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Virgin Media, RAC and Sky are the top firms to haggle with, MSE poll finds

Virgin Media, RAC and Sky are the top firms to haggle with, a new (MSE) poll of over 3,000 people has found, with over 80% of those who tried negotiating with these three firms having some success, compared to 66% on average.

More than 3,000 MoneySavers cast nearly 8,000 votes in the poll, sharing their varying degrees of success bagging cheaper prices, extra goods or better deals with firms across home services (TV, broadband and home phone), mobiles, breakdown cover and insurance.

For tips on getting a better deal by negotiating with your provider, see our full Haggling tips guide.

The top 10 companies to haggle with

The table below shows the 10 firms that had the highest reported success rates:

Provider (total votes)

'No success'

'Small success'

'Big success'

Total success rate (last year’s rate)

1. Virgin Media (748)




85% (83%)

2. RAC (253)




85% (86%)

3. Sky (1,132)




84% (81%)

4. AA (468)




81% (84%)

5. Admiral (233)




77% (85%)

6. TalkTalk (208)




77% (81%)

7. Three (166)




74% (73%)

8. Sky Mobile (142)




73% (79%)

9. O2 (216)




72% (70%)

10. Virgin Mobile (128)




71% (70%)

Only companies with 100+ votes are included. Total success rate is calculated by adding the votes from both small and big successes, as a percentage of the total votes for that firm. Results are rounded to the nearest percentage point. Poll carried out December 2022 – see full results.

The best companies to haggle with from each sector

Overall, the results showed the home services sector to be the most persuadable to haggling, with an average 75% success rate across firms in that sector.

Sector (total votes)

1st (total success rate)

2nd (total success rate)

3rd (total success rate)

TV/broadband/home phone (3,494)

Virgin Media (85%)

Sky (84%)

TalkTalk (77%)

Mobiles (1,543)

Three (74%)

Sky Mobile (73%)

O2 (72%)

Breakdown cover (1,025)

RAC (85%)

AA (81%)

Green Flag (66%)

Insurance (1,824)

Admiral (77%)

AA Insurance (71%)

Hastings Direct (69%)

How the companies fared compared to last year

Overall, Virgin Media has jumped from fourth place last year, to first this year, knocking RAC off the top spot. Four firms secured an 80%+ success rating (Virgin Media, RAC, Sky and AA).

Sky customers reported enjoying more success this year, as it jumped from fifth place last year to a top three position this year with its success rate rising from 81% to 84%. Three, O2 and Virgin Mobile also made it to the top 10 this year, all with increased success rates.

'Haggling can be a way to make loyalty pay'

Gary Caffell, utilities editor at MoneySavingExpert, said: "While loyalty generally doesn't pay, this year's poll shows once again customers can make it work for their pocket if they're willing to give haggling a go. It never hurts to try.

"It's positive to see the big names topping the poll once more, but it's also encouraging to see consumers from a wide variety of firms across all sectors having success. So, if you're out of contract, the power is in your hands to ask for a better deal. Benchmark prices elsewhere first, then be polite and with a bit of charm, there's a good chance you'll bag a decent discount."

How to haggle: our top tips

For those prepared to give haggling a go, read these handy haggling tips for a few extra pointers:

  • Use charm, cheek and a smile – whether it's on the phone or in person, remember you're dealing with a human being, so there's no need to put someone's back up. If you do it with humour, style and grace, then there's no price or suggestion too outrageous.

  • Problems mean discounts – if you've had issues with the company (slow broadband speed, poor mobile network coverage, wrong payments taken), mention this politely. They should then want to try and make it up to you.

  • Time it right – the end of the month or financial quarter is a good time to haggle, as salespeople are likely to be trying to meet their targets. However, the end of your contract is your powerhouse weapon when it comes to haggling, so make a note in your diary when it's one month away.

  • Get through to the right department – most frontline staff aren't able to negotiate with you. So if you can't get the deal you want with them, then ask to be put through to 'disconnections', which internally is known also as 'customer retentions'. These people have huge deal-making power to get you to stay.

  • Don't say 'yes' to the first offer they give – this is because the chances are it's not the best they can do.

See more tips and tricks in our Haggling guide, plus previous success stories.

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