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AA, RAC and Sky call centres are the easiest to haggle with

AA, RAC and Sky call centres are the easiest to haggle with

Haggling is live and kicking in the UK, a new MoneySavingExpert.com poll reveals, with four out of five customers who give it a go successfully negotiating a better deal with some big-name firms in the TV, broadband, mobile, breakdown and insurance sectors.

Our latest poll on haggling with service providers found that MoneySavers had the most luck negotiating with breakdown cover brokers, with 88% of those who tried haggling with the AA and 86% of those who tried with the RAC reporting at least some success.

But most who'd tried to haggle with a range of mobile, TV and broadband firms such as Sky, Three and EE Mobile also said they'd managed to get a better deal. 

And while some success rates have slipped slightly since our last poll in September 2018, there are still four firms with 80%+ success rates and all the firms in the top 10 have a success rate greater than 70%. 

The findings come as at least six major firms hike prices, which can be valuable haggling ammunition, especially if you're near or at the end of your contract:

  • Last month EE hiked prices for pay-monthly customers by 2.7%.
  • This month Sky is hiking prices for millions of broadband and TV customers by up to £96 a year.
  • Virgin Mobile is hiking prices for 250,000 pay-monthly customers by up to £150 a year.
  • O2 and Three are increasing pay-monthly contracts by 2.5% in April and May respectively. 
  • Vodafone pay-monthly prices are going up by 2.5% this month. 

See our Haggle with Service Providers guide for more tips on getting a better deal.

What did the poll show?

Our poll on haggling with service providers ran between 26 February and 5 March. We asked MoneySavers which service providers they'd tried to haggle with in the past year, and whether they'd had a big success, small success or no success. More than 6,500 votes were cast. 

The AA took the top spot, up from third place in our last poll in September 2018. Meanwhile, the RAC fell from first to second place. TalkTalk and Vodafone dropped out of the top 10, while Three and Sky Mobile joined the list. 

Here's a breakdown of haggling successes across the top 10 companies for haggling:

Top 10 UK service companies to haggle with 

PROVIDER NO SUCCESS SMALL SUCCESS BIG SUCCESS TOTAL SUCCESS LAST YEAR
1. AA breakdown cover (373 votes) 12% 31% 57% 88% 88% 
2. RAC (189 votes) 15% 36%  49% 85%  90%
3. Sky TV & broadband (1,007 votes) 16% 33% 51% 84% 85%
4. Admiral (205 votes) 19% 39% 42% 81% 89%
5. Three (115 votes) 22% 36% 42% 78% 74%
6. Sky Mobile (198 votes) 24% 32% 44% 76% n/a (1)
7. EE Mobile (167 votes) 24% 38% 38% 76% 77%
8. Virgin Media (493 votes) 24%  39% 37% 76% 82%
9. Plusnet TV & broadband (165 votes) 25% 37.5% (2) 37.5% 75%  78%
10. BT (612 votes) 27% 36% 37%  73% 80%

Only companies with 100+ votes included. Poll carried out Feb 2019 - see full results. (1) Not included in original results because it received only 59 votes (2) Rounded to nearest decimal place as Plusnet received the same number of votes for big and small successes.

'These findings show the rich potential for haggling'

Steve Nowottny, news and features editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "Once again our findings show the rich potential for haggling with all sorts of call centres covering a wide range of services. 

"While it's always interesting to see which firms have topped the poll - and particularly encouraging for customers with those companies who are facing price hikes at the moment - the broader message is a simple one. Ask for a better deal with a bit of charm, cheek and chutzpah and there's a very decent chance you'll get one."