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5 August 2020
Tens of thousands of Sky TV and broadband customers will see bills rise by up to £72 a year from this month, 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.
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Our most recent haggling poll, in February 2019, found 84% 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:
My Sky bill increased to £92/mth after the first year promotion ended. Two calls later and still no success so I cancelled. Within 5 mins I was offered 50% off, plus I contacted Sky via Live Chat and managed to get 35% off the HD pack and £50 credit on top. After dropping multiroom too it came to a saving of over £660/year!
- 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
Rang Sky to cancel my £36/mth subscription and, using your tips, was offered the same package I already had for £21/mth for 13 months with the option to cancel anytime without penalty. Thanks to MSE I've saved £195 - well happy.
- Kev, by email
I contacted Sky regarding its price hike and voiced my displeasure about the deals that new customers are offered, forgetting the loyal customers. I threatened to leave and ended up saving £20/mth. Thanks!
- Angella, by email
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, because they stay with the firm through thick 'n' thin, always 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 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.
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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.
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.
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 one month 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 Sky). 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. (Bear in mind it may be more difficult than usual to get through as Sky is prioritising vulnerable customers during the coronavirus pandemic.)
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 03442 41 44 14 – 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.
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.
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?"
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."
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.
You should never go with the first offer. Chances are, it's not the best deal they can do. Remember, be firm.
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.
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.
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 offe,r 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 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 home page 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 loose any service. By then I might get the credit offer as well.
- Forumite tarkytarks
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.
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