Plusnet hiked its prices in June, but that doesn't mean you have to let it hit you where it hurts – in your wallet. If you're an existing customer you can use your negotiation skills to bag yourself a better deal.
Use the tips in this guide to up your chances of success when haggling with the BT-owned telecoms firm.
In this guide...
'I saved £140 with one phone call'
Our most recent haggling poll, in November 2016, found 77% of Plusnet customers who told us they tried to haggle their price down were successful, showing what's possible. To see who else this works well on, see our full list of the top service companies to haggle with.
Here are examples of MoneySavers who've slashed their Plusnet bills by haggling.
Thanks MSE, I just saved £140 with one phone call. My Plusnet contract was increasing by £7.49/mth, I negotiated to get my original deal again (line rental + £2.50/mth broadband) and £50 cash back. They were also willing to match any other deal on the internet, so your list of the best deals gave me good bargaining power. They wanted to make it an 18mth contract, but readily reduced it to 12 when I asked. - Forumite PRWBrighton.
Called Sky, they offered a 50% reduction for 10 months. Still cancelled Sky as Plusnet/Youview+ have the same package for £8/mth! - Sue, via Twitter
Just had a brilliant result from Plusnet. I've been with them for 3 years, and since then have experienced four line rental increases. When I received the email about the latest I called after reading about other available broadband deals on MSE. Having some numbers to hand really helped, and I was offered a new customer deal and saving £120/yr.- Rachel, via email
Spoke with Plusnet via their web chat, asked if they could do anything better and I got an offer of £50 cashback straight away. Worth a try people!- Forumite Hop3y
Take back the power from Plusnet - bag a good deal or ditch and switch
Plusnet's marketing campaign claims that it provides 'broadband that loves you back,' but don't be fooled into thinking you're in a loving long-term relationship.
Here's the key thing to understand:
Companies make their best deals only available for newbies, and they LOVE loyal customers, because they stay with the firm through thick 'n' thin, always paying full price and never checking if their deal can be beaten.
This lets big firms rake in regular, guaranteed, easy profit. So ask yourself a question: do you want to be a customer whose business is fought for, or one who's taken for granted? If you don't 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 Plusnet doesn't budge after that, or you're not happy with the offer, tell it you're leaving. More often than not you'll be transferred to its cancellations AKA retentions department. Here, staff have the power to offer hidden, unpublicised deals.
While haggling's a powerful technique, it's not your only option. Never forget that you may be able to get the best deal by switching to a different provider - you can compare broadband, phone and TV deals with our Broadband Unbundled tool.
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12 top haggling tips
The best prices are usually reserved for new customers, so existing ones lose out on cracking deals. If you're willing to take the haggle challenge you could beat a price hike. Here are our top 12 tips to haggle with Plusnet. For more, see our guide on Haggling with Service Providers.
Timing is crucial
Haggling works best when you're near or beyond the end of your contract, though there's no harm in giving it a try when you're not. Diarise to call back then (you can give Plusnet notice of leaving 14 days before the end of your contract) .
Furthermore, if a provider hikes broadband or line rental prices (sadly the rule doesn't apply to TV on its own) mid-contract you can leave penalty-free even if you're still in the minimum term. You'll have 30 days from receiving your notification letter of this to notify it that you want to switch. If you don't want to leave, use it as leverage when haggling.
Plusnet hiked line rental in June, so use this as leverage when haggling yourself a better deal (assuming you want to stick with it).
Benchmark the best deal
It's important to have the factual arsenal. Research the deals, discounts and codes that Plusnet and its competitors are offering to act as a basis for negotiation.
If you're a fibre customer and have a Youview box, which offers 15 premium channels as well as Freeview, as part of your package. Compare broadband, phone and digital TV deals with our Broadband Unbundled tool to help you compare what you could be paying for those extra TV channels. You can also sign up to our weekly email to get the latest offers.
Get through to the retention department
If you're coming to the end of your contract, or are out of it, you're wielding a powerhouse weapon: customer loyalty. Call the Customer Options Team on 0800 013 2632. Tell it you're going to leave. The customer service person should put you through to the 'customer retentions' department – aka the Holy Grail of haggling.
Use charm, chutzpah, cheek and a smile
Aggression or anger will just put the customer service rep's back up. 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, firm and non-combative.
Use the phrases that pay
You may find that your Plusnet customer service rep will only offer a small discount at first, but if you don't agree with the price use phrases like:
- I've worked out my budget, and my absolute max is £[insert price here]/month
- [TalkTalk/Virgin/BT] can do it for less...
- I need to think about it...
- I think my husband/wife 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/Aunt Fanny first."
Problems mean discounts
If you've had issues with Plusnet in the past - slow broadband, long customer call waiting times - politely tell the salesperson when you haggle. They should want to try and make it up to you.
Don't say yes to the first offer they give
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', don't feel pressured into agreeing to the new price or deal unless you're certain. As negotiations come to a close, a classic salesman 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, see if they can include any extras, like free calls or extra channels.
If you fail - try, try and try again
While unconfirmed, we hear rumours that different staff members have quotas of how many deals they can do. Even if not true, it 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.
Vote with your feet
If you don't get what you want, you should seriously consider leaving. Compare broadband, phone and digital TV deals to find the best one for you.