Haggle with Sky
Top tips for cutting your bills with the TV giant
Tens of thousands of Sky TV and broadband customers have previously seen bills rise by up to £72 a year, so there's all the more reason to check if you can slash your bill. If you have the right to leave penalty-free, use the price hike as leverage when wielding the powerhouse weapon you possess – haggling.
1-min read: How to haggle with Sky to save £100s/yr
Sky came top in our easiest firms to haggle with survey, with 86% of people who tried having some sort of success. If you're out of contract, here are a few quick tips to cut costs – there's a more comprehensive list in our full guide below:
1. Ditch optional extras. Paying for Sky Movies, but never watch them? Do a channel audit to work out what you don't watch and consider ditching channels you don't need.
2. Call Sky and ask for a discount. First find out what newbies are paying as this will be useful ammo when negotiating.
3. If it won't budge, consider walking away. Some of the best deals are had when you're prepared to cancel your service completely. It may help you get a better discount, or if you do cancel, they can entice you back with 'welcome back' offers.
'I haggled £700+ off my Sky bill'
Our most recent haggling poll, in November 2020, found 86% of Sky TV and broadband customers who tried to haggle were successful in negotiating a better deal, showing what's possible. To see which other companies this works well on, see our list of the top service companies to haggle with.
Here are some MoneySavers who've managed to slash their Sky bills by haggling:
I have just haggled with Sky as my contract was coming up for renewal and I've got them to go down from £133 a month to £70 a month for a TV, movies, sports and Netflix add-on. That's a saving of £756 a year! Used your haggling information. Thank you MSE.
- Luke, via email
Thanks for your advice to haggle over Sky TV. Was paying £117/mth, now £54/mth, so a saving of £756/yr and they upgraded all rooms to Sky Q.
- Karen, via email
We phoned up and said that our bill was extortionate and asked what could they offer. We managed to save £48/mth over the 18mth contract, with an upgraded Wi-Fi hub and new Sky Q box for free, saving us £576 for the year. Thank you, MSE.
- BobbleMac, via MSE Forum
My Sky bill increased to £92/mth after the first year promotion ended. Two calls later and still no success, so I cancelled. Within five minutes I was offered 50% off, plus I contacted Sky via 'Live Chat' and managed to get an extra 35% off the HD pack and £50 credit on top. After dropping multi-room too, it came to a saving of over £660/yr.
- Rhys, via email
After price hikes and the end of an offer, my new bill would have been £117/mth (for an all-singing-all-dancing package including TV, broadband and phone). I gave them a call and got it down to £90/mth with little fuss, saving £324/yr.
- Sarah, by email
My rate was due to go up to £46.75/mth, so I rang to cancel. First, they offered a 35% discount. I wasn't satisfied and again told them to cancel. A week later, they rang me back and offered a 50% discount. Again, I told them that wasn't enough. Eventually, I accepted a 60% discount so I now pay £20/mth. Plus, it wasn't a new contract so I could cancel any time.
- Christopher, by email
Don't settle for pricey Sky packages – make it fight to keep you, or switch
If you're fed up with price hikes or your bills are going up because your promo deal's ending, don't sit back – there's plenty you can do about it. If you want to stick with Sky, and many do, particularly given some of what it offers isn't available anywhere else – don't underestimate the power of haggling.
Now we know haggling's often seen as something you do in backstreet bazaars, but it's very much alive and kicking in the UK. There are huge savings to be made on Sky's services - in particular TV, but broadband and line rental too.
In a nutshell, call up and ask for a better deal. Say you're paying too much or rivals' deals are cheaper. If that doesn't work, tell them you're leaving. Usually you'll then get put through to companies' super-powerful hidden deals departments.
Here's the key thing to understand:
Companies make their best deals only available for newbies, and they LOVE loyal customers as they stay with the firm through thick 'n' thin, paying full price and never looking for a better deal.
This lets big firms rake in regular, guaranteed, easy profit. So ask yourself a question: do you want to be a customer whose business is fought for, or one who's taken for granted? If you don't want to be taken for granted, take the haggle challenge.
Haggling is just one of your price cut weapons – check new deals too
Haggling can be mega powerful, but think of it as just one part of your battle to get the best deal. Sometimes 'new customer' offers from alternative providers are simply unbeatable. So by all means haggle, but always check the price you secure against the top deals from switching by comparing broadband, phone line and TV deals.
Eight top Sky haggling tips
Haggling may sound straightforward, but perfecting it is an art. Here are our top tips for haggling with Sky – for more, see our full guide on Haggling with Service Companies.
Work out what you really watch on Sky and ditch the rest. There's no point paying for access to channels you don't watch. Here's a list of Sky packages that you might be paying for, with some of the channels they include:
- Sky Cinema - Sky Animation, Drama, Premiere, Thriller, Action, Select, Sci-fi horror, Greats, Family, Comedy and Hits.
- Sky Sports - Premier League, F1, Cricket, Football, NFL, Arena, Golf and Main Event
- Kids - Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Nicktoons, Cartoon Network, Cartoonito, Boomerang and BabyTV.
'HD' and 'Multiscreen' are also optional extras, so you can save money by ditching these if you don't need or use them.
2. Timing is crucial – if you're out-of-contract, or close to the end, it's easier to leave without penalty
Haggling works best when you're near or beyond the end of your contract. There's no harm in giving it a try earlier though – if you struggle, note in your diary when you'll be nearing the end of your contract and call back then.
Even if you do forget, don't panic as telecoms and pay-TV companies are now forced to tell you that your contract is ending. This can be via a letter, email or text between 10 and 40 days before it ends. But be careful, due to an ongoing dispute between Sky and the regulator, it might not tell you when your TV contract with it ends.
You can give Sky notice of leaving 31 days beforehand for a TV contract, and 14 days for Sky Talk and Sky Broadband.
Furthermore, if a provider hikes broadband or line rental prices (or TV prices depending on how your contract is structured) you may be able to leave your contract penalty-free, even if you're still in the minimum term. This may also be the case if the price of additional services you frequently use is hiked, causing you "material detriment".
If this happens you'll have 30 days from receiving notification of the price hike and right to leave penalty-free to decide what to do. It's a great opportunity to haggle or move to a cheaper provider.
It's important to have the factual arsenal at your fingertips before you pick up the phone, so do your homework.
Research the deals, discounts and codes that Sky and its competitors offer to act as a basis for negotiation. Compare broadband, phone line and TV deals to find the best buys and sign up to our weekly email to get the latest offers.
Freeview costs nothing for many people and comes with loads of channels. If you mention it, it shows Sky you know what you're talking about.
It's a useful opening gambit to start your haggle with as mentioning it tells Sky your opening offer is £0. You can then take it from there, and hopefully you'll have a little more wiggle room to get a top deal.
Sky previously ran adverts encouraging its customers to contact it and see what 'exclusive deals' are available if you stay with Sky (you can often find info on these by signing into your Sky account). It's actively encouraging you to haggle, so it would be rude not to take advantage...
You can contact Sky on 0333 7591 018 or via its online chat service to see what they'll give you, then compare it to the latest offers for new and existing customers.
Of course, if you're not satisfied with what you're offered when you call Sky's advertised number, you can always try to haggle via another avenue – see point 6 below for how to contact its retentions department.
Remember, if you're coming to the end of your contract, or you're already out of it, you're wielding a powerhouse weapon – customer loyalty. It's simple to use too – just tell 'em you're going to leave.
If you don't have any luck via the advertised ways of getting in touch, then it may be worth trying another route to the 'customer retentions' department – aka the Holy Grail of haggling – instead. (Note: This department might be called 'disconnections' externally, but make no mistake, customer retention's their job.)
If you call customer services and tell them you want to leave they should put you through, but to get through as quickly as possible, call Sky cancellations on 0333 759 1433 – it starts as an automated service to find out why you're calling, but you should get put through to the right place after a couple of minutes.
Use charm, chutzpah, cheek... and a smile
Aggression or anger will just put their back up and won't get you anywhere. You're asking for a discount, and they're just as much within their right not to give it as you are to leave. Aim for polite, friendly, non-combative yet firm.
Use the phrases that pay
You may find that your Sky customer service rep will only offer a small discount at first, but if you don't agree with the price, try phrases like:
- "I've worked out my budget, and my absolute max is £[insert price here]/mth."
- "[BT/Plusnet/TalkTalk/Virgin Media] can do it for less."
- "I need to think about it."
- "I think my other half will go bonkers if I pay that."
- "It's still a lot of money."
- "What's the very best you can do?"
Don't panic if they call your bluff and say they'll disconnect you
Some people worry and get nervous to try this in case they're disconnected. Martin's easy 'get out of jail free' card on this is the phrase: "Hold on, I'll call you back on that. I'd like to check with my wife/husband/dog/goldfish first."
Problems mean discounts
If you've had issues with Sky in the past, such as slow broadband or long customer service call waiting times, politely tell them when you haggle. It's useful ammunition – they should want to try and make it up to you.
Don't say yes to the first offer they give
You should never go with the first offer. Chances are, it's not the best deal they can do. Remember, be firm.
Don't fill the silence
They may push you to agree because it's a "limited-time offer", but don't feel pressured into agreeing to the new price or deal unless you're certain.
As negotiations come to a close, a classic sales technique is to stay silent. They want you to feel awkward and fill the silence. Make them fill it with a cheaper offer.
Ask if they can throw in extras
If they won't slash the price, ask them if they can at least include any extras, such as a faster connection. free calls or extra channels.
If you fail – try, try and try again
While unconfirmed, we hear rumours that at some companies different staff members have different quotas of how many deals they can do.
Even if that's not true, it certainly feels like that to many. So you may have called the wrong person at the wrong time. Calling back a few days later and speaking to someone else may pay dividends.
Some MoneySavers have reported that they cancelled Sky TV and were then given a voucher for up to 50% off shortly after, either on their TV, in their Sky online account or through the post.
This is a risky option, as there are absolutely no guarantees you will be sent an offer, but if you've tried all the other haggling avenues and are thinking of leaving anyway it might be worth a try.
After you receive email confirmation to say you're leaving, check your account via your TV to see if you've been sent an offer, or sign into your online Sky account. Some have reported receiving a voucher for a lower amount in their online account than via TV, while others have successfully asked for between £50 and £100 bill credit on top via its live chat.
Always check the full details off the offer to ensure you know exactly what you're getting and which parts of your bill the discount would apply to. Here's some inspiration from those who've bagged a discount:
Took the leap of faith and cancelled. Had the 50% offer on my homepage within five minutes. Accepted that offer, and also negotiated a new box as one of ours was faulty. Both daughters also took the leap of faith, both had the 50% offer within minutes. One managed 60% off everything, the other 50% plus £50 credit in account.
- Forumite Janeway224
I talked to Sky about my package and was offered 10% discount. I cancelled and a few minutes later had a 35% offer in my online account and 50% via interactive. Called them, accepted 50% and after a chat was also given £50 credit.
- Forumite DropInTheNorthSea
My account online gives me an offer of 35% off but my Sky app offers me the 50% discount. I'm going to leave it until the last minute to 'rejoin' so we don't lose any service. By then I might get the credit offer as well.
- Forumite tarkytarks
If you do actually leave, Sky's 'Winback team' may contact you out of the blue with a special offer to well, win you back. It doesn't have a contact number so you'd need to be prepared to leave completely if you want to speak to it.
If you don't get what you want, you should seriously consider leaving. Remember, new customers usually have the pick of the best deals and there are plenty of other providers out there. Compare broadband, phone line and TV deals using our Broadband Unbundled tool to find the best package for you – you could save £100s.
If you do actually leave, Sky's 'Winback team' may contact you out of the blue with a special offer to win you back, though there are no guarantees.
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