The price of various Sky broadband, TV and phone deals have risen again this month. See how you'll be affected, and what you can do to dodge the latest round of hikes.
Sky hikes prices (again)
Sky customers will have to fork out on average £42 a year more for their TV, broadband and phone packages after another round of price hikes was rolled out today by the telecoms and media giant.
The latest increases are even more severe than the £30 announced last April.
The £42 figure is the average increase, so how much more you'll pay depends on which products and services you're signed up for.
Here's a detailed look at what's changing (prices indicated are monthly):
Sky Broadband rises by £1. This applies to all packages;
Sky Fibre Broadband increases by £2 across all packages;
Sky Cinema rises from £10 to £11. This only applies to customers not currently in a contract period;
Sky Entertainment jumps from £20 to £22;
Sky Q Multiscreen increases from £12 to £13;
Sky Talk Anytime increases from £8 to £10;
Sky Talk Evening and Weekends increases from £4 to £5.
All customers affected by the latest hikes should already have received a letter from Sky notifying them of the relevant changes.
Time to move?
If you're among those affected, you might want to fight back. Provided you're outside the contract window, there are thankfully loads of options available to you, which we'll run through in this piece.
Do you really need the whole bundle?
The full Sky package has so many channels, and chances are you only ever watch a tiny fraction of them.
It’s quite easy to remove or cancel certain packages from your account. Go to My Sky on TV or Broadband & Talk depending on what you want to amend and sign in.
Then select, Manage my TV package, Manage my Broadband or Manage my Talk where you’ll see a list of any items you can remove online. Just follow the links to make the changes.
Even if you only have a phone and broadband package, go through your bills to see how much of your free calls allowance you actually use. There could be an opportunity there to move to a cheaper calls package.
Use one-off Now TV passes
Alternatively, you could ditch the Sky TV part of your package and use Now TV passes when you want to watch a new series like Game of Thrones (season seven start on Monday 17 July) or catch up with sports.
Now TV passes allow you to stream Sky services on multiple devices via an app or set-top box.
There are four to choose from: movies, entertainment, sport and kids. The Entertainment Pass is £7.99 a month. You'll have access to over 250 box sets and 11 pay TV channels which aren't on Freeview.
The 'Cinema Pass' is a bit more expensive at £9.99 a month but you'll be able to watch over 1,000 films and a new premiere every day.
Sky Sports day passes start from £8.99 if you want to catch up with the latest matches/races/events. Alternatively, you can get a week's pass for £14.99 or £33.99 for a monthly pass which automatically renews every month.
Alternatively, you could choose a Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass for £5.99. It's a lot cheaper, but you won't be able to watch anything on your telly (screen mirroring from your phone to your TV is disabled by Sky).
The Kids package is the cheapest at just £3.99 a month, meaning that the sprogs can watch programmes from their favourite channels including Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.
You can try the Entertainment, Cinema or Kids TV pass with a 14-day free trial.
In short, haggling is the best thing you can do to get a cheaper deal with Sky. Sky practically tells you to do it on its ‘Stay with Sky’ page!
All you have to do is call 03337 594 464 or get in touch via its online chat service, which is available from 7am-11pm.
If you’re not confident speaking on the phone, it’s worth noting down what you’re going to say, taking every possible outcome into account. Have some negotiating phrases ready, using past problems as ammunition.
Try to avoid calling at peak periods like Mondays, lunchtimes, weekends and just after work. You want to get as much time with the operator as possible, so call when it’s quieter.
There are three sure-fire phrases to getting you a better deal: “I’m leaving”, “I’m paying too much for my current package” and “x offers a similar deal cheaper”.
To back up your argument check the best buys on the market right now to see if you can genuinely get a better deal elsewhere. Start your search at broadbandchoices.co.uk.
The main aim is to get through to the retentions department (more commonly known as ‘disconnections’) because they have a lot more power to give you discounts than the customer service team do.
Be charming. Acting rude or entitled will put the operator on the defensive, meaning that you’re less likely to get a better deal.
You don’t necessarily have to go with the first offer either, giving you wiggle room to haggle even more!
That said, try not to push the operator too much as it’ll ruin your hard work. Listen out for verbal cues like defensive language, hesitation and impatience.
If they call your bluff, say you need to check with your partner/flatmates/parents first. You’ll hopefully speak to someone different next time.
And if they go silent, wait for them to fill in the gap. They’re hoping that you’ll accept the price to end the silence, so don’t give in. Our editor saved £240 just by threatening to leave for a cheaper deal.
Find out more at How to haggle and save a fortune.
Ask for extras
Ask if they can chuck in any freebies like free calls or extra channels, particularly if they can’t bring your cost down.
Have a go at blagging movies or an extra sports channel on top of your current deal.
Be prepared to leave to get what you want
If you don't get a decent offer, then you might be better off simply leaving, as long as you won't have to pay any exit fees of course.
Leave it a little while, and you will likely be contacted by Sky with some sort of return offer. These vary by customer, but we've heard tales of 33% off for five years, or even 75% off for a year.
Alternatively, you can attempt to play the cashback game. You can pocket some decent cash when you take out a deal with Sky from sites like Quidco.
As an added bonus, Quidco will give you £10 cashback when you apply and make your first purchase, regardless of whether it's Sky-related or not.
Add more services
Add more? Isn’t that a bit contradictory?
Sometimes taking multiple services from one provider can reduce your bill. For example, if you just have broadband with a provider then chances are it's more expensive than if you have a phone and broadband package.
If you do decide to add more services, aim for an upgrade offer rather than just adding a service to your current package. By just adding a service the standard price will likely apply, meaning that you lose out on substantial savings.
As always, haggle – see if you can get the extra services at a better price than advertised!
You can check Sky's full range of products and offers here.
Of course, the downside to signing up to more packages and products is that you'll likely be particularly hard hit when the next round of price hikes rolls around (assuming you're out of contract).
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