How to Negotiate with BT
Want to get a fairer deal from BT?
Follow our step by step guide to negotiating a fairer deal.
Do you know whether you are being overcharged by BT? Is this a bill that you ought to do something about? Many people just don't know the answer to this key question which is why we built our free 60 second bill checker. Use it to find out what BT charge other people for the same service as you. Loyal BT customers tell us they pay up to £60 a month more than new ones. That's £720 a year that you could save. Many people are surprised to hear that they are being overcharged by hundreds of pounds a year by a company they have been loyal to. The shocking level of monthly overcharges are shown in our table below.
1. Be prepared
- Before you call and start haggling, gather all of your current package and bill information together.
- Know your package
- What broadband speed do you pay for, and if possible, what broadband speed do you actually get.
- Do you pay for inclusive home phone calls you may not use?
- What TV channels are included in your package, and what channels do you mainly watch.
- How much is your monthly bill, how much of it is fixed and how much is variable (extra calls, extra films etc)
- If you can, find out before you call whether you are still in a contract (you can always just ask the call handler). This information should be on the original contract you signed, or check in your online account. If you are still in contract, don’t be fooled in to thinking they can’t renegotiate your package. Customers are also allowed to leave their service provider at any time, although you may incur an early disconnection fee if you are still in contract
- Know what services you are willing to drop. For example you might not need free calls on your landline if you only ever use your mobile.
- Decide if you are willing to accept an upgrade in your service for the same price? This can be a good way of getting better value for money, so think about any services you might like to have without having to pay more, e.g. faster broadband, boxsets, a movies package or extra sports.
- Are you willing to sign a new contract? Often the very best deals will require you to recommit to a new contract, so if you are happy to do this it can help to get the best discount. Think about how long you are willing to do this for – 12 months, 18 months etc
2. How to call British Telecom (BT) and get a great deal
- Call 0800 800 150 - Try to ensure that you speak to the Retention team.
- When the agent asks what your call is about, tell them:
- You know what you are paying more than new customers and you want to be rewarded for being a loyal customer
- You want to get a fairer price for your services
- If you aren’t already, that you want to speak to the Retention team. If they do not put you through, threaten to leave – (you won’t be forced to go through with it), but it will ensure you speak to the retention team who have the power to give you a fair deal
3. Don’t accept the first offer
Customer Service agents have been given many different options, and the more you challenge them the more chance you have of getting the best one that they have to offer. Don’t feel pressured to say yes there and then. If you need time to think about it, tell the agent this and arrange a convenient time for them to call back. If you aren’t happy with the response, ask to speak to a manager.
You will probably find that the BT agent will only offer a small discount to you at first, if you don't agree with the price you can use phrases like:
- I've worked out my budget, and my absolute max is £(insert your price here) a month
- someone else (Plusnet/Sky/TalkTalk/Virgin) can do it for less...
- I think my husband/wife will go be angry if I agree to that...
- It's still a lot of money, I think it's too much...
- I have a friend/colleague who is paying much less than that...
- What's the very best price you can do?
If you are still not happy, then one tactic is to end the call and call back later. You are likely to speak to a different person, who may be more understanding of your situation and willing to offer you the best deal
4. If you have had enough of BT and you want to Switch Provider
- If you decide to switch away from BT, think about what services you really need or don’t need anymore.
Learn more about providers like BT
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