The average person spends £1,500 on bills per month which equates to more than 56 percent of the average wage after tax. However, the cost of living crisis has forced many to take another look at household finances. Mitchell Baxter, personal finance expert at Vouchers.co.uk has revealed the best ways to negotiate a discount on household bills, claiming people could save £50 a month after following his top 10 tips.
As energy bills more than doubled last year, there has never been a more important time for people to make sure they aren’t paying too much on all household bills.
Mr Baxter said Britons shouldn’t be afraid to haggle as doing so could lead to significant savings which could help people through the cost of living crisis.
He said: “Haggling bills can take place on an online chat with a provider, on the phone or, depending on the bill you’re negotiating, in-store.
“Many bill providers will increase their monthly premiums towards the end of your contract for the next year. If you were to stick with the same providers without looking for better deals or trying to haggle, you could be paying up to £50 extra per month for all of your bills.”
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The personal finance expert said people shouldn’t be shy about asking for a discount as many companies expect this.
He explained: “Bill providers often pay their employees bonuses and incentives for retaining customers attempting to cancel so it’s in their best interest to give you a deal. Call operators also have access to all of your details, including the deals that you’ve been given before from that business so know which price they’re trying to beat to get you to stay.”
However, he added it’s best to wait until the contract ends: “When choosing to go with a bill provider, you’re agreeing to pay that amount for the remainder of the contract so if you’re trying to haggle mid-contract you may be lumped with a cancellation fee.
“You’re likely to get the best deal when negotiating towards the end of your provider’s contract or when they give you a month’s notice that they’re upping your bill payments. At this point you get to use your biggest asset, your customer loyalty.”
Other tips include being charming, researching competitors and explaining you need to run an offer by a partner.
Mr Baxter added: “Going in with aggressive tones can make a salesman dig their heels in. Use your loyalty to your advantage, explain what a great service you’ve had, but unfortunately you can’t justify the cost when you see other bill provider’s offering better deals.
“Alternatively, politely explain any issues you’ve had throughout the contract (especially if you’ve contacted them to share this) and explain you can’t justify paying the same premium again given the problems you’ve ran into over the last year of contract.
“If you share payment of bills with another, explain over the phone or online chat that you’re checking with them whether the deal they’ve offered you is a reasonable price.”
Meanwhile, EE has been looking into ways families are using technology to save and even earn money during the cost of living crisis – including selling holiday pictures, hiring out their driveway and loaning their dogs.
Nearly half (49 percent) of UK households said they are using creative ways to earn more, with the average household generating an extra £910 a year, thanks to their side hustles. The most popular ‘Techonomic’ hacks are reviewing TV shows (16 percent) and doing market research for brands (14 percent).
Sharon Meadows, Director of Broadband and Mobile at EE, said: “Getting through tough times starts at home, by squeezing the value out of every connection in the family. With EE, there are lots of ways to get more out of the services you already pay for like family data sharing, phone trade-ins and repairs.
“Our research also shows how much people rely on good quality products that give more value. Whether that’s selling pictures of sunsets from your holiday or renting out your dog – EE’s plans can help more families stay connected for longer and unlock the value of side hustles.”