WOW! Internet Reviews 2020
WOW! Internet (Wide Open West Internet) is a regional internet service provider offering internet, cable TV, and phone services in the midwest US.
Their services have the widest availability in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio. But other states where WOW! Internet services are available are Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, and Tennessee.
Their high-speed internet relies on the hybrid fiber-coaxial network meaning that the network relies on fiber optics, then leverages the wide-spread availability of coaxial cables to bring internet to each household. Since they target areas with pre-existing cable capabilities (coaxial), they are limited to urban and suburban areas, and are rarely found in rural settings.
With plans starting at 100Mbps and going all the way to 1Gbps, with monthly fees as low as $24.99, it makes them a good choice for single households and big families alike! Plus WOW! Internet have options to bundle phone and internet services too for a complete package.
- Affordable packages for the first 12 months
- No data caps
- Limited availability
- Best prices available with contract only
- Price lock only lasts for the first 12 months of the 24-month contract
WOW! Packages and Pricing
WOW! Internet offers high-speed cable and fiber internet packages at affordable prices (especially if you’re a first-time customer) and these are the current packages on offer:
Their entry-level high-speed package includes 100Mbps internet download speeds and is a good pick for smaller households where only a handful of devices will be used at the same time.
Internet 100 is available for $24.99 per month, but only if you sign a two-year contract (Service Plan Agreement, SPA), and enroll in their AutoPay and Paperless Billing features.
Without AutoPay, the price is $29.99 per month.
Internet 100 Package
The second pricing tier package, with speeds that support multi-user streaming that will not affect the performance of other activities and devices.
- Available for $39.99 (promo price; the standard rate is $79.99)
- Download Speed: 100Mbps
- Upload Speed: 10Mbps
- Data Cap: 1000GB
Internet 200 Package
This option includes 200Mbps internet download speeds for $34.99 per month with AutoPay or $39.99 per month without it.
It’s well-suited for smaller households that will use several high bandwidth devices at the same time. This speed is more than enough for HD streaming, competitive gameplay, and fast downloads.
Internet 500 Package
This option includes up to 500Mbps internet speed for $44.99 per month with AutoPay or $49.99 without it.
This internet package is intended for larger households with multiple devices using a lot of bandwidth, or users who upload and download a lot, or love watching movies and TV shows via streaming services in 4K resolution.
*Note that this plan is not available in all areas so you’ll need to double check with WOW! First.
Internet 1Gig Package
For those customers who want limitless internet with high speeds and the most demanding needs, there is a high tier option. The 1Gbps (1,000 Mbps) internet speed, starts at $64.99 per month for new customers and without AutoPay, the price goes up to $69.99.
It’s great for large family households with numerous devices that use a lot of bandwidth, families who enjoy playing games on multiple devices at once, and for those households equipped with smart sensors and assistants.
All WOW! Internet packages come with a 2-year service plan agreement, and their advertised pricing requires customers to sign up for Paperless Billing and AutoPay options. Without these options, each internet package is $7 more expensive per month.
The price is only locked for the first 12 months of the contract. After the first 12 months, the price will go up by $20 for the second half of the contract. After 24 months, the price is increased a final time – this time $10 for each plan – to match their actual prices.
Still, the final price can be further lowered with AutoPay and Paperless Billing features, and the price range is similar to other providers.
*Note: All packages ordered online include free installation and the pricing is only valid for new customers.
Data and Network Management
WOW! Internet has no soft or hard data caps, which is a very good selling point, but they do state that maximum speeds that are advertised in their packages are not guaranteed.
WOW! also states they manage their network “according to industry standards,” meaning that during peak times that cause network congestion, they will slow down connection speeds in affected areas, which might bring down the whole experience.
On the other hand, they also state they do not block peer-to-peer traffic or draw favors in terms of content speed.
They also note that their Wi-Fi connection speeds can only go up to 650Mbps through their equipment, so if you opt for their 1Gbps package, you’ll need to plug your devices in directly to enjoy the maximum speeds. Wi-Fi speeds are also dependent on the capabilities of the device connected: if your phone can’t handle speeds over 200Mbps, you won’t have more than that.
Early Termination Fee – Customers who wish to terminate their agreement early will have to pay the Early Termination Fee that can go up to $345. The termination fee is charged $15 for every month of contract that remains. Luckily, if you’re not happy with the service in the first 30 days, you can get your money back.
Installation Fee – The installation fee for WOW! Internet services is $50, but new customers get free installation with a standard activation package for any of their services (internet, cable, or phone).
Taxes, Fees, and Price Changing Policy – The prices listed above do NOT include applicable taxes, fees, and other charges, so expect that the final bill will be higher once all these additional costs are listed. Some costs to keep in mind are taxes, installation, activation fees (first-month bill only), and equipment lease fees.
WOW! also states that their pricing, fees, and taxes are subject to change without prior notice, which might be a deal breaker for some customers.
Paper Statement Fee – An additional charge of $2 per month will be incurred on those customers who want a paper statement, but can be avoided with the paperless statement option, and WOW! gives customers 3 months to choose without charging the fee.
Your Modem and Router
WOW! Internet services require at least a DOCSIS 3.0 router to work correctly but the plus side is that their Wi-Fi modem is built directly into the router, so customers don’t have to set up anything on their own. The downside is that you have to lease for $10 per month which means the costs and fees start to add up.
During installation, the Wi-Fi modem is secured with a WPA encryption standard, so only devices with a passkey can use your internet.
Features and Benefits
WOW! offers a few additional services customers to customers who opt for their internet packages:
Whole-Home Wi-Fi Add-on
This feature offers a mesh Wi-Fi coverage for every corner of the home, ensuring the highest possible speeds no matter where you are. The price differs for each internet package:
- $14.99 per month for Internet 100 and Internet 200
- $9.99 per month for Internet 500
- $4.99 per month for 1Gig Internet
The Whole-Home Wi-Fi includes one eero base and beacon, and for more beacons, the price goes up by $5.99 per beacon per month. The eero-powered mesh network can be controlled with the eero app from your phone, with features like creating a separate network for guests, pausing access to the web, and more.
Home Phone Add-on
WOW! offers a Home Phone service, which provides one line of service for $9.99 per month for all plans. The service requires a broadband connection to work and won’t function without it (not even emergency calls). The option includes 100 minutes for domestic long distance calls (plus Canada), and once used up, a per minute rate is charged for every minute above.
WOW! Customer Service
The WOW! customer service seems to be rather good comparatively for the sector, with 55.6% of all reviews on BroadbandNow giving them a positive rating.
The WOW! website has a good repository of support resources for all their services, as well as a FAQ section that explains the most common concerns in detail. It covers every section from basic internet setup and how their Wi-Fi mesh works, all the way to billing, opting in for additional services, and detailed pricing for each year of their contract.
The most common complaints about them are in line with industry averages and are primarily about internet speeds lower than advertised or restricted during busy periods and the waiting times for customer service or tech support.
You can reach their customer service via email and phone, or you can contact them through your account directly on their website once you’ve been given credentials. They also have an active Facebook page where they regularly communicate with customers, and their average reply time on Messenger is only one hour.
WOW! support email: [email protected]
WOW! Support phone: 1.855.4.wow.way
If you are unsure whether you’d like their services, you can try them out for 30 days before you are bound by their two-year contract. That’s the best way to test just how good or bad they truly are.
Ways to Save on WOW!
WOW! offers TV and phone options too, so look for bundle deals for your area. Their TV options include small, medium, or large TV options with up to 270 TV channels with On-Demand capabilities and HD support to choose from.
Each TV option differs with the number of channels included, so it’s best to check with customer service which one would be best.
*Note that they are primarily an internet provider, and all their bundle options MUST include their internet option.
Choose Paperless Statements
Customers who choose to receive standard statements have to pay a $2 fee for each so you can save this by going paperless via the Billing Center. The reason for this charge is WOW! is encouraging customers to help them protect the environment.
Instead of paying your bills manually, you can choose automatic payments in the Account Manager instead. The option is available in the Billing Center and lowers your monthly bill by $5 no matter which package you choose.
Read Your Contract Carefully
All WOW! Internet options require you to sign a two-year contract, so read the pricing for your option carefully. The price is only locked for the first year, after which it will increase by $20, and after another year by an additional $10 to match the actual price of your package.
Don’t End Your Contract Early
Once you sign a contract, you only have 30 days to change your mind; otherwise, you’ll have to pay early termination fees. This fee can be as much as $345, so it’s best to stick with WOW! until your contract expires.
WOW! is a smaller internet service provider who offers its services primarily to the midwest and south. They offer decently priced high-speed internet packages that you can bundle with basic TV and TV-and-phone options.
Their customers are fairly satisfied comparatively, although there have been some instances of the service disconnecting more than other ISPs.
Still, as long as you understand the pricing, WOW! has a decent high-speed internet offer that is much more affordable when compared to other providers, especially when you opt-in for their Paperless Statements and AutoPay, so it’s a good choice for anyone who doesn’t mind the 2-year contract they have to sign.