Over the years we’ve encouraged you to haggle on your bills, and we’ve recently discovered that those who do can save about £725 a year. So do you haggle for a good deal?
Here on Which? Conversation, we’ve been discussing how customers stay faithful to certain retailers and providers but don’t always get much in return. Often, we’ll end up paying more to stay with the same provider.
But pick up the phone and begin your bargaining skills and suddenly your provider will become interested in you again.
Haggle for a deal
We surveyed consumers about their haggling experiences with insurance, broadband and mobile phone providers. The majority of people who attempted haggling were offered some form of incentive, discount or better deal.
And other savings can be made on things like insurance if you persevere. This is what happened when Richard decided to haggle with his car insurance provider:
“I have recently renewed my car insurance policy and noticed the renewal premium had gone up by £45 (16.5%). I used a comparison website and obtained a reduction on the price of £26.95. Armed with this information I went back to my insurer who offered me a reduction of £58.29, i.e. 18.36% less than the premium originally quoted. Well worth the effort!”
Ideally, service providers would be more proactive in ensuring their long-term customers continue to be well served. But in the current marketplace, haggling seems to be a necessary part of the process if you want a cost-effective deal.
At the moment, companies only seem to step up their game when you’re already frustrated, looking to leave and have spotted a better deal elsewhere.
Industry insiders have told us that providers are focusing increasingly on holding on to customers they’ve attracted – and many companies have increased their retention budgets exponentially.
How to haggle on bills – top tips
Haggling can be nerve-wracking if it doesn’t come naturally to you, so consider some of our top tips before you start:
- Compile your case: Have your case backed up with details of issues you’ve had with the provider, how long you’ve been a customer, whether your usage matches up with the price charged and what deals are available on comparison sites.
- Explain your situation: Tell them if you simply can’t afford the price and have a good reason for haggling – e.g. your main income is low.
- Have an aim: Know what you’re aiming for and do the back and forth: haggle with your provider for a lower price; take that price to another provider to match or beat. Take your new competitive quote to your original provider to see whether they’ll match it.
- Use the three Ps: Be polite and pleasant, but persistent.
- They’re expecting you: If an awkward conversation is holding you back, remember that this is a conversation companies are expecting to have. Their pricing is specifically set up so they’re able to offer discounts to hagglers.
What are your experiences of haggling?
Have you had to haggle with a provider to get a good price? Do you think it’s fair that existing customers have to be proactive in order to get a fair deal?
Have you negotiated with a service provider for a better deal before?
Yes and it worked (50%, 527 Votes)
No I haven't tried haggling before (34%, 357 Votes)
Yes, but it didn't work (16%, 169 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,053