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Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
When you arrive for the first time at Brussels, you normally look for a place where to live...and of course, one of the first things after that is to get an internet connection at your place.
In Brussels, the first thing you need to know is: which are the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) that provide services where you live. This information is not easy to find, it is not posted anywhere, and depending to whom you ask, and you will get different responses. Ideally, your "Commune" (City Hall) should provide an official list, but it will probably take you a lot of time and hassle to get that through them.
Today I will list some of the ISPs that work in the area of Belgium, but I warn you this is not an extensive list. I will also give you some guidelines and criteria that will help you to choose your ISP.
NUMERICABLE www.numericable.be (it was called CODITEL before)
It is important to remark that the mobile phone companies (e.g. BASE or MOBISTAR) are also offering internet access through cable or phone lines.
HOW DO I CHOOSE INTERNET PROVIDER???
Well, I will tell you what I did BEFORE SIGNING OR FILLING ANY APPLICATION:
1) Check out carefully the information on the website. Many providers announce VERY TRIICKY offers online, but you must be very careful. I have witnessed how Belgacom announces one price lower, and then when it comes to registration the price is much higher than the announced!!!! Personally, I mistrust a provider when their website is not clear, tricky, and there is missing information (e.g. download/upload speed of the connection, monthly volume of data, etc.).
2) Call the client service to ask for further details and to compare what it says in the website and the reality. My experience showed me that in the case of Belgacom, I tried to call three times in the same day in order to get extra information about their offer, and every time I called an artificial voice told me I had to wait at least 8 minutes for someone to speak to me. Imagine, if they leave a potential new client 8 minutes waiting, what they will do when you have signed your contract with them??? Will they answer the phone if there is any problem? So, calling them will give you a better idea of how they will treat you later.
3) Try to do a “false” application online before you make the real one. In other words, start the registration process with a false name and address….you will most likely find surprising charges (e.g. activation cost, renting of modem/router, ….etc) coming up, like when you buy a flight with a low-cost company. Besides, you will notice that they will show you the links to the “CONDITIONS OF SERVICE” or any other relevant documents, once you have sent the application to them….oh my friends….TOO LATE TO GET BACK, you already applied for it!!!!! This tells you about the tricky practices they make in order to trick you, or make you pay more. Be careful and read all conditions and details before signing or applying for anything. If you have doubts you can always, try, to call them.