Sky and the AA are the easiest companies to haggle with, according to a poll of users.

It's clear millions get a better deal when they have the nerve to negotiate money off a new contract, proving haggling isn't confined to exotic bazaars.

Key Points

  • Sky and the AA easiest to haggle with
  • Millions get a better deal when trying their luck
  • But a quarter are missing out as never haggled

It happens regularly with broadband and TV companies, on breakdown cover, insurance and more when consumers renew contracts or sign up for a deal.

A whopping 78% of Sky TV, broadband or home phone customers who tried to batter down costs secured a better deal, our poll shows.

The AA's breakdown cover service was second easiest to barter with, with 73% of customers who tried succeeding. Virgin Media was a close third with a 72% success rate.

The hardest firms to haggle with include telecoms provider Primus and the Post Office's telecoms department (see tables below for full results).

However, many people accept the first price they are given, so could be missing out on easy cash. Some 680 (24%) of the 2,846 people who answered our poll said they'd never haggled.

Archna Luthra, consumer products analyst, says: "Haggling isn't the preserve of far-flung holidays. Everyone should get stuck in here or they may miss out on £100s.

"Consumers wield massive power when negotiating, and companies will often strike a deal to keep you or clinch a sale, especially on longer-term subscription services.

"But if you don't ask, you don't get. Don't be demanding, though. No one likes a diva and prepare by researching prices, so you know you're getting a good deal."'s top haggling tips

  • When you're nearing the end of a contract, the provider will want to keep your custom, so be ready to act.
  • Threaten to switch provider, and the company should put you through to its retention unit, whose job is to keep customers, and offer the top deals to tempt you to stay.
  • Research using price comparison sites to set a realistic target price.
  • Be friendly, but firm. You're more likely to get a result if the person on the other end of the phone or counter empathises with you.
  • Don't be afraid to walk away if it won't give you the price you want.

Below are the top five easiest firms to haggle with and the top five hardest, followed by the complete results, broken down by market sector.

How easy is it to haggle? Tv/broadband/landline Energy Mobile phones Insurance Breakdown cover

Easiest companies Hardest companies
Provider Success Fail Provider Success Fail
Sky 78% 22% Primus 12% 88%
The AA (i) 73% 27% Post Office (ii) 13% 87%
Virgin Media 72% 28% SSE 26% 74%
Vodafone 69% 31% EDF 37% 63%
T-Mobile 68% 32% British Gas 38% 62%
(i) Breakdown cover (ii) TV/phone/broadband
Provider Success Fail
Sky 78% 22%
Virgin 72% 28%
BT 57% 43%
TalkTalk 54% 46%
Post Office 13% 87%
Primus 12% 88%
Provider Success Fail
Npower 44% 56%
Eon 42% 58%
Scottish Power 39% 61%
British Gas 38% 62%
EDF 37% 63%
SSE 26% 74%
Provider Success Fail
Vodafone 69% 31%
T-Mobile 68% 32%
O2 66% 34%
Orange 66% 34%
Three 63% 37%
48% 52%
Phones4U 41% 59%
Provider Success Fail
Admiral 61% 39%
The AA 52% 48%
Aviva 51% 49%
Direct Line 51% 49%
Churchill 42% 58%
Saga 41% 59%
Post Office 18% 82%

Provider Success Fail
The AA 73% 27%
RAC 59% 41%
Green Flag 38% 62%