Over the years, we’ve shown you the huge savings you can make by haggling with telecoms providers. And our most recent survey reveals that more people than ever are doing it.
When I saved almost two thirds on my broadband bill a few years, I became a haggling convert.
At first, it may seem daunting to haggle with a telecoms Goliath, but more often than not us Davids come out on top.
And while we can give you loads of advice on how to haggle with your provider, I did it completely by accident.
In our student flat at university, we’d been on an introductory offer for our broadband. But when our ‘pay only line rental for the first 12 months’ deal was about to run out and our bills were set to rise (the same reason a third of those surveyed gave for haggling), I began to shop around for what other providers were offering new customers.
I didn’t even think to barter with my current provider.
Having found a deal for a similar price, I set the wheels in motion to switch and rang my current provider simply to tell it I was leaving.
‘What is the other provider offering?,’ I was promptly asked. ‘We can match it.’
But with no saving actually on offer, the idea of calling the provider I was switching to in order to tell it that I wouldn’t be switching after all seemed more hassle than it was worth.
The saleswoman, or ominously named ‘termination agent’, as they’re often known, had met her match – a student whose sheer laziness meant he would rather allow the switch to go ahead than make another five-minute phone call.
Clearly irked, off she went to speak to her manager.
‘We can offer you free line rental,’ she told me on her return.
So our bill would drop to a mere £7.50 a month, about a third of our original £20 or so bill – a yearly saving of £150. Sometimes it pays to be lazy…
Making a saving
You may think that my experience of haggling is a freak event – merely a lucky break to save so much money over the course of the year. But to many who’ve haggled, it will be a familiar story.
We found that, on average, hagglers saved £156 on their annual telecoms bills, with a total of nine out of 10 being offered a discount.
By actually starting the process of leaving, I went further than necessary – in most cases, the threat of changing provider, even if you don’t actually mean it, will be enough for your provider to offer you a deal.
Have you ever haggled with a telecomms provider? If so, how much did you save and how easy did you find it?