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Broadband Haggling

Top tips for slashing your internet and line rental bills

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Nick | Edited by Steve N

Updated July 2018

sky customers

Providers hike prices pretty much annually these days, but if your bill's gone up - or you're just on a promo deal that's ending - switching isn't your only option. We're flooded with stories of existing customers who've slashed £100s off their bill by using a method that dates back to the dawn of civilisation... haggling.

If you're happy with your service but not what you pay for it, there's plenty of scope for negotiation (especially for BT, EE and Sky customers hit by recent hikes). Broadband's a mature market and companies are desperate to keep customers, so here are our top haggling tips.

'I cut £220/yr off my package'

Our most recent poll, in November 2017, found 80% of broadband customers who tried to haggle were successful in negotiating a better deal, showing what's possible. With some firms, the success rate was even higher – for example, 86% of Sky customers claimed victory. See our top 10 service companies to haggle with.

Here are examples of MoneySavers who've slashed their broadband bills by haggling:

Sent BT an email to ask for my MAC code. Received a call today which resulted in cutting £220/year off my phone and broadband package for a year with an upgrade to totally unlimited broadband, so no 10GB limit anymore! Just shows what can be done. – forumite TonyNannini

I rang Sky and said I wanted to move my phone and broadband to Plusnet. Sky initially offered free broadband and £50 credit, which I didn't take. I called back later and was offered free broadband for 10 months and line rental for £10/month for 10 months - and eventually managed to extend the free broadband to 12 months. – forumite dharle
Just had a brilliant result from Plusnet as an existing customer. I've been with them for 3 years and have experienced four line rental increases. When I received the email about the latest I gave them a call, having read about other available broadband deals on MSE. Having some numbers to hand really helped – I was offered a new customer deal and saved £120/yr. – Rachel, via email
TalkTalk were charging me £5/mth (plus line rental paid upfront). When I rang they immediately offered me the Essentials TV, Broadband and Phone package half-price for 12 months, plus an extra £2/mth discount – works out at £3 a month. I also get free evening and weekend calls and the YouView box. More for even less money! – forumite kat1311

Please let us know how you get on via the forum, or you can email or tweet @MoneySavingExp with your success stories.

Don't settle for a bum deal – make 'em fight to keep you

broadband price hike

If you’re fed up with price hikes or your bills are going through the roof because your promo deal's ending, don't sit back. There are a host of ways you can cut costs, while not sacrificing getting what you want.

Now we know haggling's often seen as the preserve of backstreet bazaars, but it's very much alive and kicking in the UK and there are huge savings to be made, particularly on broadband and line rental packages. The broadband world's a mature market and most people already have a provider, so competition to keep existing customers is fierce.

In a nutshell, call up and ask for a better deal. Say you're paying too much or rivals' deals are cheaper. If that doesn't work, tell them you're leaving. You'll usually get put through to companies' super-powerful hidden deals departments.

Why haggling works

Here's the key thing to understand:

Companies only make their best deals available to newbies; 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.

Haggling is just one of your price cut weapons – check new deals too

While haggling can be powerful, it's just one part of your battle to get the best deal. Sometimes the 'new customer' offers you can get from alternative providers are simply unbeatable. So by all means haggle, but always check the top deals out there too – see How to get cheap broadband for our top picks.

    15 top haggling tips

    Haggling may sound straightforward, but perfecting it's an art. Here are our top tips for broadband haggling - for more, see our guide on Haggling with Sky, AA & more.

  • Mid-contract price hikes can strengthen your position

  • Timing is crucial

  • Benchmark the best deal

  • Get through to the retentions department

  • Use charm, chutzpah, cheek... and a smile

  • Think about what speed you REALLY need

  • Not everyone needs unlimited broadband

  • Use the phrases that pay

  • Don't panic if they call your bluff and say they'll disconnect you

  • Problems mean discounts

  • Don't say yes to the first offer they give

  • Don't fill the silence

  • Ask if they can throw in extras

  • If you fail – try, try and try again

  • If they really won't play ball, vote with your feet

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