Is it what you save, or what you spend that counts?

Is it what you save, or what you spend that counts?

Is it what you save, or what you spend that counts?

It’s been a busy week or two, but my wife and I sat down last night and acknowledged we’d made some great savings.

It started when one of our boys somehow damaged our reliable, but ancient, TV – which meant a call was necessary to our contents insurer, M&S.

The process was smooth and the gentleman ever so helpful. We were told to expect a call within 24 hours from their electricals replacement firm.

On my way to work the next morning, the replacement firm called. Wow – they were definitely on the case.

The helpful lady offered a replacement TV. I told her I needed to do some research to make sure it met my needs… – sorry – my children’s needs, as TVs have moved on a bit.

The TV I was offered had great features, but was no longer a current model. We could also buy it online at roughly the same price as the cash offer. She also gave me other options:

  • I could pay the difference if I wanted to upgrade the specification of my TV.
  • Or I could accept the claim amount (which, she said, was less than the replacement cost as the firm could source the products at discounted prices).

The following weekend, we visited a local electrical store, and got the upgrade prices from the insurer’s replacement firm. It now worked out cheaper to just claim the cash and buy the TV (despite the replacement firm’s “discounted prices”.)

But then we found our local store was charging £150 more than a competitor. As I had my prices with me, and having already read up on haggling, I put the price match question to them… and result! They matched it.

But they also tried to sell us a £250 sound system, a £100 power surge safety thingy, a £60 HDMI cable (which, thanks to Becca’s £1 cable tip, I wasn’t going to be suckered into buying) and the inevitable extended warranty plan. We stood firm, said ‘no’, ‘no’, ‘no’, and ‘no’, and off we went with our TV.

We felt good and I thought – let me try this with Sky.

I checked out the ‘brand new customer’ offers, brushed up on the haggling guide again, and called Sky. With prices in hand, it was clear I would be better off as a brand new customer.

In the cancellation department, the helpful James came back with some prices. But they still weren’t as good as what new customers’ were being offered. Off he went again, and this time he came back with a price I liked.

So though we spent a bit – we feel good looking at what we saved.

  • price-matching the TV
  • saving over £200 on our TV, telephone and broadband, compared with our old deal (plus a free HDMI cable, router and wireless adapter)

So on this occasion, it wasn’t what we spent, but what we saved that mattered.

Have you had any success with haggling? If so, please leave your experiences below or let us know in the MSE Forum.