Attorney General: Choosing an Online Internet Service

Connecticut Attorney General 

Law in Plain Language: Choosing an Online Internet Service

Today, millions of people are signing up for what has become an industry worth billions of dollars annually. There are literally hundreds of companies offering Internet service, including everything from small entrepreneurial firms to telephone companies that want to sell their telephone customers Internet service as well.

Here are some tips:

  • Ask for information in writing. Many people sign up for an Internet service while they are on the computer, without reading all the conditions that are explained in the sign-up process.
  • Choose an Internet service plan that fits your needs. Most companies offer plans with per-hour rates, flat rates for unlimited use and different prices based on the length of your contract. However, many companies do not publicize all the plans so, if you don't ask, you may never find out about the plan that best fits your needs.
  • Ask questions about the Internet service. How reliable is the system? What are typical download and upload rates? How long will you have to wait for customer assistance if you have a problem?
  • Find out if the Internet service provider will have a local telephone number for you to use if you choose a dial-up service. Despite any representations that any service is free, you will be billed for any long-distance telephone charges incurred in utilizing a dial-up service.

When you choose an Internet service provider, most will offer what they characterize as a free month of using their service. Such offers do not always include access to the entire service, and the consumer is always held responsible for any long-distance telephone charges incurred. However, the services generally require you to provide your credit card information and will begin billing you automatically after the "free" month. Some will also require you to cancel by dialing a telephone number and will not permit cancellation online. So be sure to carefully scrutinize the cancellation procedure and to cancel the service well before the deadline provided.

If you have a complaint about an Internet service provider, you may write:

Attorney General
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Content Last Modified on 12/1/2011 12:01:55 PM