Follow our step-by-step guide to negotiating a fairer deal with BT
Broadband and TV providers can be notorious for charging new customers lower prices than loyal ones. They are known for increasing prices year after year, so it’s important to keep on top of how much you’re paying and what you really need. It is possible to find a different package with BT to help save money, or to get more services for the same price. Here are our top tips on how to renegotiate with BT: -
1. Be prepared and gather the right information
It helps to have a plan. Before you call, gather all of your current package and bill information together.
Understand what’s included in your current package, including: -
What broadband speed you pay for, and if possible, what broadband speed you actually get
Check the detail of your broadband bill, as you could be paying for extras like security or storage that you don’t need, or have other solutions for
Whether you pay for inclusive home phone calls you may not use. Check the detail of your landline bill, as you might be paying for additional features without realising
What TV channels are included in your package and what channels you mainly watch
How much is your monthly bill and how much of it is a fixed vs. variable cost (e.g. extra phone calls, extra films etc)
If possible, find out before you call whether you are still in a contract. This information should be on the original contract you signed, you can check in your online account or you can ask the agent on the phone. If you are still in contract, you can still renegotiate your package. It is possible to leave your 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 in order to save money. For example: -
You might not need free calls on your landline if you only ever use your mobile.
TV channels are often the most expensive part of any package. If you really want to save money, be ruthless - what you could live without? If you’re not sure, keep a diary of what you watch over the course of a week. It might surprise you how much of your viewing is on Freeview channels, or streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime
Decide if you are willing to accept an upgraded package for the same price. This can be a good way of getting better value for money. Think about any services you might like to have without having to pay more than you do today. Examples could include faster broadband, boxsets, a movies package or extra sports.
Are you happy to sign a new contract? Often the best deals will require you to recommit to a new contract (e.g. 12 or 18 months). If you’re happy to do this, it can unlock better discounts.
2. Call BT (British Telecom) and get through to the right team. Call 0800 800 150 and ask to speak to the Retention team.
When the agent asks what your call is about, explain how: -
You know that you are paying more than new customers and you’d like to be rewarded for being a loyal customer
You want to get a fairer price for your services
If you aren’t already, ask to speak to the Retention team – this team has the power to give you a fairer deal. You’ll probably need to say that you’re thinking of leaving BT to unlock the best deals.
3. Explain your situation and start negotiating
Customer service agents are given many different options to help customers. They often have to grapple with clunky computer systems, too. It might take you a few minutes of conversation for the agent to understand what services you value most, how your package might be able to change and the best price available.
The discount offered to you might be small at first and you don’t have to accept the first offer. In fact, we’d recommend you didn’t! If you’d like to keep on negotiating, helpful angles include: -
Sharing an absolute maximum budget per month and the minimum services you require
Having information from other websites to use as leverage, as BT won’t want you to switch to another provider. For example: -
Look at equivalent packages on Sky or Virgin’s website – “I’ve seen a better option elsewhere”
Check BT's website to see what deals they are offering to new customers
Having an idea of what friends or family members also with BT are paying
Here are some helpful phrases you might use
"I've worked out my budget, and my absolute max is £[insert price here]/mth."
"[BT/SKY/TalkTalk] can do it for less."
"I need to think about it."
"It's still a lot of money."
"What's the very best you can do?"
4. If you’re not satisfied with what has been offered…
Don’t feel pressured to say yes on the spot. If you need time to think about it, arrange a convenient time for BT to call you back
Ask the call agent to email you all the information you’ve discussed. It will be helpful for comparison or in further conversations with BT
One approach is to call back later. You are likely to speak to a different person, who may be better at understanding your requirements or able to offer you a different deal
If you’re still not happy, your best option might be to switch to another provider. The switching process has got much easier in the last few years. If you plan ahead, you can have your new provider up and running with minimal disruption