If you are happy with the service of the broadband provider you are paying then you may be temped to stay with them. If you keep seeing cheaper deals that may raise concerns that you are overpaying for the service, then before switching provider, contact the company and ask for a discount.
In this article about not having to switch broadband providers we shall examine:
- Things that can go wrong when you switch broadband provider
- Contacting the retention’s department
- Tips on how to get the best deal on the telephone
- Why the telephone will get a better result than an e-mail
- The importance of being polite to the agent
- Other ways of getting the best deal
What can go wrong when you switch broadband provider?
If you find a great broadband deal that is good enough to tempt you away from your current provider then it is quite a simple process to switch. However, there are some things that will need to be considered before you do so. There are also a number of problems that may arise should you choose to switch broadband supplier.
There may be a cancellation fee from your old provider
This a common problem for people who want to switch provider but are still in a contract with their old provider. Before you can terminate the contract it has to have expired or you will be liable to pay cancellation fees. This fee is usually the amount of the number of bills left on the contract. For example if the monthly bill were 20 pounds and two months were left on the contract then the cancellation fee would be 40 pounds.
Many providers ask for their equipment to be returned, but these two bills are the only ones that you could face if you decide to switch. Some new providers may issue a credit note to new customers to entice them to switch when they have outstanding fees with the old provider.
A few other common problems
The worse thing that can happen when the broadband provider is switched is that the connection could be of a worse quality that you previously had. The contract can sometimes be cancelled if this is the case. When the discount sale period has passed, bills can be increased. By switching provider you may have your connection disrupted from minutes to a few hours, depending on the provider. If a new line needs to be installed then an engineer will have to come out and someone needs to be at home on the day of the installation.
Think about contacting your provider’s retentions department
By switching broadband provider you can save money by getting a cheap contract designed to lure in new custom. But if you are satisfied with your provider, but would just like to save a few pounds each month, you could try and contact their retentions department. Although switching provider is a much simpler process than a few years ago, problems with the standard of the connection or their service department could leave a person wishing that they had never switched.
Sometimes customers can feel hard done by when they see the great deals that their provider is offering new customers and may be tempted to change. Although your provider will not be able to offer you the same deal, they may be able to do something else for you to entice you to stay. If this is something that sounds like it is worth a try then read on to learn the best way to go about it.
Here are some tips to consider when contacting the retentions department
The tips that we suggest are more likely to prove successful with the biggest providers in the UK such as Vodafone, Talk Talk, BT, Sky Broadband and Virgin Media. These are the providers that are most likely to have retention departments. Smaller companies tend to focus their budget and efforts into providing the best possible service for their customers as opposed to focusing on cutting prices. Saying that, it is always worth trying.
The biggest broadband providers in Great Britain are more likely to have retention departments.
The best way to approach a company is not to fear negotiation and not to be antagonistic towards the staff that you are trying to get on your side. Do not fear negotiation, when it is put in a kind and friendly manner the person on the other end of the phone will be happy to interact. Try and have a gentle, polite conversation with them and mention some of the better deals that are on the market. Write down some points that you need to mention in case you panic and forget what you wanted to say.
So what have we learned so far?
- It is not always necessary to switch provider to get a better deal
- The new service may not be as good as the previous one
- Cancellation fees may be incurred if the contract has not been completed
- Bills can increase once the new deal period is finished
- A better deal than the one you have can be made with the present provider
- A better deal is more likely with the bigger providers who have retention departments
- Be polite and kind with the employee to get what you want
Using the phone is more productive than e-mailing
The most simple way to contact your provider would obviously be by sending an e-mail or chatting to someone on a chat help line. They may respond to your email and offer you a better deal, but usually these methods of communication with providers are designed to sort out technical difficulties and other problems. The agent that you make contact with will probably not be qualified to have such a discussion with you and will advise a phone call directly to the relevant department.
Most companies are aware that for many people, having a telephone discussion is much more difficult than asking for the same thing in writing, so they can use this as a psychological barrier. As we have mentioned before, this kind of phone call does not have to be a fight and could go surprisingly well. The most difficult part will be getting through to the right department in the first place. Sometimes you will be able to find the direct phone number for a provider’s retentions department by using a Google search.
Most importantly, be polite to the agent
Be aware that going into this thinking that it is an argument will make you more likely to lose your cool. Sales people will be much more responsive to a person that is well mannered. Don’t overthink your argument as the agents usually stick to a short script. Don’t be afraid of asking for what you want as the worst answer that you will get will be a no, that will allow you to follow up attractive offers from other companies.
Sales people will be much more responsive and likely to assist someone who is well mannered.
Front line staff may screen calls so get straight to the point so that you will be passed on to the relevant department quickly. Don’t be discouraged by the retentions department being referred to as the cancellations, disconnections or customer options departments. If they do not offer anything try and casually insinuate that you may have to cancel. Remember that they will not do this unless specifically requested to do so, so you can say that you will consider your options and get back to them.
Timing is important and loyalty may be rewarded
It’s better to wait until your contract has finished or the prices have just risen to give you more ammunition for your call. This will make it easier to negotiate a better deal. Bank on the fact that you have been a loyal customer if you have been with them for a few years and point it out immediately as it will increase chances of a discount.
Do your homework and play on past problems with the provider
In order to negotiate successfully you will need to know what they and other companies have on offer and how they are a better deal than what you have at the moment. Have at least two examples in case they try and brush off the first. Any past problems that you have had with the provider can be used as part of your strategy as ammunition for switching provider.
You could get an upgrade
Remember that silence is a proven sales tactic to force the customer into answering first and agreeing to something that they don’t necessarily want. Don’t be fooled and wait for them to speak. Sometimes instead of cash you may be offered an improved service or expensive extras. Be aware that these will usually be offered for a discount period and will have to be paid for once the contract has finished.
Try and pay annually and get it in writing
Any company loves a customer to pay upfront therefore guaranteeing their money. This could swing a better deal for you if all else fails. Only offer this payment method in return for a worthwhile discount. As with any agreement it is always a good idea to get the terms of the new deal sent to you in writing or as an e-mail. This could settle any disputes in the future.
So what can we conclude about saving money with the same broadband provider?
It appears that if a person is satisfied with the service of their broadband provider then it is well worth trying to get a discount to avoid having to switch. If you are polite, people will listen and be more likely to be co-operative. The gain may not be of monetary value but a better deal, with more products for the same price, could be offered instead. The first telephone call will always be the most difficult on to make, but after that it will be much easier to ask for discounts elsewhere to save money on other bills.