Most of us know that switching providers is the easiest way to make savings on your broadband. But what about if you don’t want to switch? What if competition in your area doesn’t allow you to switch? Can you negotiate a better broadband deal without having to switch providers?
The answer is yes you can negotiate a better deal on your broadband, if you are prepared to do a little work first. Jamie Kavanagh, a contributor at Broadband Genie takes us through the three main reasons why there might be better broadband deals available:
- 1. Competition forces price reductions
- 2. Mid-contract price rises
- 3. End of an introductory deal
Competition forces price reductions
The broadband market is fiercely competitive and prices are changing all the time. With the larger providers vying for market share and smaller providers undercutting or offering more, the broadband market never stays still. If you’re coming to the end of an 18 or 24 month contract, prices will likely have dropped. A good reason to renegotiate.
Mid-contract price rises
Even though Ofcom now enables us to get out of a contract early if there are mid-contract price rises, that doesn’t stop some operators introducing them. If your broadband contract has gone up in price during your contract, you can now leave without incurring an early-release penalty. Another good reason to negotiate.
End of an introductory deal
Most broadband providers offer some kind of inducement to sign up with them. From reduced monthly costs to extra features for free, introductory deals for new customers are an effective way for providers to get you to sign. When those deals come to an end, it’s a good time to revisit your contract.
So that’s the why, now the how.
Negotiate a better broadband deal
The old days where companies didn’t really care whether you stayed or went are gone. Now they are much more interested in keeping you as a customer. Once you know that, you can use it to your advantage. Providers are now much more willing to work a little to keep you as a customer.
To negotiate a better deal on your broadband, you need to:
Do your research
The best way to get a good deal is to gather your evidence first. Find out what competing providers are offering, find out what your current provider is offering new customers and be prepared to use that in your negotiation. The more data you have, the better your position. Write it down or record it somewhere and have it to hand when you call your provider.
For example, if competing providers are offering cheaper broadband deals, your current provider is more likely to offer the same. If your current provider is offering discounted deals for new customers, you can ask for the same treatment. If you are more interested in a faster connection or more features, collect data on those too.
Time it right
Timing is everything. When negotiating any contract, you need to time it so you are either just before the end or at the end of your current contract. The provider will know you are able to leave and will be more likely to come to an arrangement. Negotiating when you have months of a contract left puts you in a very weak position and unless you have experienced a mid-contract price rise, will likely result in failure.
Talk to your provider
When you know what deals are available and are at the end of your current contract and what you want out of your new one, it’s time to call your provider. Call the usual customer service number and just tell them you want to leave. You will likely be put through to a retentions department whose job it is to keep you as a customer.
When talking to them, be calm, be friendly, be reasonable and state your case. Tell them what you found when doing your research and use that as your reason for leaving.
Don’t necessarily take the first offer
If you have ever sold a house or a car, you already know to never take the first offer. The same is true here. Most broadband providers will initially offer a small discount or extra feature to keep you but you don’t have to take it unless you’re happy with that. If the offer falls short of competitors or new customer deals, tell them so and tell them no.
Again, be reasonable and friendly, but state your case. If they say it’s the best they can do, you have two options. You can delay and say you have to check with your partner and call back another time to try again with someone else, or you can leave the provider for a competitor. Much depends on what you want and what’s available in your area.
It’s all a game
Negotiating a broadband deal is part of the game. Providers set up their pricing to take into account discounts. Retention teams are set up to offer as little as they can to get you to stay. Competition enables you to switch when you want to, contract allowing, and makes it easy for you to do it.
Most Brits aren’t comfortable negotiating but the system is geared up for it. If a five minute conversation with a usually personable agent on the phone could save you money, why wouldn’t you try it?
As long as you prepare your case, have evidence to back up your expectations and appear willing to leave if you don’t get a good deal, you should be able to save money or get more for it. All you have to do is try!