Haggle with Virgin Media
Save £100s on your existing package, without having to cancel
Virgin's one of the big players when it comes to TV and broadband, especially for high-speed internet, but if you're unhappy with your bill you can fight back. Haggling's your secret weapon - and we've seen many negotiate £100s a year off their bill. This guide takes you through the phrases that pay...
Why haggling works - and some inspiration!
Many stick with the same provider for years, fearful of losing services by switching or not wanting the hassle. But if you're out of contract and any promotional deal you had has now ended, it's likely you're now paying top whack for your services.
Yet if you're willing to take the haggle challenge, you could get a better price without switching. With a little charm, you could shave £100s off your bills in just one phone call.
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 easy, guaranteed profit. So ask yourself a question: do you want to be a customer whose business is fought for. Unless you want to be taken for granted, take the haggle challenge.
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, say you're leaving.
You'll usually get put through to companies' super-powerful hidden deals departments.
Check new deals too - remember, switching may be best
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 you'd get by switching – compare broadband, phone and TV deals.
This really does work - people who've tried it have saved £100s!
Our most recent poll, conducted in December 2022, found 85% of Virgin customers who tried to haggle were successful in negotiating a better deal, showing what's possible.
To see who else this works well on, see the Top 10 Firms To Haggle With, but here are some examples of MoneySavers who've managed to slash their Virgin bills by haggling:
My broadband and phone were due for renewal. I was paying £37/mth and they wanted to put it up to £68.
It took me two calls. The first could offer nothing less than £68/mth, but I had looked at your website and knew I could get it cheaper. I rang a second time and got it down to £21/mth [saving £564/yr] with nothing to pay until November. Thank you for your tips and just don't give up.
- Anita, by email
I get all my media stuff through Virgin Media, but as I'm a sports nut and often have grandkids around we have a complete package costing £136 a month. This was set to rise to £157 a month in April.
After an hour or so I have managed to reduce the bill to £86.25 a month with an upgrade to HD sports and no increase in April. Thank you all for reminding me to haggle.
- Tim, by email
I'm usually too nervous to ask at all, and I'd never have managed without this guide. I read the advice and success stories, I wrote down all the right phrases and the prices from researching competitor deals, and then I felt confident to give it a go.
I rang Virgin Media because my contract ends this week and my bills were due to go up from £31 to £61 a month. Instead, we've got an upgrade from 200Mb to 350Mb and the bill goes up to... £32 a month. Thank you so much for helping me keep the bills under control!
- Jo, by email
Some MoneySavers have told us of being offered an automatic discount while they're on hold. Yet you can usually get a better deal if you stay on hold and talk to a human. They're likely to be able to offer you a better deal, as Julie's email show...
Thank for the tips Martin. My broadband only contract is up on 23 March, it was £24/month. Virgin quoted me £44/month to renew. I got on the phone and as you suggested, held on for an operator.
I got through to a really helpful lady who sorted me a deal for 18 months at £22/month, £2/month cheaper than existing contract. Very happy I don't have to trawl through comparing suppliers now! Cheers!
- Julie, via email
Seven top Virgin haggling tips
Haggling may sound straightforward, but perfecting it is an art. Here are our top tips for haggling with Virgin – for more, see our full guide on Haggling with Service Providers.
Do a channel audit and ditch anything you don't watch
If you have TV, work out what you really watch on Virgin and ditch the rest. There's no point in paying for channel packages you don't watch. Virgin has a selection of packages to choose from and you could always opt for a more basic one to cut costs.
Haggling's best if you're out of contract, or close to it
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 Virgin notice of leaving 30 days beforehand).
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.
Furthermore, if Virgin hikes broadband or line rental prices (or even TV prices depending on the type of contract you have) mid-contract you may be able to leave penalty-free even if you're still in the minimum term. This can also be the case if it puts up the prices of additional services you regularly use, leading to "material detriment".
If you're able to leave penalty-free, you'll have one month from receiving notification of the price rise to tell Virgin you want to switch provider, putting you at a distinct advantage if you want to negotiate.
Benchmark 'new customer' deals, so you've a price to aim for
It's important to have the factual arsenal at your fingertips before you pick up the phone, so do your homework.
Research the deals and discounts Virgin and its competitors offer, as a basis for negotiation. Compare broadband, phone and TV deals and sign up to our weekly email to see the latest offers.
Tell 'em you're happy with Freeview (most of Virgin's basic channels are there too)
Freeview costs nothing for many people, comes with loads of channels, and if you mention it, it shows Virgin you know what you're talking about.
It's a useful opening gambit to start your haggle with as mentioning it tells Virgin your opening offer for that element of your package is £0.
To haggle, get put through to cancellations/retentions
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.)
You'll need to call Virgin on 0345 454 1111 to cancel but even the cancellation section of its site suggests it could offer you a better deal - providers are used to this so if you're feeling a little nervous, don't be. It's asking you to haggle and remember, it wants your custom.
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 Virgin 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] 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 Virgin 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.
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.
If it won't play ball, vote with your feet, and leave
If you don't get what you want, you should seriously consider leaving. Remember, new customers normally have the pick of the best TV, fibre broadband and line rental deals and there are other providers out there. Compare broadband, phone and TV deals to find the best one for you.
Once they've given notice, we've heard of users getting a call from Virgin within the 30-day notice period offering a deal to entice them back. At that point the ball is in your court.
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