It’s likely that your internet bills and phone plans will make up a significant portion of your monthly expenses. But you may be paying more than you need to for these services. With some simple preparation, and a little nerve, Loqbox has some tips and tricks for how to negotiate a phone plan or internet bill.
What is bill negotiation?
When you first set up your broadband internet and telephone contract, you’ll usually be offered a really reasonable introductory price by your provider — often one that seems too good to be true. That’s because new customers usually get the best deals.
But you need to keep an eye on your bills. Because providers will often put their prices up after this introductory period, and continue to increase prices year on year, before you know it that great ‘new customer’ deal is no longer so great. Companies count on you not checking how your bills compare with their competitors in the hope that you’ll just keep paying top dollar without questioning it.
But those costly bills that loyal customers get lumbered with often just offset the discounted deals that phone and internet providers offer potential new customers. So, how can you make yourself a perpetual new customer and take advantage of the best rates? The answer is haggling.
If you want to learn how to successfully negotiate your bills your first step is largely about mental preparation. There will be two things to be ready for during the call:
- They’ll likely have a sales representative trying to keep you on your current contract, and you may be passed to different departments during the call.
- There is the possibility they’ll say ‘no’. But even if this happens, you’ll just be in the same place as you were before the call. C’est la vie!
That said, always remember that you have a certain amount of power as their customer, as they don’t really want to lose you. Approaching your negotiations with a ‘if I don’t ask, I won’t get’ attitude, could save you some serious money over the course of your contract.
How to negotiate internet bills and phone plans
Can I negotiate my internet bill?
Yes, and it’s a smart way to reduce your expenses. Consider doing this whenever your contract is up for renewal — especially if that’s when your super cheap introductory period is ending and the cost of your wifi bill is about to shoot upwards.
Before you call your provider, use a price comparison site like MoneySuperMarket or use the Snoop app, to get some ideas of cheaper deals out there, so that you’re prepared with a price for them to match (or beat).
If you’re not sure how to negotiate a lower internet bill, or you don’t think you’ll have the ability to do it, you might be surprised how easy it can be. Give them a call and try! They will try their best to keep you, so if you mention that you’re thinking of leaving for one of their competitors, it could all go in your favour!
What about my mobile phone contract?
If you’re wondering how to negotiate a phone plan, it’s not that different to your broadband. Phone contract providers also exist in a super competitive landscape. Generally, it’s more expensive for them to get new customers than keep current ones. So if you’re thinking of leaving, that actually gives you the upper hand.
Something to keep in mind when negotiating phone contracts is that the cost of your handset is often built into the terms of your monthly bill. Once your contract is up, if you don’t renew or look for a better offer, you could still be making repayments for a handset that you’ve already paid off. You could research sim-only deals instead if you’re still happy to keep your current handset.
Check your current bill
It’s important to know what you’re currently paying. Check your bill. Are you bundled with a telephone, mobile, or TV package included? Think about your usage, what download speeds are right for you? If you live alone and don’t use the internet much, your required usage won’t be as high as a family with lots of devices.
Getting the right plan is just as important as the best priced one. Consider what good value looks like to you. Cheap won’t always be best. Could you save more if you brought your mobile phone in with your broadband? Do you really need a TV package, or could you live with fewer channels?
Research competitors and check the small print
Research competitor offers. Try not to be blinded by the big print! And beware when speeds are listed as ‘up to’ a maximum. They’re not guaranteed speeds and you’ll often hit much lower levels. What you should be most interested in is guaranteed minimums. These are the speeds providers must hit or they could face penalties and obligations to you.
Remember when you’re researching that whatever cheaper price a competitor is offering will most likely rise after you have been with them for a year. So you may have to do all this again in a year or so. What is the cost of switching? What length of contract do they require? These are all things to consider rather than just jumping to the cheapest.
Start negotiating bills
Call your internet service or phone contract provider. Tell them that you want to leave. That will get you through to the right department, probably customer retention. Be polite but firm, explain your research on better offers, and ask if they can match or beat these deals. They may agree or offer you discounts, free upgrades, or promotional rates.
Customer service representatives are more likely to help if you maintain a respectful and understanding tone. Highlight your loyalty and be open to compromise. Mention how long you've been a customer to strengthen your negotiation position. And be open to different offers, bundles, or packages that could help you save money.
So, now you know how to negotiate an internet bill or phone plan
Learning this skill will be a true asset for your budget and can save you a significant amount of money over time. Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and explore better options. With persistence and the right approach, you can successfully reduce your monthly expenses while enjoying the same level of service. Give it a try, you might be surprised!