Save money on your utility bills by haggling for a better deal using expert tips
Whether you know you’re paying over the odds for your gas, electricity and water, or you want to try your luck and have a go at saving your hard-earned cash, here’s the best way to go about it. And since the proof’s in the pudding, we’ve enlisted the help of thrifty bloggers to #ChallengeYourBills – for two weeks, they’ll negotiate with service providers, check comparison websites and do everything in their power to cut the cost of their utility bills.
From Money Supermarket and Go Compare to Money Saving Expert, you have an abundance of price comparison websites at your fingertips all doing the maths for you. Use them wisely in your research stage.
Acknowledge Your Worth
Brands don’t want to lose you, so you’ll often find that as an existing customer you get a better deal than the newbies – especially from mobile phone providers. Use your loyalty for your own financial gain.
Find Your Purpose
Do you want more features, free equipment or a discount? Decide before you call so you can talk convincingly with more purpose, increasing your chance of clinching the deal you want.
Time it Right
The end of the month or the financial quarter is always a good time to haggle, if a salesperson hasn’t met their target, they will do pretty much anything to sign you up. November and December are also the quietest time for insurers, making them the perfect months to cover your home or car.
Be Their Mate
Whoever you end up haggling with is, in fact, a fellow human being, and you’d do well to remember the fact. Instead of going in all aggressive and argumentative, change tact, and politely charm your way to a better deal with a little cheek and patience. If they’re right there in front of you, flash a smile.
Drop the Bombshell
Say you want to leave the second someone answers the phone and they’ll put you straight through to the ‘disconnections’ department who have stronger deal-making powers than normal customer service. Bye bye middle man.
Say Phrases that Pay
Nervous? Don’t be, you’re only asking for a better price, because you think you’re paying over the odds. It’s your provider who should be quaking in their boots, especially if you use these killer phrases to give yourself time to think…
“I’ve calculated my monthly budget, it’s £X a month maximum, I have nothing more.”
“TalkTalk can do it for less.”
“I need to think about it…”
“It’s still a lot of money.”
“What’s the best you can do?”
Unless you’re fully satisfied, never accept their first offer, they’ll never go in with their lowest price will they.
Say ‘No’ to Cheeky Added Extras
Stay strong when they offer you more features for a ‘lower’ price. Stick to your shopping list of things you already decided you wanted, needed and budgeted for.
Turn a Bad Situation into a Positive
List all the issues you’ve ever had with your service provider, however big or small, the more detail you recall the better. Is your broadband slow? Poor mobile network coverage? Were you ever overcharged? Remind them that they should really make it up to you with compensation for their mistakes – you never know, those past problems may bring you a discount.
Make Good on Your Threat to Leave
Sometimes, you just won’t get a better deal, so don’t be afraid to jump ship and switch supplier. It’s quicker and easier than you think.
Make Your Home Greener
Whether or not you have a new deal in the bag, you can also reduce your bills by going eco-friendly.
Upgrade your insulation, your boiler and appliances or go all out with solar panels. Eco-friendly homes lock the heat in and save electricity or water, cutting down the amount you use and therefore how much you pay. Good for your wallet and the environment. Go make your home green however you can.
Use Cashback Websites
Topcashback.com is perhaps the most popular, giving you money for shopping online as you usually do, which you can put towards your bills.