Are you facing Sky TV’s price hike for the second year running? Many existing customers will see their bills increase by £72 from the 1st June 2016, which can feel like a slap in the face. Especially since the hike itself is a cheeky 25% bigger than last year’s.
It’s no secret that Sky are one of the easiest companies to negotiate with. A MoneySavingExpert poll found that 88% of Sky customers who haggled for a better deal, won. With odds like this in your favour, why wouldn’t you try and haggle? You’ll likely find that this friendly TV giant is willing to cut you a better deal, just to keep your account on their books.
While their Live Chat advisors aren’t known for their generous streak, you can pick up the phone in an attempt to slash your bill or bag some freebies, like a new HD set top box, faster broadband or bigger data allowances. But before you call their contact number, you’d best brush up on your haggling technique…
Do Your Homework & Strike at the Opportune Moment
A seasoned haggler bullet-proofs their case before diving into negotiations, so take five to prepare. List any and every issue you can recall having with Sky, no complaint is too pretty. These can make your customer advisor empathetic to your cause. Is your internet running at a snail’s pace? Were you kept on hold for too long? Temperamental set top box?
Bring up your TV menu, and take stock of your channels too. Trimming down your bill can be as simple as refusing to pay for the channels you don’t watch or can live without – so you need to know which they are. Research Sky’s ‘new customer’ deals and general discounts, before checking in on their rivals too – as these credible tip-bits are hard to argue with, and they’ll show that you genuinely understand what you’re talking about.
For the best chance of success, you need to time your phone call right. If you’re heading to the end of your contract, for example, you’re in with a better shot of haggling a better deal – you must give Sky 31 days’ notice before leaving.
Cut to the Chase
Don’t beat around the bush, you’re going to want to play hardball with the right person to knock pennies off your contract. So when you call through to a customer advisor, ask to speak to the ‘TV Cancellations’ department straight away. You’re going to need to bluff your way to a cheaper deal – and winning yourself the somewhat sympathetic ear of someone in Sky’s Customer Retentions department will help you on your way to victory.
Charm & Schmooze
Would you go out of your way to help a patronising or bad-tempered soul, intent on chewing your ear off for their own end? When you’re haggling with Sky, keep things light and polite. You need them to like and sympathise with you – remember that they hold all of the cards. They’re well within their rights to call your bluff and cancel your contract at any minute.
Simply explain that your budget won’t stretch that far, no matter how much you wish it would. Or take yourself out of the equation altogether, with a simple: ‘sorry, but my partner/housemate/kid brother just isn’t willing to pay such a large sum’.
Hold Your Ground & Make Them Fight for You
Just because Sky aren’t known to put up a fight against hagglers, they won’t roll over either. You’ll never get the best deal or discount on your very first try. So if you don’t want to settle for their initial offer, simply give it another go.
You may find that they’ll call you back to put a better offer on the table. Otherwise, wait a few days and re-dial their number to talk to another operator. Perhaps you caught the first one on a bad day? Keep your chin up, and fight for what you want.
Be a Cool Cucumber
When you haggle, you catch the person at the other end off guard. While you can often turn this to your advantage, some customer service assistants simply won’t budge. Don’t sweat it if they sound as though they really will terminate your contract and follow through with your bluff, as you asked. Should that happen, simply tell them that you need to talk to the bill payer or your partner/mum/cat before making any permanent decisions. Then hang up.
Regardless of how your phone call is going down, never allow yourself to feel pressured into agreeing to anything.
Bite the Bullet
If you’ve really had it up to here with Sky, and your negotiations have proved fruitless, you might want to go the whole hog and actually cancel your Sky contract. What? Well, your ‘contract termination’ confirmation email may well come with a pleasant surprise, just when you thought it was all over.
Don’t count your chickens, but if you end your contract, check your My Sky account online and on your interactive TV, for a discount voucher or offer. Sky customers have reportedly received 50% off offers and other freebies, to tempt them to continue their contract. Of course, this is not absolutely guaranteed.
But even if this final gamble falls as flat as the rest of your haggling efforts, don’t be disheartened. You’re now free to cherry pick a generous ‘new customer’ contract with one of Sky’s rivals, and Sky may never have been in a position to top them anyway.
So there you have it, your merry dance to a better deal with Sky. Go ahead and practise your steps, before getting down to it – call this number when you’re ready for showtime.