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We recently posted a blog post explaining how to save money by negotiating a deal with your Internet service provider. Negotiations can be daunting, as in Britain we don't have a haggling market culture, we expect prices to be fixed and non-negotiable. Nonetheless, if you're brave enough to ask for a discount, you might get one.
This article gives further advice to hone your silver tongue and give you the confidence to ask for a more affordable deal.
The Right Tone
Being too aggressive will only annoy the representative you're dealing with and makes for an unpleasant conversation, but if you're too meek or agreeable you won't get the deal you want. Keep the tone light with some jokes or chit-chat. Try to be friendly, polite, respectful and non-combative at all times, but also be firm about what you want and have the confidence to ask for it directly.
The Right Time
The best months to call are November and December, as these are slower times of year for call centres. If that's too far away, then call around the end of the month. Salespeople may have quota targets to meet and they might be more flexible with price to win your business before the month is up.
Past Issues are Bargaining Chips
If you've complained before about problems like slow download speeds, no service, or billing errors, be sure to mention these during the negotiation. These are reasons why you deserve a lower, fairer price, and why you might leave if you don't get it.
Ignore Time Limits
If there was a limited promotional offer that you missed out on, don't worry. If they were willing to offer that deal before, they may be willing to again. Tell them you saw the deal advertised and ask if there's any way you could get a similar offer.Salespeople may try to pressure you into committing by saying that the deal is only valid for a limited time, such as 24 hours. Don't let them rush you, only take the deal when you're sure it's the best available. If they offer it to you once then you can probably get them to offer it again.
Never Accept the First Offer
Don't agree to the first deal you are offered, as there will always be room to haggle. Using the following phrases may aid your negotiation:
- What is the very best deal you can offer?
- It's still a lot of money...
- I think my husband/wife would go crazy if I pay that...
- [Name of Competitor] has offered a similar package for less... (back this up with numbers)
- I've worked out my monthly budget and the maximum I can afford to pay is...
- Are there any extras you can include to make the package more appealing?
Be patient, and if there is an awkward silence, let them be the ones to fill it with a better offer.And it doesn't have to stop with broadband; you can also negotiate a better deal from your mobile phone service provider, your utility company, and even insurance companies. Have a look at your free budget planner account with Money Dashboard to see what bills are costing you the most, and see if you can negotiate a better arrangement.