How to boost your chances of success when haggling on bills


Haggling doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but with household bills shooting upwards, now is certainly a good time to test your skills.

While it doesn’t always reap rewards, there are some steps you can take to prepare beforehand, which may boost your rate of success.

Ceri McMillan, insurance director at comparison website Go.Compare, says reading your existing contract is a great place to start.

You’ll then have a clear idea how your current deal compares when you’re checking other deals that are available.

McMillan feels that, from experience, broadband, mobile phone contracts and TV channel subscriptions are good products to try your hand at haggling.

She says: “You might find you’re paying over the odds at the moment, especially if you’ve been with the same company or provider for a while.

“The deal you paid for three years ago may not be as appropriate today, and may not suit your requirements. For example, did you take out a premium streaming service in lockdown that you no longer use?”

Even if you want to stick with your provider, McMillan says shopping around can be helpful when haggling a better deal with your current firm “because you’ll be armed with knowledge about what you can get elsewhere”.

She continues: “Once you have researched the market, it’s worth calling a few different companies to see if there’s any wiggle room on the price you’ve already seen.

“A good example of this is with a mobile phone, don’t be afraid to haggle over price, minutes, data, or any other part of the deal.”

Then, when you’ve got all the information to hand, McMillan suggests calling your current provider and telling them that you’re planning to end your contract, if you’re able to do so, and asking to speak to the customer retention department.

“This will ensure you’re speaking to the right people to get you a better deal,” says McMillan.

“If you already know that you can get a better deal elsewhere, do mention this and let your exiting supplier know you’re willing to leave, but you want to know what they will offer you.

“Some companies will offer to match quotes and offers from other providers, so don’t be afraid to show that you’ve done your research.”

And when it comes to car insurance, timing may be key to getting a good deal.

McMillan explains: “Go.Compare research has found that the closer you get to your renewal date, the more you could end up paying – even if you’re switching.

“The earlier you buy the better, as our customers save more than 55% on average by buying their car insurance 27 days before their renewal date, compared with those renewing on the day.”


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