5 Easy Ways To Get A Cheaper Deal From Your TV Or Broadband Provider
Everybody wants to pay less for their TV and broadband, especially if it meant they could still enjoy the same level of service they do now. More and more of us are beginning to unveil the benefits of getting along with less cable TV in our lives, with the primary benefit being cost. And many of us admit to staying subscribed to services we may not even really need or want, simply because they’re included in our current package.
Whilst becoming a “cord cutter” is one option, it’s also possible to keep your current Sky, Virgin or BT broadband and TV packages and pay significantly less. By simply mastering that magical art of haggling – that thing that we’re always hearing about yet are too hesitant to attempt for ourselves – you could still stream movies from the web and get to catch your favourite shows, at a fraction of the price you’re paying right now. Major providers hate losing customers to rivals and will often push the boundaries to offer a better alternative to your current deal, just to stop you from leaving.
Some customers have reported savings up to £150 a year with this trick, and that’s not including all the other free additional services you could get, such as a free HD box upgrade; a free repair; free installation or larger broadband allowance. So how can you do it?
1. Ask to reduce or downgrade your current package.
If there are certain channels included in your package that you rarely watch (which is likely to be the case), then calling Customer Services and asking to ditch these from your package just might work. It can also apply to other things, such as your broadband allowance or the number of free landline calls you’re entitled to.
Use phrases like:
- “I don’t really watch channels A, B and C anymore…could I remove them from my package but still keep XYZ?”
- “I’m not using X service as much as I thought I would…”
- “I don’t require such a large data allowance on my broadband – can I reduce this?”
Your customer service rep will no doubt be able to suggest alternative packages to you or most likely make you up a ‘custom’ package, whereby they combine certain aspects of different packages to bring you a service and a price you’re happy with.
Common services that most people find they can do without include sports channels, or extra facilities such as Sky Go or Sky Multiroom. This tactic has a greater chance of working if you are over a year into your current contract, as you will have had enough time by then to figure out which parts of the service you legitimately don’t need.
2. Propose to switch your service over from another provider.
This is where telecom companies love to get competitive with one another and will usually jump at the chance to snag a new customer by offering appealing incentives. You may currently get your pay TV service from TalkTalk, for example, and want to switch to Virgin Media; or your TV from Sky and your landline from BT, but wish to combine both service payments under one provider. By asking the rep how much it would cost you to switch your current service over to them, they’ll be likely to offer you a cheaper deal than the one you currently have.
Before executing this plan, make sure to do your research first. You don’t want to end up paying for parts of the service you’ll never use, or incur hidden costs due from things like minutes that aren’t included with your package.
3. Offer to pay upfront for a year.
Okay, so this will mean you’ll be tied into your current provider for another year. But as you’ll have paid the whole thing upfront, your bill won’t be subject to fluctuations, and your provider will likely offer a satisfying discount for yearly payments. It can feel like a bind to pay one lump sum all at once, but remember you’ll be paying a lot less overall in the long run.
It’s well worth ringing the Virgin Media contact number and paying your landline fee upfront for the year for £128 as this will give you a saving of £63.88 over the year. BT‘s landline rental meanwhile is £141 for the whole year making a saving of £50.88, but you’ll also get access to BT broadband and its pay-TV service, depending on which package you choose.
4. Compare your current service to that of another provider.
Again, this normally works due to the fact that telecom providers can’t stand the thought of being outdone by their rivals. Therefore if you let them know you’ve seen a better deal for your needs elsewhere. they’ll be likely to do what it takes to better it.
This works best for loyal customers of two years or more, and you should mention this to your rep when you call. Phrases like:
- “I’ve seen a deal with [rival provider] offering ABC, which is cheaper than what I’m paying now for the same/similar thing.”
- “I’ve been receiving your service for the last X years but I think I may need to try something different.”
- “I’d like to stay with you if possible – is there a similar deal you could offer me along those lines?”
Remember, a little flattery is sometimes needed, and goes a long way towards coaxing the company into keeping you.
5. Ask to cancel your package.
This is about the oldest trick in the book, but it works, and for good reason too. If you can’t stand turning so much of your hard-earned cash over to your TV provider each month, or the haggling isn’t going quite as well as you anticipated, politely saying you wish to cancel can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for some providers. The jobs of the people working in the retentions department are primarily focused on keeping customers who wish to cancel, so you’re more likely to get a generous deal.
At the moment, Sky seems to be the best company for dishing out price cuts thanks to their difficult cancellations policy, but you’ll find that other providers will do it too. Whether you cite dissatisfaction with the service, or play on the heartstrings of the rep and blame your financial circumstances, there’s a good chance you could have the cost of your current package cut by half, or even a free HD upgrade thrown in.
Whilst the most effective haggling method by far, the cancellation threat is also highly dependent on many factors. These include how much you’re paying to start off with; the time of day you call (as each retentions rep will have a daily discount budget) and even the rep’s mood at the time of the call.
Haggling and perhaps guilt-tripping is all well and good, but here’s what not to do…
- Cancel and sign up again as a ‘new’ customer in order to grab a ‘new customer’ deal. Companies have rules regarding what constitutes as a new customer and will have access to your previous customer record anyway.
- Push the deal too far when the rep may have already made you an enticing deal. If you really want to make further savings, it can sometimes be best to simply cancel altogether.
- Get aggressive or audibly irritated when things don’t go your way. Each rep can only give out so many reductions per day, so you’d be better off thanking them anyway and calling back another time.
- Quote the deal you “friend” got when they called up to cancel their package. Every customer’s account is different and dependent on many factors, such as the length of contract and the monthly price of the package.