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You are here: Home Moving to Getting Started Getting connected in the Netherlands
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10/07/2012Getting connected in the Netherlands

Getting connected in the Netherlands A guide to telephone, internet and television along with utility services water, electricity and gas in the Netherlands.

Utilities
In many cases, the utilities (gas, water and electricity) will already be connected and you just have to have them transferred to your name. If you are paying an inclusive rent, check your contact carefully for what is covered.

Water
There are two elements to water payments: a consumption charge based on actual water usage (which is estimated if you don't have a meter) and a municipal tax for services (sewage, pollution etc.). To see which water company covers your area, visit www.vewin.nl  and fill in the box Uw drinkwaterbedrijf with your postcode, or ask at your local gemeente (town hall).

Amsterdam - Waternet: 0900 9394
Den Haag/Leiden - Duinwaterbedrijf Zuid-Holland:  079 347 1515
Rotterdam - Evides: 0900 0787
Utrecht - Vitens: 0900 0650 or PWN Waterleidingbedrijf Noord-Holland: 0900 405 07 00

Electricity and gas
The energy market is liberalised so you are able to choose (or change) suppliers. Most have ‘green’ options, where energy is bought from alternative sources such as wind, water and biomass. Regulatory authorities ensure fair practices and tariffs. On the website of the Office of Energy Regulation (www.dte.nl) there's a complete list of gas and electricity suppliers (Energiebedrijven >wie is wie > vergunninghouders).

Main suppliers:
Dong Energy (www.dongenergy.nl)
Eneco (www.eneco.nl)
Essent (www.essent.nl)
Greenchoice (www.greenchoice.nl)
Nuon (www.nuon.nl) (main supplier for Amsterdam)
OXXIO (www.oxxio.nl)

You can compare energy prices using Compare Energy Prices (English language section): www.energievergelijken.nl/en/

Communication
There is huge range of options from many suppliers with combination deals of telephone (bellen), Internet (surfen) and TV. You then just pay a monthly fee.

Telephones
KPN is still the main supplier for landlines. The easiest way to get connected is often to visit a KPN Primafoon shop with appropriate identification and they can set it up. There are many additional services such as voicemail, call waiting, discounts for favourite numbers etc. and deals in combination with Internet and TV. For really cheap international calls though, you can have calls charged via a cheaper provider. For instance, you rent the line from KPN but the calls go through Tele2, for example, or register with bell1649 (www.bel1649.nl) or use an international calling card which you can buy from independent call shops. In all these cases, you key in a combination of codes before dialling overseas. Internet telephony (such as Skype) is becoming more common. To use a public phone you'll need to buy a phone card from a supermarket or newsagent. 


Mobile telephones
the main suppliers. Shop around or compare the latest rates on www.bellen.com (in Dutch). You'll need proof of address and income and a bank account to sign a deal. A prepaid phone is more expensive but you can top it up with cards from supermarkets. If your phone is unlocked, you can buy a Dutch SIM. Every phone has a unique IMEI serial number (enter *#06# to find out yours). You'll need this when reporting a stolen phone.

0800 numbers are toll free; 0900 numbers are charged (per call or minute).

Internet
All kinds of dial-up, ISDN, ADSL and cable options are available which can be combined with telephone and TV deals. Depending on the current TV channel deals, you might go for a TV option from one supplier and telephone/Internet from another. You can compare deals at www.internetten.nl. It will take about three weeks to set up and you need a cable connection. There are Internet cafes dotted about and many more with WiFi. If you are in Amsterdam, you can go to the central library (www.oba.nl)  which offers free Internet and fabulous views.

Television
Cable TV is cheap and widespread. The main provider is UPC and included in the standard package are BBC 1, BBC 2, BBC World and CNN alongside Dutch channels which include the government-owned Nederland 1, 2 and 3 and RTL 4, 5, 7. You’ll also receive Veronica, Net 5 (quality films and drama including popular US serials), National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. Local TV channels are another option. For Amsterdam it is AT5. Subtitling, rather than dubbing, is used except for children's TV. For more films, sport, or other interests, you can select different options for an extra payment. Check out www.digitelevisie.nl for coverage in your area (by postcode) or compare prices at www.vergelijkdigitv.nl or at any of the suppliers. You get a media box and then pay for your chosen option. Satellite TV is also possible but you will need to be able to fix a dish facing in the right (southern) direction and (of course) there are regulations. 

(next page: Radio, Suppliers,useful websites)


Suppliers
You generally pay every quarter.

CanalDigitaal: www.canaldigitaal.nl
KPN: www.kpn.com
Planet.nl: www.planet.nl
Scarlet : www.scarlet.nl
Tele2: www.tele2.nl
Telfort: www.telfort.nl
UPC: www.upc.nl
UPClive: www.upclive.nl
Ziggo: www.ziggo.nl

Satellite
www.tvfromhome.nu

Phones/Internet
www.hetnet.nl
www.kpn.nl
www.orange.nl
www.t-mobile.nl
www.telfort.nl
www.xs4all.nl
www.vodafone.nl

 

Post offices

PostNLPost offices are marked with an orange sign that says postkantoor or PostNL.  Formerly TNT, the company changed its name to PostNL in 2011. In some villages and neighbourhoods there are small post offices inside shops, newsagents or tobacconists (postagentschap).

Stamps can be bought in all of the above places and in some of the larger supermarkets. Post-boxes are red and are scattered throughout shopping areas and neighbourhoods. On the post-box there are two slots: the left is for delivery within the city limits (streekpost), the right (overige bestemmingen) is for post delivered outside the city.

Note: for mail outside of the Netherlands you have a choice of Priority or Standard Post. Rates for Priority service are slightly higher, as it is a quicker service. There is also a guaranteed next day delivery inside the Netherlands called Garantiepost.

PostNL (formerly TNT) (National)
0900 0990 (10 ct/pm)
 www.postnl.nl (English language section)

 

Useful websites
Advice: www.access-nl.org
Film: www.filmladder.nl
Government info: www.government.nl
News, information, What's on (See Expatica Community): Expatica.com
Opera: www.dno.nl
Restaurants: www.iens.nl
Royal family: www.koninklijkhuis.nl
Social networking: www.hyves.nl
Weather: www.hetweer.nl
Website links – by category: www.startpagina.nl
Yellow pages (English section): www.goudengids.nl
Telephone directory: www.detelefoongids.nl

Tip: If the surname you are looking for begins with a de, van, van der, etc. you must look under the name that follows. IJ is read as a "y" and therefore is listed at the end of the alphabet.

Setting up home
HEMA (www.hema.nl) is a Dutch Institution for all matters household. Blokker is cheap (www.blokker.nl) and lKEA (www.ikea.nl) is opening more branches in the Netherlands.

It’s now simple to get international medical insurance for yourself and your family, wherever you are in the world. Get a free quote for Now Health insurance, which offers award-winning international health care with local expertise.

 

 

 _____________________________________________________

i am not a tourist Expat Fair The "i am not a tourist" Expat Fair is an annual, one-day fair for internationals living in or moving to the Netherlands. Expatica's 2014 fair, held on 2 November, will have all the valuable resources from previous years, with extra attention given to lifestyle and community related resources. For more information, please check out the fair website.

Tickets are FREE when ordered online! This year, ordering your tickets online gives you a chance to win one of two Amsterdam Business School grants:

Order your FREE tickets for “i am not a tourist” 2014 here.
 _____________________________________________________





10 reactions to this article

n8 posted: 2012-07-20 04:49:23

Another website for comparing multiple internet providers is: www.adslwinkel.nl

jane posted: 2013-11-26 15:08:06

Try to avoid entering into any contract with dutch companies.
I had both my phone, electricity and my tv contract cancelled, but I am now back for almost 8months and they simply refuse to deal with the cancellation. Especially KPN (phone company) is notorious for 'misplacing' your letter of termination. As it stands, I am required to go to their stores, provide ID and then terminate all over again, without guarantee that it will be done this time round (they won't provide proof).

Amy posted: 2013-12-10 09:20:35

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Marnix posted: 2013-12-19 11:05:59

Most of the above websites are not responsive, http://www.internetvergelijk.nl is a great responsive website to compare broadband providers in the Netherlands. Just my 2 cents.

AaronH posted: 2014-01-06 16:47:19

Tele2 wants to keep charging me for a month after the date I cancel. None of the other utilities did this here in NL, neither has this happened in any of the countries I've lived in.
How can I get out of this?

Kati posted: 2014-01-09 14:36:43

The Dutch have a very safe society.
That is, if you don't include the Dutch companies that rob you, by pretending never having received your cancellation letter, even if you both faxed it and sent it by registered letter. If you check the kassa website for consumers you will read that almost not a single Dutch company is able to treat you in an honest way and actually let you cancel a contract when you have proof of the fedex slip. They probably gamble that you can't afford to take them to court and keep stalling you.

donald posted: 2014-02-11 10:09:55

Very different rates. I have used http://www.goedkoopste-internet.com/ to compare Internet providers. Gives you a lot of options. Even if you want to switch they will arrange it for you.

Dave posted: 2014-03-15 13:13:17

This new website is specialy for expats www.utility-provider.nl in the Netherland and Belgium www.utility-provider.be next to that the are ARPN member looking after the relocation agencies in Holland. energy companies netherland.

davidson posted: 2014-05-26 08:00:05

I use Smartgroshen app, simple, good quality of voice and sync with your phone contacts. Get 0.5 euro at start.

saresh vinod posted: 2014-08-07 19:14:41

Are you in search of a legitimate loan? Tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages?
Have you been turned down by your banks ? Do you need a loan to clear
your debts/bills? Then your financial trauma is over. We Offer Loans from
$5,000.00 to $50,000,000.00 with 3% interest rate. We are certified
and trust worthy. we can help you with financial assistance. If interested
do get back to us via Email: gotek_finance@yahoo.com

Thanks
Sir Saresh Vinod.

10 reactions to this article

n8 posted: 2012-07-20 04:49:23

Another website for comparing multiple internet providers is: www.adslwinkel.nl

jane posted: 2013-11-26 15:08:06

Try to avoid entering into any contract with dutch companies.
I had both my phone, electricity and my tv contract cancelled, but I am now back for almost 8months and they simply refuse to deal with the cancellation. Especially KPN (phone company) is notorious for 'misplacing' your letter of termination. As it stands, I am required to go to their stores, provide ID and then terminate all over again, without guarantee that it will be done this time round (they won't provide proof).

Amy posted: 2013-12-10 09:20:35

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Marnix posted: 2013-12-19 11:05:59

Most of the above websites are not responsive, http://www.internetvergelijk.nl is a great responsive website to compare broadband providers in the Netherlands. Just my 2 cents.

AaronH posted: 2014-01-06 16:47:19

Tele2 wants to keep charging me for a month after the date I cancel. None of the other utilities did this here in NL, neither has this happened in any of the countries I've lived in.
How can I get out of this?

Kati posted: 2014-01-09 14:36:43

The Dutch have a very safe society.
That is, if you don't include the Dutch companies that rob you, by pretending never having received your cancellation letter, even if you both faxed it and sent it by registered letter. If you check the kassa website for consumers you will read that almost not a single Dutch company is able to treat you in an honest way and actually let you cancel a contract when you have proof of the fedex slip. They probably gamble that you can't afford to take them to court and keep stalling you.

donald posted: 2014-02-11 10:09:55

Very different rates. I have used http://www.goedkoopste-internet.com/ to compare Internet providers. Gives you a lot of options. Even if you want to switch they will arrange it for you.

Dave posted: 2014-03-15 13:13:17

This new website is specialy for expats www.utility-provider.nl in the Netherland and Belgium www.utility-provider.be next to that the are ARPN member looking after the relocation agencies in Holland. energy companies netherland.

davidson posted: 2014-05-26 08:00:05

I use Smartgroshen app, simple, good quality of voice and sync with your phone contacts. Get 0.5 euro at start.

saresh vinod posted: 2014-08-07 19:14:41

Are you in search of a legitimate loan? Tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages?
Have you been turned down by your banks ? Do you need a loan to clear
your debts/bills? Then your financial trauma is over. We Offer Loans from
$5,000.00 to $50,000,000.00 with 3% interest rate. We are certified
and trust worthy. we can help you with financial assistance. If interested
do get back to us via Email: gotek_finance@yahoo.com

Thanks
Sir Saresh Vinod.

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