I'm a mum-of-two – I've slashed our household bills by £648 a year with an easy trick, how you can too | The SunMarch 10, 2023
A MUM-of-two has revealed how she slashed her family's household bills by hundreds of pounds a year -and anyone can do it too.
Catherine Wiggins, of Barry, Wales, saved money on their broadband and TV bill after haggling for a better price.
The 45-year-old who lives with her two boys, Joseph, 14, and Thomas, 12, and husband Steve, 52, an actor, was due to see household bills rise by £204 a year.
Her BT broadband package was being hiked from £55 a month to £62 from April.
The Sky TV package was set to go up from £86 to £96 a month.
Millions of others are facing similar bill hikes of as much as 14.4%, but the exact amount more will depend on your provider.
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Unhappy about the extra costs, Catherine decided to take action.
An experienced haggler who's saved hundreds of pounds before, she knew her first step was simply to ask.
She knew she wanted either a BT or Sky bundle deal so decided to go to them directly – and soon found that cancelling and saying no to new deals can pay off.
The wedding photographer called up BT first and was offered a deal on joint broadband and TV of £71.99.
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She took the offer as it was £86 cheaper than the £158 she would soon be paying on her current bills.
She cancelled her Sky TV without a penalty as she was out of contract.
But she soon realised the price she had been quoted for the BT package didn't include the April price increase – and she'd soon be paying £81 a month.
Then just days after cancelling Sky, she was called by the company's loyalty team offering her a TV package for £75.
Despite it being £11 cheaper than her current Sky bill, she declined the deal, annoyed that she hadn't been offered it at the time she cancelled.
"I've haggled a few times before with Sky when they try it on and you have to call them up and say you are going to cancel it to get a discount," she said.
But the next day she received an email offering her a joint broadband and TV package, plus four months free Netflix,
The Sky TV package also came with sport channels whereas the BT offer didn't.
At £104 a month all in she decided to take the package.
She declined the BT deal and could also leave penalty free as she was also out of contract.
It means overall she has slashed the family's bill by £54 a month – or a whopping £648 a year.
She said: "I was very pleased, even though the whole process took a few phone calls over a couple of days."
"It's always nice to get a deal for anything but it's not just a couple of quid, it's about £600 a year."
It's not the first time Catherine's saved money either and she's haggled with Sky multiple times before, although her most recent savings are her biggest.
Any time her broadband or TV bill has been set to rise, she's called up her provider to see what else they can offer.
And she reckons she's saved at least £120 a year over the last 10 years of haggling.
The family will be putting the extra cash towards energy bills which are also set to rise, but can't be haggled down.
Under the energy price guarantee the typical dual fuel bill will go from £2,500 to £3,000, though the exact amount will l depend on usage.
How can I haggle with my provider?
If you're looking for a cheaper deal, you just have to call your provider to tell them you want to move.
You can do this midway through contract but bear in mind you might have to pay an early exit fee.
However, the early exit fee might just be worth it if you find a new deal that's saving you more money than you have to pay to get out.
It's worth going on comparison websites first to find out if you can get a better deal elsewhere.
You can take this to your current provider as evidence you're paying too much and ask them to match or beat the cheapest price.
When it comes to actually calling up, James Daley, managing director at Fairer Finance, said be prepared to carry on saying you'll cancel your contract – even if that means going through multiple teams and calls trying to keep you with the business.
If you persist and get through to the final loyalty team, you'll likely end up with a bigger discount than if you had taken the first offer.
"Sometimes you can keep pushing it," he said.
"It's hard to know with some companies how far to push it, but push it as far as you can.
"They know that it's more expensive to acquire new clients than to keep existing ones."
He added: "You are always in a best position when you are out of contract because providers know they are seconds away from losing you."
It's not just broadband and TV bills you can haggle on – you can do it with your mobile phone deal too.
Millions of phone customers are set to see their bills rise later this year.
But a Which? survey of 5,000 customers found nearly half had successfully bartered for better rates, with the average saving for mobile phone customers £35.
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Make sure you look on comparison websites for the best deals – you can take a better deal to your current provider as proof their offer is too expensive.
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