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Haggling stories that could help you save

We’ve all got those friends that seem to manage to get things for cheaper. But their tricks aren’t difficult. If you want to get more money off, read on to feel inspired.

Research by consumer organisation Which? has shown people could be saving on their home insurance premiums by haggling.

Six in ten (59%) of those who had haggled saved money on their premium with an average saving of £82. Policyholders that switched cut their premiums by an average of £72.

With a bit of confidence and research, you could do the same. Comparison sites are a good place to start. You could also save by paying annually instead of monthly.

We asked our colleagues for the best deals they’ve negotiated. Read on and you too could become a haggling expert in no time.

Haggling doesn’t have to be hard – here’s how

Michele Martinelli

Last time my phone contract was due to get renewed, I called up my provider and asked for my PAC code. That’s the number you need if you’re switching phone providers and want to keep your current mobile number.

If you ask for this, they know you’re thinking about leaving and will put you through to their retention phone line. The people who work in this section are there to keep you and can offer great deals that aren’t available on the website.

They suggested a decent contract – much better than the one I was on – but I asked them to beat a competitor’s offer, which was even better. After a bit of to and fro, they caved and agreed to match the deal.

I’ve heard this tactic is particularly good at the end of the month, when everyone is trying to meet their retention/ sales targets, but I don’t know if that’s true…


Nicholas Hill

I’ve haggled over many things in my time, small and large. For example we chose a venue for our wedding that included food and drink.

My wife informed me we could not haggle as it was not appropriate. However when there I simply asked the question of whether it was possible to get a discount. 10% was immediately offered, saving a lot. It only took a few seconds so a great rate of return.

My tip is don’t let others put you asking for a discount. While the money is in your hands, you’re in the driving seat.

Thomas Galluzzo

My parents signed up to a broadband deal were it was advertised as £0 for line rental. The advert had no clauses or exemptions present so it was assumed that for 24 months it was free.

After 6 months we started noticing a charge for line rental on the bill for around £30. I called the company and told them that my parents signed up on a misleading advert and that I was going to report them to the ombudsman and advertising standards body. After that we had £0 line rental for the rest of the contract.

Vik Iyer

It’s worth haggling on any major purchase. It’s essential when buying a house but even electrical products like TVs and computers can be discounted.

If buying online, I’d always suggest using the webchat function to ask for discounts or a couple of extras. Bear in mind it is very very tough for many retailers right now.

You can also demand something if service is poor. We got a discount off some furniture because we asked for a discount based on the poor service we had. 

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  • Frank Wild / 2 April 2016

    I am a 'loyal' Sky customer - we have our telephone, broadband and T.V. all through Sky and collectively account for a large monthly bill. For some time I have considered breaking up this little monopoly in order to obtain better deals elsewhere but have held off because of the 'hassle' of setting these up and potential problems I may encounter. If anybody has any advice/experience of this process I would love to hear it.

  • Nigel / 8 March 2016

    Never be shy to ask is my motto, but do pick your moment. There is even a discount to be had on high value aspirational goods if you go about it the right way. I once went shopping for a luxury brand wristwatch in to mark a major birthday milestone. You know the sort of shop, all that glitters really is gold hence a locked front door with a suited and booted male attendant who looks you up and down before they even let you in..! After about twenty minutes of looking at several lovely pieces I chose the one I liked, it was ticketed at full retail (I'd done my research already). I stalled until another customer left the shop (picking my moment), then I confessed to quite liking a particular piece and politely and quietly asked "and how much might this one be today"? The white gloved attendant reached into her draw for a calculator, tapped in a discount amount and without saying a word, showed me the calculator with the new "price today". "Thank you, I'll take it" I said and had just netted myself several hundreds of pound discounts. Result !

  • Rhoda Brook / 8 March 2016

    I am with BT - have weekend only landline calls and half priced broadband. In August I will move to a better deal. BT broadband is extremely slow, there is nothing to recommend their service. R Brook

  • Andrew Maxwell / 6 March 2016

    Great advice keep up the information for the people hh