In more populated areas, the competition between internet service providers, or ISP’s, is fierce. You may be tempted to change providers by a lower price or extra services. Maybe you’re just not happy with your current ISP and think you can get better service with someone else. Think carefully about your decision before you take the plunge. The headaches you have to go through to make the change may not be worth it.
- Email address changes – Your Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail accounts will stay the same, but if your main email account is through your ISP, then that will change. No matter how careful you are about contacting everyone about the change, it never goes smoothly. There’s always someone who didn’t get the message and gets cranky about it. You also take a chance of missing an important email in the transition. Remember that you have to change your email address everywhere. This includes websites, E-newsletters you get, stationary and business cards. Chances are you’re going to miss something and it’ll come back to bite you.
- Contacts – Now you will have to trust that all of your contacts that used the old email will put your new email address in their system and delete the old one. As I said, this never happens. Some people never set up contacts in their email accounts and just go by whatever they used last time. This also may haunt you for days, weeks, months and maybe even years.
- Cancel contract – Another big drawback may be in your current ISP contract. You’ll need to check on whether there’s any cancellation fees involved. If you’ve paid ahead on your monthly fees, then you may not be able to get a refund if you switch providers. In any case, you’ll have to cancel your current contract or you will continue to get billed for the old service.
- New equipment – Changing providers may also require you to get new equipment such as modems, network cards or connector cables. You’ll need to find out if your new provider will require the change and if they will cover the cost or if you will need to purchase the new equipment.
- Change settings – You’re not going to be able to just switch ISP’s and expect everything to work the same as it did before. Settings need to be changed in your email software and, if you’ve never had to do that before, it can be confusing and frustrating. If you’re like me, you know how to turn on the computer and expect it to work. There are certain items on various menus that you don’t know what they’re for and don’t ever want to know.
- IP address changes – Even more confusing is that your internet router needs to be changed to the new IP address. Unless you’re a computer geek, this can be tricky.
- Lose features – Your current provider may have features such as spyware, pop-up blockers, and anti-virus protection bundled with your service that you just take for granted. Switching ISP’s could subject you to annoying pop-ups and you may even run the risk of getting a virus.
- Disrupts business – If you have a website or do any kind of business over the internet, the disruption can be devastating. If anything goes wrong, you could lose tons of money in a very short period of time. People are impatient and easily frustrated on the internet. If your website is down, they’ll move on in a heartbeat.
- No better service – After all the hassle, what if the new ISP isn’t any better than the old one? Sales pitches always make you think they’ve got the best thing since zippers were invented, but seldom live up to high expectations.
- Hate change – Of course, if you’re like me, you hate change of any kind. I’m such a creature of habit and don’t like to have disrupting changes to my usual routine. Changing internet provides would be a major problem for me.
Of course there are times when changing your internet provider is unavoidable. If you move, or your current provider goes out of business, you will be forced to find a new ISP. I hope you will take steps to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Keep in mind that there will probably be some glitches and try to minimize them.