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The internet is considered by many to be the most important invention of the 20th century. It supplies entertainment and news, connects you to family and friends, and makes online gaming, streaming and shopping possible. But it gives you so much more than that. It gives you the ability to e-learn, telework, visit with healthcare professionals remotely and seize opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach.

Your internet experience, however, is only as good as your internet service. Generally, there are multiple service providers in an area, each touting different speeds and prices while bombarding you with technical jargon, making it difficult to decide which service is right for you.

To help, here are four red flags to look for when shopping for internet service. With a bit of research, you may find your current service is lacking, or if you haven’t subscribed to an internet service before, it may help you choose a service that best meets your needs when the time comes.

Red Flag 1: Upload Speeds Not Mentioned

Many providers advertise fast download speeds with no mention of upload speeds, despite their importance. This is most likely to avoid drawing attention to their slower speeds.

Strong upload speeds are essential for transmitting data from your devices to the internet. This includes tasks such as sending emails, gaming and streaming. Poor upload speeds are almost always the cause of frozen screens during video conferencing and lag when gaming.

When researching internet service plans, be sure to look at download AND upload speeds. If upload speeds are not shown, contact the provider. And if you want to check the download and upload speeds of your current internet service, click here.

Keep in mind fiber-based providers, like Chariton Valley, provide much faster upload speeds due to the higher bandwidth of fiber. Chariton Valley also offers symmetrical speeds with each residential and business internet plan*, meaning upload and download speeds are the same.

Red Flag 2: Data Caps and Limits

A data cap is an overall limit on internet usage set by your provider.

Because some providers use older technology with less bandwidth to spread among their customers, data caps are usually set and enforced to ensure no single customer gets too much data per month. This can lead to the dreaded slowdowns some customers experience toward the end of the month.

To avoid this problem, select a provider that employs faster internet with higher bandwidth, like Chariton Valley’s fiber service. But whatever you do, verify if the provider has data caps – and if they do, you should probably consider a different provider.

Red Flag 3: Questionable Pricing

Some providers offer an introductory price, which is typically much less than their regular price. Although an introductory price looks appealing initially, when the introductory period expires, so does the rate.

When doing your research, also look for any extra charges you may incur, such as monthly equipment fees not included in the service price and those potential data cap overages mentioned above.

Receiving a consistent price within your expectations is as important as the quality of your internet service, and that’s why Chariton Valley offers straightforward internet pricing.

Red Flag 4: Poor Customer Service

Many larger providers have poor customer service. For example, customers may encounter considerable wait times when calling and slow responses to service issues.

Chariton Valley is a local provider that focuses on the customer experience and how best to serve you. When contacting Chariton Valley, you talk with a well-trained and friendly member of our customer service team. You don’t sit on hold, and any service issue you have, we resolve quickly.

In Conclusion

When selecting an internet service, remember these red flags and do your homework. An informed decision may lead to less costs, less frustration and a better service experience.

As always, you’re welcome to contact Chariton Valley any time for information about our fiber internet service.

*Service not available in all areas. Contact us for complete details.