We back calls for reform of the rent-to-own sector. We think MPs...
How to get a better deal on your bills
Unhappy with what you pay on bills each month? You may be tempted to switch to another provider. But what if you could stay where you are and still pay less?
Our friend Adam from ismybillfair.com shared some top tips to help you get a better deal with less bother…
Switching vs. staying put
Everyone wants a good price on their energy bills. Regularly switching suppliers is often encouraged, especially as it’s now fairly easy to switch.
Most switches can be done in a matter of days, and you don’t even have to talk to your current provider. Your new provider will do all of the talking for you behind the scenes, and they’ll often keep you updated on how they’re progressing. Yay for great customer service!
However, apart from what you’re paying each month, you may be quite happy with your current supplier. You might just be a bit annoyed that new customers are getting a better deal, and that you should be rewarded for your loyalty – which you should!
Many energy suppliers know that it’s just as important to keep existing customers as well as attract new ones. Ismybillfair can help you negotiate a better price without moving suppliers.
Before you contact your supplier, make sure you:
1. Get evidence that you should be on a cheaper bill
By using the ismybillfair Priceometer, you can compare what you’re currently paying to the deals your supplier’s offering to new customers. Take a screengrab of the deals you were shown, as this’ll support your request for a cheaper monthly payment.
2. Get clear on what you want from your contract
By doing your research, you can be specific on what a good deal looks like to you. Write it down as a list so you can refer to it during the call.
3. Stay friendly and upbeat
Sales staff are human too. If you’re rude to them, they might not put that extra effort in to get you the deal you want. Be polite and respectful, no matter what happens. If you feel unsure or if you don’t understand what you’ve been told then politely ask the salesperson to explain it again.
4. Tell the salesperson what you’re dealing with and how they can help
Make the salesperson aware of any vulnerabilities you may have. The more your supplier knows about the challenges you’re facing, the better equipped they are to help you.
5. Don’t rush to accept the salesperson’s first offer
If the supplier offers you a deal that’s not as good as you hoped, don’t be afraid to reject it. The salesperson will probably have more than one offer available to you, so make sure they go through everything before you make your decision.
6. Call to negotiate at the right time
Try calling your provider near the end of your contract or once you’re out of contract. Your provider will want to keep you, and are more likely to give you a better deal.
7. Ask for any extra services you’re interested in
If your provider can’t drop your price, don’t end the call. Instead, ask them if they can throw in some additional services or upgrades to your plan. As the old saying goes, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get!’
8. Try to get rid of what you don’t use
See if you can remove any parts of your contracted service that you aren’t using. For example, you might have unlimited texts on your mobile phone contract, but you don’t need them if you mainly use messenger apps such as WhatsApp. If you don’t watch sports, why pay for expensive sports channels?
Trim your contract right down to the bare essentials, but make sure that you’re still getting what you need. There’s no point being on a basic broadband contract if you’re an avid gamer who needs lots of broadband allowance. You’ll just end up paying more in charges!
9. End the call and try again if you’re not getting anywhere
When you call a utility provider, it really can be ‘the luck of the draw’ in terms of who you end up speaking to. You might get a really helpful salesperson who’ll work hard to keep you as a customer. However, there’s also a chance you’ll speak to someone who refuses to negotiate. If this happens, don’t be afraid to call back some other time. You may be lucky and get someone who will put the extra effort in to help you.
If you’re not happy with the service, you can always put a complaint in. Just be sure to give the company enough time to sort the issue out and get back to you.
If they don’t resolve the issue in a reasonable time frame, then you should follow their complaints procedure and stick to your guns.
Have you haggled for a better deal with your current supplier? How did you get on? Tell us all about it in the comments!