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Time to move in! But wait, the lights won't turn on and the phone won't work...
You have the power of choice - shop around to find the best deals for your amenities, and think carefully about what you can afford. Remember if your name is on the bill, it is your responsibility; not your flat mate who keeps making 0900 psychic calls to see what to cook for dinner, your other flat mate who opens the windows when the heater gets too hot, or flattie number three who downloads Star Trek and porn all day.
PhoneHomelines are expensive. Some students choose to just use their cellphones and don't bother getting a landline. If you do want one, think about:
- Which company you choose (shop around online first).
- Connection fees. How much will they charge you to get set up?
- Disconnection fees - how much will they charge if you move out or change your mind?
- Toll costs. Do you want to put on a toll bar or have PINs so that you know who makes toll calls?
- Package deals, e.g. if you want Internet as well.
InternetYou get free Internet at uni on the campus computers, plus access to free wireless if you take your laptop to campus. Do you need Internet at home too? If you do, think about:
- The same sort of stuff as phone lines.
- Be wary of installation costs. Some places charge you hundreds while others do it for free!
- Look out for specials.
- Ask what happens if you go over your data allowance. Will they cut you off or just keep charging you more and more until you get a $6000 bill?
- Lots of companies have 12 or 24 month contracts, but a lot of students move out just after exams. Be careful about early disconnection fees. Orcon is one provider that doesn't make you sign up for a fixed term.
- WIC has free WIFI in certain places in Dunedin. It's slow and they block lots of things, but it comes at the right price.
- If you find a place close to a University hall/college, you may be able to pick up the University WIFI. It's free as well.
- The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill is being enforced at the time of reading, so, um, no pirating please! If you do, you might lose your Internet.
PowerThere are so many options. The best bet is to just ring the main providers in our area and ask them what plan would be best for your flat and how much it will cost. Go to consumer.org.nz/powerswitch to compare companies and to look at other ideas and options. There are special plans that can save you money if you:
- Are low electricity users
- Use most of your electricity at night
- Are willing to pre-pay