? Well, that could be happening if you don’t regularly change your electricity, TV and internet provider.
 
But before you cash-in on the savings, here is what you need to know to get the most out of your money.
 
Shop around:
To truly get the best deal, you’ll need to shop around and there are tonnes of providers.
 
The good news is there are a lot of comparison websites that have already done the hard work for us.
Examples of these?
 
But you should do your research into potential providers and see what their customer service and feedback is like.
 
Check your current contract
Contracts with our providers can be anything between six months to a year or more. So before you jump ship, ensure that you’re able to leave your current provider before committing to a new one.
 
You’ll be looking to see if you’re out of the contract’s minimum terms, so you’ll be free to switch.
 
If you’re still locked into the minimum terms, by all means, you can switch, but you’ll be slapped with a cancellation fee, which tends to be pretty hefty.
 
However, there are ways to get out of this if your provider hasn't been delivering the service that you were promised, for example - you haven’t been receiving the internet speeds that were agreed in your contract.
 
Contacting providers
First off, knowledge is power, so make sure when you contact a provider you know what you’re asking for and precisely what you want. This will avoid any hidden costs that you mightn’t expect, and you'll know when you're getting value for money.
 
The questions you should ask yourself before you call is what type of broadband speed and download limits suit your household? How much are you willing to spend? Do you want to do a bundle of TV, Internet and electricity?
 
When speaking to a provider, you'll want to ask what are the minimum contract and total monthly cost? Additionally, are there any hidden charges or fees for going over the limit on your downloads?
 
 
Limited or unlimited - that is the question
Actually, it isn’t a question. The majority of households around the country spend a lot of time browsing the Internet.
 
Unlimited broadband packages are highly recommended as your family can download as much as they want without hitting a cap.
 
It might be tempting to go for limited but generally, this will only be suitable for households that use less than an hour of basic browsing in a day.
 
So, no games, apps, videos or streaming of any kind. It may seem as though you’re saving money by opting for a limited download package. But if you exceed the download limit you could be caught out with a big bill at the end of the month.
 
New service
If you've switched and you're regretting your decision, don't fear.
 
It's usual practice for providers to have a cancellation period in the contract.
 
This means you can cancel the contract without paying a fortune in cancellation fees.
 
That period will depend on the provider but it's normally 14 days, but before you sign or agree to any type of contract, make sure you find this out.
 
And of course, once you've settled on a new provider - don't forget to cancel your original provider.
 
It's easy-peasy, so get ready for some serious savings.

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