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Tips for Independent Artists - Negotiation part 2

BILLS - There are some major limitations in being able to speak to someone due to overseas telecentres, when you ring up they will warn you. It seems that downloading the apps to work out your bills is the easiest way to keep on track of monthly spends and also change billing methods, or details of specific plans.

Electricity & Gas:

* How are you billed? Monthly, quarterly? * Are there specific saver times you can purchase electricity / gas? * Do you have solar? Have you got those discounts sorted? * Is this the most ethical? Green? Affordable? Make the decisions that best suit you now – you can always change in the future. * Do you have a pension card (concession card in Australia) have you registered for an electricity discount with your state / territory government?

Language to understands:

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) and a kilowatt (kW) may sound like the same thing, but they're not quite. While both are interrelated units of measurement, the important difference between kWh and kW is that a kWh reflects the total amount of electricity used, whereas a kW reflects the rate of electricity usage.

Options:

Check out some of the online assessment/ comparison tools to give you an insight into which is the best provider for your postcode. Some of these online comparison sites are available by phone. Read your last bill so you can work out how much electricity you use per year roughly / or gas. This is important in negotiating a better deal. They will actually change your electricity / gas provider for you and you don’t have to do anything more. * Check if they have a cooling off period, is it 7 days or 30 days. * Check when your last payment will be needed if you changing providers.

Phone Comparison sites can also help you get a new deal if you want to change companies or your plan is finished or your happy to pay the cost to cancel early. Ask around and you will find out what friends are doing. * Are you on a plan? and for how much longer? * What options can you change within your plan? like international calls and texts or data. * How much data do you have and is that enough? * Are there hidden costs that you have to consent to? Or do they just add them at bill time? * Do you need any extras, or can you cut some of them for the time being? Like additional television offers or magazines. * Does pre-paid help with managing your income? * Can you bundle other things in like ADSL or Broadband? * Do you own your phone or is that part of the plan? When does that finish up?

Internet * Often this can be worked out with your provider, how much do you pay? When is the bill due? What else is it linked to e.g: your phone? * The NBN is complicating some things for getting all the information. Hot tip is to ask as many questions as you need to. * What type of internet do you have? Does it give you what you need? Would you need it if the data on your phone was higher? Considering that places like public libraries with free internet are closing in some cities accessing free Wi-Fi might be harder moving forward. * Is it a good deal? Can you see what else is available? * Do you have a dongle / USB plug in or a dial up options? Depending if you live in the city or regionally or remotely this might all have a big impact.




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