It pays to be a savvy haggler

Which? research has found that savvy consumers can save on average up to £238 a year across a range of essential household services, if they are prepared to haggle and stand their ground for a better deal.

We asked consumers to tell us about their experiences when haggling with essential service providers like car insurance, mobile phones, home insurance, breakdown cover and broadband.

We found:

  • Haggling for a better deal on your broadband and mobile phone bills offered some of the biggest annual discounts, on average up to £60.
  • Haggling is easier than many might think, we found a high success rate from consumers who were prepared to stand their ground and weren’t afraid to threaten to leave.
  • The AA topped the list of the easiest firms to haggle with, as some 95% of those who contacted them ended up with a better deal.
  • Consumers also reported that companies are only too willing to offer incentives, in order to entice their customers to stick with them.
  • The promise of a permanent discount was by far the most popular incentive offered to tempt consumers across all sectors, followed by free equipment from broadband providers and additional texts from mobile phone providers.

Which? has more information on how to haggle here:

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:

“Many consumers miss out on the best deals because they cringe at the prospect of bartering for something better.

“But if you are prepared to voice your demands you are more likely to go straight to the front of the queue for big savings on your monthly household bills.”

Which? has put together some Hints and Tips for Savvy Hagglers, these include:

  1. The Set Up – before you pick up the phone do your research.  Look at what your current deal provides and then shop around to see if there is something better being offered.
  2. Make the call – be prepared to stand your ground if you’re not happy with your provider’s first response and use any of the more competitive quotes you might have found as a bargaining tool.
  3. Seal the deal – now is the time to threaten to leave if you’ve not been offered what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask for time to think it over if they suggest a better deal.
  4. Need to know – show what you know. Being armed with as much information as possible means you can show them that you really know your stuff – and aren’t prepared to budge. For example if you’re calling about your broadband, asking for your MAC code will show you are serious about leaving. For car and home insurance don’t forget you’re entitled to a 14 day cooling off period, so you can cancel and renegotiate.


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