Get The Best Deal From Your Phone Provider
Making a phone call in the UK is not a simple matter. Users dial with hesitance when the number starts with 08 and you can never really be sure how much the call will end up costing.
According to The Guardian, the telecoms regulator Ofcom said it wants to tackle the confusion over call costs. They want “all calls to 0800 numbers to be free, even from mobile phones. However, despite saying the new measures to make call costs more transparent were much needed, it said the changes will not be implemented until the start of 2015 at the earliest.”
In another recent article by The Guardian, BT has upped the price of its landline charges by almost 6%, “the basic landline charge increases from £14.60 to £15.45 a month. The set-up fee and call charges have all risen by similar amounts, as have the cost of its broadband packages.”
Sky also put up its landline charges in December 2012, but have worked to keep customers by bundling their services. So what can you do as a consumer in the battle to keep your phone bill under control? The answer is to learn how to negotiate the best deal from your phone provider.
Say no to 0870
Before you get involved in negotiations to your phone company, visit the website that offers alternative, free phone numbers that you can call instead of being charged for the 08 numbers. www.saynoto0870.com lists many well known companies and their equivalent geographical numbers.
Don’t ask, don’t get
The first step is to simply call up your existing provider and tell them you’re not happy with the current tarifs and you’d like a rate review.
If you’re the kind of person who needs to have some back-up courage, get online and do some research first. Price comparison websites like MoneySupermarket.com and Moneysavingexpert.com are the best place to start to find out if you can get a better deal.
Make sure you’re comparing apples with apples and think carefully about what services you really need. Perhaps you don’t need unlimited calls anytime, and you’re not using that overseas booster as much as you thought would.
In most cases, your existing provider will do something to make you happy whether it’s checking the latest list of discounts and promotions or letting you in on the best new customer packages.
Choose the right package
According to MoneySupermarket.com not every package is available at the cheapest price everywhere. Deals can vary with location.
The cheapest packages often don’t include call costs, so don’t be caught out when you get your bill. Some deals do include some 08 numbers, for example Talk Talk and BT include 0870 numbers as part of their free minutes.
Paying for line rental up front is a great way to save a bit of extra money when signing up to a new contract. BT offer up to £46 off if you pay for the year’s line rental up front.
The more services you get with one provider, the better deal you will get. If you can bundle home phone, TV and internet you are likely to get the best package deal.
There’s nothing worse than seeing all the great deals that phone companies offer new customers. Sometimes it feels as if loyalty isn’t important to these big corporations. But actually, customer retention is very important and you’ll find that by calling up and telling them you feel hard done by can save you up to £150 a year according to an article on Choose.net.
The article suggests there are five ways to approach your call to customer services:
Cut out services, cut costs – often times if you say you can’t afford a certain services or upgrade, they’ll offer to give you something for free or a decent alternative you can afford.
Add in services, cut costs – sometimes phone companies will offer special deals for existing customers only, and that often means deals on adding more services and getting better value for money.
Pay up front – as mentioned above, this can save a lot of money as long as you’re happy to stick with the company for at least a year.
The guilt trip – call up your existing provider and tell them about a deal the competition is offering. Chances are they’ll at least match it.
The cancellation threat – Customer retention operators are authorised to give away certain features for customers who threaten to cancel or leave. However, the success of this strategy can vary and it can depend on who you speak to, what time and the mood they’re in. If you want to see results, go in prepared to follow through with any threats, otherwise you might end up feeling foolish and disappointed.
A lifestyle journalist from Manchester, Kitty Hastings has many years of experience reporting on home economics, parenting, fashion and travel and how to balance your budget both inside and outside the house. She recommends http://www.eccount.com/, a leader in the field of companies specialising in helping people with debt. Kitty’s articles appear in a wide range of publications both in print and online – and she loves nothing more than relaxing with a cup of tea and a great book and adores anything vintage.