How haggling and switching saved me £570

Updated on 06 January 2020 | 1 Comment

It took less than 30 minutes to find a cheaper energy deal and slash my monthly Sky bill for the coming year. How much could you save on your bills?

It’s not quite money for nothing, but I am happy to report that I saved just shy of £578 this weekend without getting off my sofa.

Having recently moved into a new house, I’ve taken this as an opportunity to review all my monthly bills.

I can’t do much about soaring Council Tax in my area, but a quick review of my outlays identified two prime culprits: my energy and TV/broadband deals.

Standard tariff? No thanks!

At my new home, which is a new build, the energy supply was with SSE.

I phoned to them discuss my bills, which cost around £55 for each fuel.

I was offered two new tariffs: one a 12-month fix that would save me around £20 a year compared to the standard tariff, or a longer fix that’d save me twice that.

Both came with penalties for leaving within the contract period.

Now, as loveMONEY readers will know well, any supplier’s standard tariff is a huge rip-off, so the fact the deals they were offering me were only marginally cheaper than that was a clear sign I’d be better off switching.

I thanked the person on the other end of the line and hung up. Five minutes of my life gone, but at least I now knew I was on a rotten deal.

Another five minutes on a price comparison site and I’d identified a far better one.

The cheapest on the market would save me over £300. I didn’t choose that deal however, as I’m one of those people who still values customer service, so I ended up going with a smaller supplier which has a reputation for excellent service.

Estimated saving over the next 12 months? Just under £278.

In total, this had taken me around 10 minutes.

Switching energy is simple (Image: Damian Clarkson)

Now, it’s worth clarifying that I was already a price comparison member so most of my details were already registered, but even if you’re new to it you’re only looking at an extra three or four minutes.

I should also stress that saving such a large sum is only possible if you’re on a rubbish deal to start with.

Most loveMONEY readers are regular switchers, so the saving will likely be smaller, but almost certainly worth doing.

It’s your money after all.

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Sky-high bills

Next up, it was time to get on to Sky.

The best way to get a better deal here is to find out what their rivals are offering.

A quick check with Virgin showed the TV, broadband and (completely pointless) landline deal I wanted would cost me £75 for the first 12 months.

That’s over £20 a month cheaper than my current one!

Armed with what I needed, I rang the dedicated cancellation line (don’t phone general enquiries as you’ll just hang about waiting an age for someone to pick up) and kindly explained I would be leaving for Virgin unless they could offer me a better deal.

Once we covered what I was after, it came in at £72 a month. Not only is that £300 a year cheaper than my current deal, but I also had the movies package thrown in as well.

A quick check of my call history showed it took a little over 12 minutes. Not bad going.

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Haggling can save you a bundle on your media package (Image: Sky-Damian Clarkson)

Won the battle, not the war

All in, I’d spent less than half an hour online and on the phone and I’d cut my bills significantly.

Of course, this doesn’t mean my work is done.

These bills will need revisiting in a year once introductory rates expire and new deals are launched.

It’s an ongoing battle, but one that’s undoubtedly worth fighting.

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