Happy with TalkTalk but not its prices? Unhappy with its service and think you deserve a better deal? Now's a great time to lower the price you pay using your negotiations skills.
TalkTalk hiked its prices at the beginning of August – all the more reason to try and haggle yourself a better deal, assuming you don't want to switch. Here's how to do it...
In this guide...
'I saved £120 with one quick email'
Our most recent haggling poll, in November 2016, found 78% of TalkTalk customers who voted told us they successfully haggled their price down, showing what's possible. See our full list of the top service companies to haggle with.
Here are examples of MoneySavers who've slashed their TalkTalk bills by haggling.
I have been a customer of TalkTalk for about nine years, and have the full package: landline, TV and broadband. I received an email telling me this was going up to £20/mth from £18.50. I emailed them to find out why only new customers get special offers, and the obvious question, "did loyalty count for nothing?". Within three days they offered my package half price for the next 12 months. So now I will only be paying £10. Not bad for a quick email. - Denise, via email
I went looking for alternative fibre packages yesterday in preparation for my cancellation. York is getting ultrafast fibre soon (1GB), so I registered my interest with TalkTalk. I got an email from them today, saying it's not available yet in my area, but I could have 12 months FREE unlimited fibre (36MB), then 6 months at £15, plus a £50 love to shop voucher while we wait for it to arrive - Forumite EMH
TalkTalk retentions offered me: Fibre for £5 instead of £10 as an ongoing discount, half price essentials for 12 months, free connection and free fibre router. Pretty easy to be honest, a little bit of haggling but was not hard. - Forumite Deanos
Surprisingly good customer service at @TalkTalk_UK when renewing just now. Matched £12/mth deal found via @MoneySavingExp - Dave, via Twitter
Took a look at your website and got TalkTalk down to a one-off payment of £132 for one year's phone and broadband unlimited!!- Charly, via Twitter
Don't put up with pricey TalkTalk packages – make it fight to keep you
We're not saying you need to cut back on your package to save money, rather that there is no need to simply cough up more cash because your promotional offer has ended or you've been stung by price hikes. There's a whole host of haggling tips and tricks you can turn to ensure you can continue with your service at the best possible price.
Here's the key thing to understand:
Companies make their best deals only available to 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.
It's as easy as calling up and asking for a better deal, sticking to your guns and coming out the other side quids-in.
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 - compare broadband, phone and digital TV deals with our tool, Broadband Unbundled. And even if you do end up staying, scoping the best rival deals out there will help you up your haggling game.
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14 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 14 tips to haggle with TalkTalk. 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. There's no harm in giving it a try when you're not. If you struggle, diarise when you're nearing the end and call back then (you can give TalkTalk notice of leaving 30 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) mid-contract you have the right to leave penalty-free, even though you're still in the minimum term. If so, you'll have 30 days from receiving your notification letter to let it know you want to leave.
TalkTalk hiked its prices at the start of August – all affected customers should've been notified, 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 TalkTalk and its competitors are offering to act as a basis for negotiation. Compare broadband, phone and digital TV deals to find the best buys, and 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 0203 441 5550 and tell them 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 TalkTalk 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
- [Sky/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 were affected by the data breach late last year or you've had issues with TalkTalk in the past – slow broadband, long customer call waiting times, etc – politely tell the customer service representative when you haggle. They should want to try to make it up to you.
Don't say yes to the first offer they give
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, such as free calls or extra channels. You've nothing to lose.
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 provider for you.
If you've got TV with TalkTalk do a channel audit
Work out what you really watch on TalkTalk and ditch the rest. There's no point in paying for access to channels you don't watch and that might be a great bargaining tool.
Tell 'em you're happy with Freeview
It costs nothing for many people, comes with loads of channels, and if you mention it, it shows TalkTalk you know what you're talking about. It's a huge weapon to start your haggle with as it's telling TalkTalk your opening offer is to pay it £0, which will hopefully give you more wiggle room to get a top deal.
Also watch Martin's How to Haggle video for more inspiration.