The viewer said the telecommunications giant wanted to increase the price of its package from Â£ 51 to Â£ 109 – an increase of Â£ 58 per month, or Â£ 696 over the year – but she was able to haggle the cost
A Martin Lewis fan explained how they saved Â£ 740 by haggling the price of their Virgin Media bill.
The viewer said the telecommunications giant wanted to increase the price of its package from Â£ 51 to Â£ 109 – an increase of Â£ 58 per month, or Â£ 696 over the year.
Over 12 months, that meant she would have paid Â£ 1,308.
But she was able to lower that price to just Â£ 47 a month, set for 18 months, after complaining about the increase.
This means his Virgin plan has been reduced by Â£ 62 per month to an impressive Â£ 744 over a 12-month period.
The viewer, who goes by Twitter to Zee Kay, said she was able to lower her bill by reporting a much cheaper Sky package.
His contract included fixed telephony, television and broadband with Virgin.
Writing to the Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV, she tweeted: âVirgin wanted to increase our bill from Â£ 51 to Â£ 109.
“He threatened to go to Sky which was offering the same package at Â£ 48 for 12 months and Virgin could suddenly offer Â£ 47 for 18 months.
“I took your advice to get all of my facts and prices in advance and have remained friendly.”
Bargaining is by no means always guaranteed, but if it works, you can see huge savings on your bills, especially if you break your contract.
Martin used part of his show to explain his top haggling tips.
Did you manage to save Â£ 100 by haggling? Let us know: [email protected]
How to haggle and reduce your bills
In a nutshell, haggling is where you call in and try to negotiate a better deal.
This usually involves finding a cheaper price elsewhere and asking your current supplier if they can match it – or even better.
If they can’t lower your rate, you can try telling them you’re leaving, but only if you’re really prepared to do so.
Martin recommended first to ask your current supplier if you are already on their cheapest offer.
âThey don’t have to give you their cheapest deal for new customers, they just tell you what it is,â Martin explained.
“Some do it, big companies have to do it, but some don’t. Bargaining is best done out of politeness and charm, not out of aggression, so smile when you’re on the phone.”
You should also do your own research and compare prices to see the cheapest deals on the market.
On the show, it was revealed that nine million people are currently out of contract with their broadband – so it’s worth checking out if you’re paying too much.
MoneySavingExpert pointed out how the cheapest deal currently is with Plusnet, which costs Â£ 18.50 per month – but consider the Â£ 75 prepaid Mastercard gift you get by signing up through MSE, and your equivalent bill would be from Â£ 12.25 per month.
This is for speeds of 10Mb. It’s important to compare prices that are similar to your current offering – unless you think you can handle slower broadband – otherwise you may end up with a cheap plan that doesn’t fit.
The next cheapest plan currently reported by MSE costs Â£ 16.99 for Shell Energy’s 11MB broadband.
You also get an automatic Â£ 50 bill credit on the change so take that into account and you pay the equivalent of Â£ 12.83 per month.
At the faster end of the scale, you can get 35MB of Vodafone broadband for Â£ 19.50, as well as a Â£ 120 voucher for Amazon, Tesco or M&S.
For those in need of top speed, MSE has listed BT 50MB broadband which costs Â£ 28.99 and you can claim a Â£ 50 prepaid Mastercard if you sign up through their website.
Once you’ve found the deal that most compares to your current internet, call your provider and tell them about the cheapest price you’ve seen elsewhere.
âUse this as a reference. If they don’t give you what you want, say you are considering logging out,â Martin said.
“If you can get it cheaper elsewhere, why give them your loyalty?”
Martin says MSE readers have had between 70% and 82% success rates when it comes to haggling with large companies.
He continued, “If you have digital TV, the haggling works there too. Do an audit of the TV. What channels do you actually watch that you are willing to pay for?”