Customers who stay loyal to the same insurance, energy and telecoms providers risk losing out on savings of up to £725 a year, according to Which? research.
In a survey of more than 2,000 people, Which? found that some UK consumers are reluctant to push for a better deal – but there are huge savings to be made for those who do.
Four in ten (42%) have not haggled with any service provider Which? asked about in the last 12 months, with people least likely to request a discount on their mobile phone contract, broadband or car breakdown cover.
But nine in 10 (86%) broadband and pay TV customers who asked for a better deal were offered a discount or incentive, highlighting how worthwhile haggling can be. Those on a standalone broadband package saved an average of £120 a year, while those with combined broadband and pay TV services saved £216 annually.
Three-quarters (77%) of mobile phone users secured a better deal – and an average saving of £72 a year – by haggling.
People who pushed for a better deal on home, car and car breakdown insurance policies made a total average saving of £125 in a year.
Overall, three-quarters (77%) of people who haggled on insurance or telecoms were offered some sort of incentive – with more than seven in 10 (74%) receiving a fixed discount on their payments.
Almost a third (31%) of people have stuck with the same energy supplier for more than 10 years. Our research shows that by switching gas and electricity provider, consumers on a standard variable tariff could save up to £312 a year.
Alex Neill, Managing Director of Which? Home and Product Services, said:
“People who stay with the same energy, telecoms or insurance company year after year rarely get the best deal.
“Customers paying the price for loyalty should ask their providers to reward them, or be prepared to lose them .”
Which?’s top tips for haggling:
- Compile your case: Have your case backed up with details of issues you’ve had with the provider, how long you’ve been a customer, whether your usage matches up with the price charged and what deals are available on comparison sites.
- Explain if you simply can’t afford the price and have a good reason for haggling – eg. your main income is low.
- Have a clear idea of what you’re aiming for and do the back and forth: Haggle with your provider for a lower price, take that price to another provider to match or beat. Take your new competitive quote to your original provider to see whether they’ll match it.
- Use the three Ps: Be polite and pleasant, but persistent.
- They’re expecting you: If an awkward conversation is holding you back, remember that this is a conversation companies are expecting to have. Their pricing is set up so they’re able to offer discounts to hagglers.
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Notes to Editors:
- Which?’s free ‘how to haggle’ advice page is accessible at: https://www.which.co.uk/money/money-saving-tips/getting-a-great-deal/guides/haggling
- Customers looking for cheaper energy deals can compare deals with Which? Switch, a transparent and impartial way to compare energy tariffs and find the best gas and electricity supplier.
- In October 2017, Which? surveyed 2,000 members of the UK general public about their experience of haggling – or not – with their service providers across broadband, combined broadband and TV, mobile phone contract, home insurance, car insurance, car breakdown cover and energy.
- a – Savings figures are based on the median savings of 1,169 people in our survey who haggled in the past 12 months. a These figures total a £725 saving. b Based on a medium user (3,100 kWh electricity and 12,000 kWh gas, dual fuel, average across GB, monthly direct debit, paperless deal) switching from the average Big Six SVT to the cheapest deal on the market. Data captured: 26 Oct 2017.