The Simple Guide to Successfully Haggle Your Bills
16th August 2021
Although haggling seems like a dated practice, there are several areas of modern life where bargaining for the best deal is completely acceptable. If you’re willing to ask, you can receive significant discounts of phone contracts, energy bills, credit card fees, cable TV, insurance premiums, internet, and more. So how does one successfully haggle their way to a better price? Read on to find out.
The first step when it comes to haggling is being prepared. Have all the information that the company’s rep, whom you’ll be bargaining with, will want to know. That includes the prices you’re currently paying for the service, any reference or identification numbers for your account, and the name of the deal you’re on.
It’s also important to do your research in advance and find out what competitors are offering their customers. If you can find a cheaper price elsewhere, it’s best to let the person you’re speaking with know. Take down the name of the competitor company and the details of the offer so you have everything prepared.
The more information you have ready, the higher your chances of securing a good deal.
Speak to the right person
No matter how well you handle haggling, you won’t get anywhere if you don’t speak to the right person. Often, the first port of call won’t have the authority to deduct anything from your bill. Therefore, it’s imperative to ask to be transferred to a person who does have that authority.
Sometimes, if you’re left on hold for a long time, you might have to hang up and call again. If you keep calling, eventually you’ll be picked up by someone who can help you.
If you really feel that you’re going around in circles, calmly asking to cancel your service will usually motivate the person you’re speaking with to transfer you to someone with more authority.
Aim high and then back down
The golden rule of haggling? Start by asking for more than you’d like to get. In the case of negotiating a better price, this means asking for more discount than you actually want. By aiming high to begin with, you give yourself space to move.
When you back down during haggling, the other person will be more likely to give in too. That’s why it’s important to ask for more than you’re prepared to receive. Know that you’ll move down a little, but you’ll still end up at a price that you’re comfortable with. You don’t actually accept less this way, but it seems like it to the other person, making them more willing to accommodate.
Be prepared to negotiate other elements besides price
If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. But sometimes, even asking for a better price won’t be sufficient. Some prices are just set in stone. That doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate for a better deal, though.
Before you talk to the company’s rep, think about other elements of the service that could be better, besides the price. The company might not be able to give you a discount, but they might be able to add something to your service, such as extra data on your phone plan.
Ask for email confirmation
In most cases, you’ll have to have a verbal conversation with someone from the company in order to secure a better deal. Still, it’s important to request email confirmation of your conversation.
Firstly, asking for the new price or new offer in writing gives you the chance to think about whether you’re willing to accept it. When you negotiate less than what you were hoping for, it can sometimes take a while to really know whether you’re prepared to take the offer or cancel the service.
Secondly, having written evidence of your negotiation is important in case there are any disputes in the future. If the company tries to charge you more and claim that there were no separate negotiations, you’ll have a record of the price you were given on the phone.
Stay calm and in control
Arguably the most important part of successful haggling is staying calm and in control of your emotions. No matter how the conversation goes, always be polite. Remember that you’re dealing with a human being. The proverbial honey will secure you a better deal than vinegar will.
You can get the conversation off to a positive start by first asking the rep how their day is going before diving into haggling. Mention that you’ve been a customer for a long time and you’d like to continue using their services. In some situations, it may be helpful to mention why you need a discount, but this isn’t necessary. You don’t have to give a reason to be entitled to the best price.
Remember, the best price goes to those who ask, so never feel guilty about haggling. Simply follow these tips to successfully negotiate your way to the best possible deal.