How to Have the Ultimate Sports Night In

From food to face paint and fancy dress, follow these tips from our favourite bloggers if you want to host the sports party of the summer…

1. Get your TV sorted

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“Make sure you’re subscribed to a sports channel which is showing the sport you intend to watch – Sky is a great service for this,” Jacintaz Three reminded us.

Need to watch Sky Sports 2, Sky Sports Live Stream or BT Sport on Sky? Check the Sky Sports schedule and call to watch the big match. SkyTV and BT Sport customers have the biggest selection of live sport at their fingertips, including most of this summer’s best sport

On the big day, just position your TV so everyone can see it, crank the volume up loud and make sure everyone’s sitting comfortably – do a head count and order cheap beanbags from Amazon or eBay if your sofa isn’t big enough for everyone.

2. Plan a feast fit for sports fans

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Don’t fancy takeaway? Prepare your eats in advance.

Blogger Gemma from Life is Knutts recommends, “A one pot meal – such as chilli, bolognese or lasagne, which you can just serve up with some rice, pasta or garlic bread and salad. Or buffet food – such as Bread, Quiche, Pizza, Meats, Cheese, Salads, Arancini and nibbles. Oh, and don’t forget the sausage rolls! Puddings – such as Profiteroles, Pavolva or some nice homemade scones with Jam and Clotted Cream.”

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Alternatively, take Raising the Rings’ health conscious advice, “The ‘men’ who come round here like the gym, they watch their macros and they weigh their food… It doesn’t stop them having a fabulous curry, chilli or spread by the way! Trust me when I say we don’t scrimp on the desserts either.”

3. Drink to your team’s success

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Keep an eye out for bargain drinks offers at your local ASDA, Morrisons or Tesco. “There most certainly will have to be a copious selection of beverages – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – to ensure every sporting fan is catered for,” Simone from Married to a Geek explained.

4. Dress the part

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“Yes, what you wear for a viewing party is important. Personally, I love getting into the team spirit and wearing my All Blacks rugby shirt, although my current one doesn’t fit so I need to buy a new one sharpish,” From Fiona enthused. “If you don’t have the relevant team strip why not wear their colours instead? Find a red jumper to wear instead of a Lions jersey or top to toe black if you’re supporting the other team. In case you’re wondering I actually support both teams, it’s a long story but either way, it means I’m happy with the result.”

Want more? “Get some face paint out and colour your cheeks / forehead with the colours of the flag of your supporting team,”Jacintaz Three recommended.

See what you can get on Amazon or eBay and order in advance.

5. Round up your mates for a few half time games

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Keep your mates excited during half time or help calm those pre-match jitters with a game or two.

“Whilst you’re waiting for the main event of the sport to start, why not have some garden games setup such as giant jenga, boules, football or darts? These are great ways to keep people entertained whilst you finish off any last minute preparations,” said Gemma from Life is Knutts. “Alternatively, just stick your fave music playlist on, turn the speakers up, sort out the garden furniture, and sit and chat with a drink and some nibbles. That would be my preference!”

Football Fan image copyright Rafiq Sarlie, licensed for use under Creative Commons.

Which Mobile Network Offers The Best Perks?

Get more than you bargained for when you join these mobile networks – from 2-4-1 drinks to high-street discounts and the chance to buy the hottest gig tickets days before everyone else…

Fancy a new mobile? Weigh up the perks, as well as the minutes, texts and data, before committing to a new network. The most generous benefits, from the likes of EE, Virgin Mobile and Three are laid out in no particular order for you, right here. All there’s left for you to do is improve your credit score and read how to switch your phone contract and keep the same mobile number.

1. O2

Feel like a VIP with O2 Priority. Buy tickets to see your favourite artist or event, up to 48 hours before anyone else in the general pre-sale. Forget refreshing your webpage in panic – you are pretty much guaranteed to see Katy Perry, Alt-J or even A Night of Championship Boxing, for example. And you’ll also get first dibs of seats in the venue, for the best possible night out – just for having a mobile contract with O2.

And that’s not all, if you’re visiting an O2 Arena or venue, because you’ll get fast-lane entry, access to an exclusive bar and other perks. Leave your bag in the free cloakroom, sup a 2-4-1 drink and snack on free food. Rewards change all the time, so keep an eye out for free massages, high street discounts and also the chance to win prize draws. Think £1 Monday lunch deals at Dominos or WHSmiths and 25% off action-packed experience days.

Want more? Just for joining O2 on a 5GB, 10GB or 20GB tariff, you’ll get a year’s subscription to Evernote Premium worth £35 and access to Sun+ Goals to watch Premier League highlights. Made In Chelsea, Fresh Meat and Peep show fans should know that O2 also gives you exclusive access to All 4 – watch your favourite Channel 4 shows 48 hours before they air.

Call O2’s customer service contact number today to join O2 Priority.

2. EE

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No matter which network you’re with, you can connect to free 4G EE WiFi at Glastonbury festival this year. But it’s worth joining EE for lots of other reasons – the UK’s fastest 4G network has a few treats in store for you musos and sports fans.

Remember to take advantage of the 10% discount EE customers get on second phones and tablets, including the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8.

EE Pay Monthly Perks

Tune into Beats 1 Radio, experience live concerts and stream the latest hits and music videos, when you get free Apple Music for the first six months of your EE contract – worth £59.94

Prefer football, cricket or Moto GP? Stream BT Sport for free, on your EE phone and EE tablet simultaneously, for three months – just for having an EE contract. Simply text SPORT to 150 to register for BT ID then download the BT Sport app and cheer your team to victory. That’s all 42 live Premier League matches, every UEFA Champions League game, Aviva Premiership rugby and more, simply for having an EE Pay Monthly phone.

EE Pay As You Go Perks

Extra minutes, texts or data – the choice is yours. EE will give you a free boost every three months, just for spending what you normally would with Pay As You Go – no matter how much that is.

  • Get an extra 500MB, 50 minutes or 250 texts, when you buy three 30 day packs worth £8 or more
  • Use an extra 100MB, 25 minutes or 50 texts, when you get three 30 day packs worth £5
  • Enjoy an extra 50MB, 10 minutes or 25 texts, when you get 12 7 day packs worth £1

Call EE’s customer service team today to find out more or to switch your contract and keep your number.

3. Three (3)

The only network offering truly unlimited 4G plans, Three’s Go Roam makes it one of the best networks for holidaymakers and frequent flyers.

Surf the internet, call or text your mates back home in over 60 countries, without paying a penny extra. Just remember to replace the first number 0 with +44. Everywhere from America to Germany and Greece are already included. But Thursday 15th June 2017 will see Brazil and Singapore, Martinique and more tropical destinations joining the mix. Need a place to stay? Three customers get 12% off hotel bookings through the Expedia mobile app, on top of any other discounts you have.

And that’s still just the tip of Three’s perks. Pay by Direct Debit for a £5 discount on your phone bill, use free WiFi in over 130 London Underground stations and let your friends access the internet by tethering to your Three phone. No signal? No problem – connect to the internet and use ThreeinTouch WiFi calling, which comes out of your monthly minutes allowance.

Call Three (3)’s customer service number today to make these perks yours.

4. Vodafone

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Vodafone is one of the most generous networks in Britain.

Want to call international or local numbers for no extra cost when abroad in over 50 European countries?

Pick Vodafone’s Roam Free Deal over Three’s Go Roam. From Thursday 15th June 2017, new Vodafone customers can call, text or use data in Croatia, Austria and non-European Union states such as Norway, Iceland and Turkey.

And that’s not all. You can upgrade your Vodafone device early for free, depending on your plan or bundle. And you can grab a courtesy phone from your local Vodafone store, while yours is being repaired – so you can stay connected no matter what.

Vodafone Pay Monthly Perks

Fans of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, music or sport might want to sign up for Vodafone’s Red L, Red XL or Red XXL Entertainment plan. Choose whether you watch 11 American channels with Now TV, full access to Sky Sports Mobile or 30 million tracks on Spotify Premium for up to 24 months – just for having a Vodafone contract.

Vodafone Pay As You Go Perks

Get everything from Amazon gift vouchers or extra data, music downloads and mini speakers, just for topping up as little as £5 a month, as you normally would. Simply sign up for Vodafone’s Freebee Rewardz loyalty scheme to collect your points.

Here’s the Vodafone telephone number – call today to switch your mobile contract.

5. Virgin Mobile

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Want to keep your leftover data at the end of every month? Now you can, with Virgin Mobile’s data rollover, your extra data will be added to your next monthly allowance. They’ll even ping text alerts to your phone, showing how much you have left. And should you want to increase or decrease the amount of data or minutes at your fingertips, you can change your 4G plan every month – on all Pay Monthly or SIM contracts.

On top of that, Virgin Mobile customers can connect to over 250,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK, not just in London. And you can message on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger ‘till your heart’s content, for no extra cost.

Call Virgin Mobile’s contact number today to see if it’s time to switch.

6. BT

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If connecting to free public Wi-Fi hotspots on the go is important to you, know that BT have more than any other British network – 5 million to be precise, dotted across the country. Each saving your data until you need it most.

You’ll get a £5 discount on any mobile plan if you’re already a BT or BT Broadband customer – which could get you the full BT Sport Pack (for as little as £5 a month). That said, you can watch the Premier League and other big matches with the free BT Sport App, when you sign up for one of BT Mobile’s top-end mobile plans.

Call BT’s UK support number today to learn more about their latest deals and perks.

7. SKY Mobile

Right now, you could pay the UK’s cheapest price for a 500MB data Apple iPhone 7 with Sky Mobile. And if you want to get your hands on the latest mobile every 12 or 24 months, without admin, upgrade or delivery fees, Sky Mobile’s flexible ‘Swap’ scheme will keep your tech bang-on-trend. Better yet, you can roam in 36 EU countries on any Sky Mobile plan for no extra cost.

Want more? Join SKY TV to get free Unlimited Calls and Texts with any SKY Mobile plans. And remember, you can sync your Sky+ recordings with your new phone.

Call SKY’s UK customer service number today to see if you’re eligible for unlimited free calls and texts.

*Information correct at the time of publishing (05/06/17 17:30:00). Contact Numbers UK take no responsibility for changes to the networks’ Terms & Conditions.

FA Cup Wembley Stadium copyright Dom Fellowes, licensed for use under Creative Commons.

How to Haggle a Better Deal with Sky

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.