I have been thinking about how service contracts work in the communications industry with the largest players being Digicel, TSTT and Columbus Communications (FLOW). My main comparison will be between TSTT and Columbus Communications bearing in mind that I in no way believe I know much about the legal aspects.
I have noticed that nearly all TSTT services require a year long contract which disturbs me after experiencing a horrible track record of bad experiences with this large company. The impression I now have is that companies in Trinidad that lock you into yearly and / or long term contracts are not looking out for the consumer. I would like to further express that it seems that these companies that have such contracts are more interested in the long term money and profits they achieve while not sustaining or committing to proper customer care and providing the best value for money. In essence, the contract seems to be there to disuade you from moving to companies that may have better packages and short term contracts (if any at all) and in many cases with cheaper prices. Therefore you should ask yourself and / or remind yourself that if you decide to take such long term contracts, YOU ARE SUSTAINING THESE COMPANIES AND ENCOURAGING THEM TO OFFER YOU POOR SERVICE AND / OR EXPENSIVE SERVICES REDUCING THE VALUE OF THE MONEY YOU HAVE.
Let me alternate the perspective I am sharing here to express what I believe logically and makes "common sense". If a company offers you normal month to month billing, then it is in the best interest of that company (for example: Columbus Communications aka "FLOW" to the typical Trinbagonian) to provide adequate services and / or maintain or intend to maintain a failry high level of customer satisfaction on a monthly basis. The consumer power is therefore "more powereful" in this scenario because the customer has the choice without penalty to stop paying for poor service which implies some form of fairness (Good Service=Continuous profits).
These contracts should not be confused with Service Level Agreements which deal more with maintenance of good service versus rebate for inadequate or poor services.
So what am I trying to say?
Simple, you wouldn't want to hire someone you didn't know to construct your house on a yearly contract because if that person doesn't deliver, the only party losing out is you... so why choose a company such as TSTT where you have to sign up for a whole year to get a price for internet which is still more than paying a company like Columbus Communications a lower price on a month to month basis for two times more internet bandwidth / speed.
If you can't understand that, I can't help you with anything else. If you do understand and agree with what I just said then I give you kudos where kudos is deserved.