Take it from someone who’s just done it themselves – moving house can be an absolute pain. And when you’re a renter, it’s something that’s an all too regular fact of life. Aside from the physical stress of packing and moving all your furniture, appliances and stuff, there’s the hassle of getting everything connected at the new place – power, water, gas – and yes, broadband and internet.
It’s your broadband internet in particular that can be a troublesome thing to deal with, not least because a huge amount of broadband plans involve a long-term contract, one which comes with penalties if you leave early. And as any renter knows, with only a couple of months’ notice you can find yourself having to negotiate with your Internet provider over a contract you can’t make it to the end of.
If you’re mid-way through a contract when you have to move house, most providers will be at least a little bit accommodating – they might transfer your service over to the new place and let you continue with the contract if you’re really lucky. But some others will only let you out of your existing contract if you agree to a brand new one, effectively resetting the clock on your financial commitment to them and making it hard to ever change providers if you decide you want to.
The obvious answer, if you find yourself contract-free and able to choose between any Internet provider you like, is to aim for the telco providers that offer contract-free plans. They’re more common than you’d think, though in many cases you’ll be paying more and/or getting less for the privilege of not having to sign one or two years of your broadband life away.
Ideally, then, you’ll be looking for no-contract plans that offer good pricing, without any financial penalties for choosing the non-contract option. It’s all too common for providers to offer what looks like a very reasonable non-contract plan, only to slug you with a “connection fee” that’s only waived if you sign up to a contract plan (the “connection fee” itself is something of a rort, a legacy of the ADSL days when a tech actually has to visit the phone exchange to plug your line in to the right port).
Planning your next move?
If the place you’re moving to is already connected to the NBN, you’re in for a much easier time, both in speed of connection and available plan options. But for the time being, there’s still a lot of places out there that rely on ADSL – and that means you’re going to have to wear a connection fee pretty much across the board, along with a long wait to get connected and the need to endure lengthy downtime if you decide to change providers later on.
NBN services don’t have a connection fee (if the provider charges one, it’s purely for their own bottom line) and can often be connected in minutes rather than days (particularly true of Fibre to the Home connections), making it a much better fit for renters.