How to haggle for a better broadband deal
Mid-contract bill hikes and annual broadband prices are standard practices in the industry, especially with established providers like Sky and Virgin. They’re now charging some customers up to 10% more for the exact same download speeds. Who said being bigger was always better?
Plus, customer loyalty doesn’t pay. A survey by Which? found that the longer you stay with a broadband firm, the more you pay compared to new customers. You could say these companies are taking you for granted.
So let’s put them to the test. Let’s see if they really value your business by asking for a cheaper deal or discount.
It could end up saving you £100s a year.
And what’s the worst thing that can happen? They say no? Then you know it’s time to take your business elsewhere.
A short guide to haggling
Haggling goes back to the dawn of civilization, and it’s still around today; we just call it negotiation. In the most basic terms, haggling is when you try to persuade someone to sell you something for less than what they think it’s worth – or what they’re pretending to think it’s worth.
Haggling is about finding the best deal possible and getting more for your money.
Why haggling works
Haggling works; it’s why humans have been doing it for thousands of years.
A recent Consumer Reports study shows how a little haggling goes a long way. It found that less than 15% of customers are willing to haggle when buying something from a high-street retailer. But those who do receive some kind of discount, special offer, or exclusive deal 59% of the time.
These rules and ratios apply to broadband customers willing to demand more for their hard-earned money. MoneySavingExpert challenged its readers into a haggle-off with their providers. Here’s what happened:
“I rang Sky and said I wanted to move my phone and broadband to Plusnet. Sky initially offered free broadband and £50 credit, which I didn’t take. I called back later and was offered free broadband for 10 months and £10/month line rental for 10 months. I eventually managed to extend the free broadband to 12 months,” reported one happy haggler.
How to haggle like an expert
We know that haggling works. So how do you become an expert haggler? Here are a few tips to help you take charge of the conversation:
Don’t be afraid of the word ‘no.’
Don’t get emotionally involved in the idea of ‘rejection’ or ‘failure.’ If they say no, then who cares? You tried. You haven’t lost anything.
Haggle from a position of strength
Put the salesperson in a position where they’re forced to make a difficult decision: lower your price or lose a sale. But don’t bluff; have a solid alternative you can present to your current provider, like a better deal from a rival firm. This is like a magic trick for making ‘special deals’ appear from nowhere.
Make the call at the right time.
Don’t open negotiations if you’ve just signed a new contract. Unless you’ve experienced technical or customer service issues, you’re wasting everybody’s time. A few months before your contract expires is the ideal time to start haggling.
You do catch more flies with honey. Be firm and confident, but always polite. An aggressive or pushy approach will automatically put the salesperson into a defensive position.
Don’t say yes – or at least not right away!
Their first offer won’t be the best offer. Never accept the first deal on the table.
Sit in silence
Salespeople often create uncomfortable silences. This is a classic (and effective) sales technique designed to make you feel awkward and say yes to a deal. But hold your nerve! Make them fill their own silence with a better offer. Think of it like a game; whoever speaks first loses. Then it becomes fun, not awkward.
Vote with your feet
Not every haggle ends in success. But you can still learn something from a ‘no,’ namely that your provider doesn’t really care about your business.
Then it’s time to do the sensible thing and vote with your feet. Walk away and find a better deal.
The broadband market deal finder is the quickest way to see all the best deals from local providers. Sign up for a cheaper and faster package in seconds.
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