Broadband Contracts – What to Check
Trying to choose the best broadband (ADSL) contract in Spain can be a nightmare. How many MB? With or without TV? ADSL or fibre optic? Add to this that each company has multiple tariffs, promos and small print and it fast becomes an impossible task. Take a look at our checklist to make sure you’re not caught out.
What’s the Price?
By law all telecoms companies must show their prices with sales tax (IVA) included. Some do this clearly, whilst others show a price in a large font with the total price in smaller print below (or in a pale grey that goes unnoticed). Don’t compare until you’re sure all prices have IVA included.
Promo prices are for a limited time – sometimes for 6 months or sometimes until the end of the calendar year. In the latter case, the nearer it gets to December the less interesting the promo for the consumer. Companies must show the price after the promo period ends, but you may have to search for the info.
Is the Monthly Landline Rental Included?
Many ADSL contracts “forget” to mention that the landline rental charge, around 18€, has to be included. So if you find a really cheap tariff, look whether the charge has to be added on.
Is Installation Really Free?
A tricky question. Online promos normally come with free installation, but you may decide to call to ask questions and then contract the service over the phone – in this case you could be charged for installation.
Free installation is only for a standard home, if yours has any special requirements, such as additional cabling, then this will be billed.
Freebies? Think Twice!
Watch out if you’re offered a free tablet, smartphone or upgrade (eg TV package) with your new ADSL contract. Freebies normally come with an increase in the minimum contract period (from 12 to 24 months).
The Cooling-Off Period
As you know, the Distance Selling Regulations allow a 14-day cooling-off period when you can change your mind.
However when it comes to telecoms, that period ends immediately the day that installation takes place. So, if you contract the service on the first day of the month and installation is planned for the first week, you only have that week to change your mind. Once your ADSL has been installed, if you then decide you don’t want it you’ll be charged for the installation cost AND for breaking the minimum contract period – a double whammy!
Once your current provider is notified that you want to change (by your new provider), they’ll get in touch with a counter offer. If you accept your current provider’s offer you must contact the other company during the 14 day period and preferably in writing or by online chat, to explain that you are cancelling your contract. Don’t let the new company leave any equipment or carry out a partial installation, if you decide not to go ahead you could be charged.
Megas and More Megas
You might be tempted to go for the contract with the highest number of MB. Take into account that the MB shown on any offer is always the maximum. Only in the small print will you be able to find the minimum MB guaranteed, and as long as the minimum is reached then you have no grounds to cancel the contract.
You can check the actual speed of your ADSL via a website or app. Tip: connect your computer via cable rather than wifi and close any programmes that could be using bandwidth.
Don’t Trash your Old Router
If you’re changing provider, you may be tempted to simply throw away your used router, especially when it’s old. However, many people have been caught out and billed over 50€ for what is, essentially, a useless item.
Double-check your contract with your previous provider to see if you are required to return the router. Don’t opt for simply not paying the bill (or if it’s direct debited don’t return the charge) – telecoms companies will think nothing of putting your name on a debtor’s list. Pay first, liaise with the company later.
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