/ Money, Shopping, Technology

Secret Shoppers – haggling for a better phone deal

Happy man with his mobile phone

The second episode of Channel 4’s Secret Shoppers showed us how to save money on fancy frocks and electrical goods. The show’s best tip, however, could save you a pretty packet on your mobile phone contract.

Now, I love getting tips on how to get more for my money, but I don’t buy my clothes from shops where haggling would be practical. I also have all the electrical goods that I need at the moment.

But one piece of advice from last night’s Secret Shoppers episode really captured my attention. Have you ever called your network provider’s customer loyalty team and threatened to move to a different network?

How many of us feel that we could be getting a better deal from our mobile phone contract? It seems as though a bit of clever haggling with your network provider can save you a lot of money in the long run.

On Twitter, @bibechana shared her haggling experience with O2:

Tweet about haggling with O2 for a better deal






Found a better deal elsewhere? @annhelle79 gave her provider an ultimatum:

Tweet about making a phone deal ultimatum






@Becca7193 had a few words of warning for would-be hagglers, however:

Tweet about some mobile phone shops not working on commission






@Imaginanter was not able to get a phone contract for her coverage blackspot, but managed to find a silver lining in the situation. She worked out that she has probably saved about £250 during the last two and a half years by not having a mobile phone contract!

My mobile contract still has a few months to run, but I would definitely consider trying some haggling tactics to negotiate some extra minutes and data. It seems to be all about having the confidence to try. As they say: ‘don’t ask, don’t get’.

Have you achieved haggling success with your mobile network provider? Was it easy to get a good deal?


I threatened to leave my ISP, they gave me three months free, then another three months free for good measure. I then changed anyway and got an introductory three months free with my new provider. Worth the effort.

I hate these introductory months free or temporarily reduced prices wherever they occur. They try to create a false impression of good value, and must put up the subsequent price. Customers need competitive prices for the short, medium *and* long term. They should not have to shop around half as much as they do now.

john mccolgan says:
23 February 2013

A word of caution about sending picture messages (MMS) my plan is 300mins, unlimited texts, no data. Here’s the bummer, because I have no data, when I send a pic I pay the pic charge (32p) PLUS+++ the day rate for data £1.86 so the REAL cost of a pic is £0.32 + £1.86 = £ 2.18p. Other unexplained data charges would appear on my bill which would always be refunded when queeried but never explained to my satisfaction. I then asked for a block to my service so that I could not use 3g. This has resulted in a predictable monthly bill. However I’ve upgraded my handset now to an iphone and changed SP to giffgaff

MMS has always been a big rip-off. Why use it at all? There are lots of ways to send photos for free using mobile data or wifi, for example WhatsApp, Viber, iMessage, or even old-fashioned e-mail.

Was with TMobile at £12 pm, then challenged it and it became £10, then suddenly an additional 57p. Decided to leave and go to TalkTalk at £5 a month. Transported my number. Then two months later TMoblie now EE charged me £86 cessation fee. Challenged this twice as I was PAYG by then. They will repair this overcharge [automatic they said] in March. If they don’t give it back Barclays will get it for me. Dreadful treatment from EE as I was what they called “a legacy subscriber”.