Haggling is more of an art than science, hence worth trying when shopping for a broadband connection. With many companies offering discounts on various plans and packages, haggling could help you land an affordable deal. Here’s how to do it.
Time is of the essence when haggling. You, therefore, need to be cautious of the times you choose to call the firm. You could land a significant discount if you haggle towards the end of your contract, or if it is way past due. You also should avoid calling when they are busiest, such as lunchtimes, month end, month start, and Mondays. The call representatives will have less time to spend with you.
- Window-shop, and benchmark the cheapest deals
Take some time to research similar deals, codes, and discounts the company or its competitors have. Armed with factual information, it should be easier to prove your point rather than when you are clueless. Some of the areas to focus on in your research include:
- Home phone and broadband: For cheaper broadband ask for your Migration Authorization Code (MAC) to dupe them into believing you want to leave. Requesting for your MAC should spook the company, which will try to offer better deals just to keep you. They may even offer a new contract for your broadband and line combined (this can go as low as £10/month).
- Mobile phones: Excluding handset costs from the contract should help save you some money at the end of the contract. Benchmark price: you could get £15/month deals for sim-only subscription, which comes with unlimited texts, unlimited calls, and high data limit. Use the billmonitor.co.uk to check. This piece as some good advice on dealing with Bouygues Telecom that can be used across the board here.
- Digital TV: Subscribing to the only channels you really watch could save you some money as well. You, however, should do a channel audit to determine what to keep. Freeview channels are free with paid options having different prices. Shop around for coupons or 50% Sky codes for even better deals. More deals at mse.me/digitalTV.
- Breakdown cover: Don’t just go for RAC or AA cover, there are many other options you choose. The basic broadband cover can go for as low as £20 for new customers. You only need to go to cashback sites (quidco.com or topcashback.com) to find such deals.
- Home and car insurance: Never settle for an insurance policy before doing a market research and comparison on the same. Some insurers might be offering the same level of cover at a lower cost. Do a market comparison, then take the facts to your insurer to see if they can match or beat it.
- Credit card debt: Shifting debt from one credit card Company to a cheaper one could also save you some money in the long run. You, however, need to seek permission from your existing credit card company. MBNA and Barclaycard commonly agree on this. Any remaining debt can be transferred to a new card. See mse.me/shuffle for more details.
- Get to the retention department
Just because the front-line call center staff aren’t ready to offer you a better deal doesn’t mean you can land yourself one. Some of these teams are there to process standard administrative requests, hence not in the capacity to negotiate.
Instead of calling the call center staff, wait until your service has been disconnected to get a direct line to the ‘customer retentions’ or ‘disconnections’ team. This team has a higher negotiating and deal-making ability as compared to their customer care representatives. Should you play your cards right, simply waiting for the disconnections department to call, can pay more than enough dividends.
- Never panic on disconnections
Most broadband companies will call to warn of possible disruption is your payment is due. As nervous as you may be, don’t pay for the subscription just yet. Have the company hold on for a few hours or even a day before you can give them a possible answer. This could spook them into thinking you wish to leave, thus offer you a deal or incentive. Patience always has it dividends at the end of it all.
- Never give up
Just because your request was rejected today doesn’t mean it won’t be accepted tomorrow or the day after that. While some call-center operatives may tell you about daily discount quotas, this is only hearsay. Give them some time, then call or wait to be called after a few days. Your patience could pay off.
- Use your charm and self-confidence
Haggling may at times require some aggressiveness to get what you want. While many people may not this, the company is at liberty to give or deny you a discount. You too are at liberty to leave or use another provider. Since the company may not be ready to lose a client, it may just have to bow down and give a reasonable offer.
Haggling is also about self-confidence. Letting the company or sales representative know you are indeed interested in their product, but need a discount, can help you land a great deal. Tapping into the representative’s sympathy and compassion could also help you get the deal too.
- Problems can be turned into discounts
Broadband issues such as a slow internet, poor mobile network coverage, and late response can be used to your advantage. You, however, needn’t be aggressive on this but instead tell them your worries and concerns. They could offer you a discount in the process. You, however, need to be sure of their service before deciding to stay.
- Some phrases may help
You need to let the company know that you need their service, only that they seem too expensive than their competition. While you may be nervous, telling them what you think and need could be fruitful. Consider using phrases such as:
‘The offer it too expensive, I need to think about it.’
‘I have a maximum budget of £x per month.’
‘That’s still a lot of money.’
Don’t say yes to their first offer, unless this is what you wanted all along.
- Take advantage of new customer deals
If the company is offering a better deal to new customers, let them know your frustrations and why you too should be rewarded for being a loyal customer.
- Don’t ‘buy’ silence while haggling
Some sales representatives will choose to be silent when asked about something. While some people will simply give in to the silence and agree, you shouldn’t fall for this sales technique. Simply let them know that you indeed need to know their stand, or just throw the question a second time.
- Ask for added extras
If the company cannot give a better deal, then ask for added value-added extras for a discount. While it may not seem like much, added extras such as a few extra months’ worth of warranty, handset upgrade, or even free calls equal to a discount.