16 top Sky haggling tips

For lots of us, Sky is the main way we get our TV entertainment with one of their packages of channels.  But as the price continues to increase, it can get a bit costly. It can come to the stage where you have to consider cancelling it because the monthly cost is just too high.  However, before you do this, it is worth trying to haggle with Sky to see what you can do with the price or the deal.

Sky is one of the best companies to try haggling with and many customers have had £100s knocked off their bill.  They even ran a high profile TV campaign at one stage showing customers what to do. So here are some top tips on haggling with Sky and what you might be able to achieve.

Haggling success

One poll from Money Saving Expert found that 86% of customers who spoke to Sky to haggle about their bill or package were successful in getting a better deal.  There are lots of examples of what can be done such as:

  • Customer’s bill had increased to £92 a month after an introductory deal ended so he cancelled and was called 5 minutes later to offer a 50% reduction on his monthly cost as well as a £50 credit
  • Customer saw their bill increase to £117 for TV, landline and broadband so haggled with the company and got it down to £90, a saving of over £320 a year
  • Customer cancelled their contract and was offered 35% off to stay.  They declined and eventually got it for 60% off

Make Sky fight for you

When you call the phone number and speak to Sky, they are always ready to try and help you but obviously, they don’t want to give discounts unless they have to.  It is easy for them to offer their packages and have people take them. But you need to make them fight for you, to keep you as a customer and to keep the money coming in.

Haggling might seem like something you associated with the local marketplace where you strike a deal over the price of a joint of meat or some bananas.  But it is alive and well online and over the phone and Sky will haggle with you if you know how to approach it.

Understanding haggling

There’s on key thing to understand when you approach haggling with any company.  Companies give their best deals to new customers and love the loyal customers who stay with them, paying top price for years on end and never check to see if they can get a better deal.

Lots of companies have been in the news in negative ways for giving preferential rates to their new customers and not spontaneously giving loyal customers those deals.  But that isn’t how business works. However, there’s nothing to say you can’t approach that company and attempt to get that better deal as a loyal customer.


16 tips for haggling with Sky

Armed with some information on how haggling works, let’s take a look at some tips specifically on haggling with Sky.

1. Audit your channels

It helps to change something to get a new deal so if there are channels you simply don’t watch, see about removing them.

2. Get the best deal information

Before you approach Sky, it is a good idea to have some information on the best deals out there, from them and other providers.  This gives you some ammunition to get them to rework their deal.

3. Tell them you are going to switch to Freeview

Freeview doesn’t cost anything and has a lot of channels so tell Sky you are going to switch to this service instead.  This also tells Sky you can get TV at no cost, so it’s a good starting point.

4. Get your timing right

The best time to haggle is when you are near the end of your contract or it has even finished, and you are on month-to-month.  You can try earlier but remember if you threaten to cancel, make sure you can do this without getting loads of cancellation charges.  

If the company raise the rates for anything like line rental or broadband (not TV packages) you have 30 days from receiving the notification to leave without any cancellation charges even if you are still in contract. These price changes are also most likely happen in April so watch for this.

5. Use their price promises

Sky has a number of adverts in circulation that go on about their ‘exclusive deals’ for sticking with them.  So give them a ring on the main Sky contact number and quote this to them to find out what the deals are. If you aren’t happy, then try to haggle on some point of the package.

6. Speak to the retentions department

Speaking to the right people is always important and if you are coming to the end of your contract, then you have additional leverage.  Speak to the retentions department if you don’t get any luck from customer services – sometimes the department is known as ‘disconnections’ but don’t let that put you off.  Get the right telephone number for the department and speak to the real decision makers.

7. Keep smiling

Don’t get angry or irate when haggling – keep smiling, keep it friendly and don’t get into a shouting match with them.  Be firm and polite.

8. Know key phrases

There are some phrases that are worth adding to your haggling conversation because they will have a better response.  Examples include:

  • ‘I’ve worked out my budget and the most I can spend is £X’
  • ‘X can do it for less than you’
  • ‘I need to think about this first’
  • ‘It’s still a lot of money each month’

These kinds of phrases can ring bells for customer services staff and show that you are serious about making a change if needs be.

9. Don’t panic if they call your bluff

If you say you are going to cancel and they say it is okay, don’t panic and cave in.  Instead, follow a simple trick. Stop the conversation with something along the lines of ‘hold on, I need to check with my husband/wife/partner and I’ll come back to you.’

10. Highlight any problems

If you have had issues such as slow broadband, poor channel quality or any other issues you have complained about, don’t forget to mention them in the conversion.

11. Don’t accept their first offer

Their first offer is never their best offer – hang on to see what else they can come up with for you.

12. Don’t be tempted to keep talking

One of the biggest problems people have when haggling is the urge to keep talking and fill those awkward silence.  Don’t do it! If they say no to a deal, then stop. Let them be the next one to speak. It is a classic sales technique.

13. Ask for extras if you can’t get the price

If you can’t get the price you want, see if you can increase the value of your deal.  See if they will throw in something additional that you don’t already have to make the package better value for money.

Don't give up

14. Don’t give up

If you hear no, don’t think that’s the end of it.  There are all sorts of rumours about staff quotas and how many deals they can do in a day.  So if the first person can’t help, give a try another day for another one. You never know!

15. Go with the cancel for a 50% off voucher

There’s nothing to say this will definitely work but a few customers have reported cancelling their account and then a few days later, receiving a 50% coupon to return.  It is a risk and you have to be prepared to end up without Sky if you try this one but if you really can’t manage your payments, it might be worth attempting. And make sure if you do get the offer after cancelling that you are clear on the exact terms – how long does the price last, for example?

16. Find a new supplier

If Sky really won’t help with your contract, then it might be time to give another provider a try.  Lots of companies now offer TV packages and some even have the big channels from Sky such as sports or movies.  Look at the different deals and make the switch for real.


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