Martin Lewis fan explains how they saved £740 on their Virgin Media bill – The Mirror

The viewer said the telecoms giant wanted to put up the price of their package from £51 to £109 – an increase of £58 per month, or £696 over the year – but she was able to haggle down the cost

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Martin Lewis: Haggling fan saved money on Virgin Media bill

A Martin Lewis fan has explained how they saved £740 by haggling down the price of their Virgin Media bill.

The viewer said the telecoms giant wanted to put up the price of their package from £51 to £109 – an increase of £58 per month, or £696 over the year.

Over 12 months, it meant she would have been paying an eye-watering £1,308.

But she was able to lower this price to just £47 per month, fixed for 18 months, after complaining about the increase.

This means her Virgin package has been reduced by £62 per month, or an impressive £744 over a 12-month period.

The viewer, who goes by the name Zee Kay on Twitter, said she was able to lower her bill by flagging a much cheaper Sky package.

Martin ran through how much some broadband customers are paying each year at some of the big firms
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Her deal included landline, TV and broadband with Virgin.

Writing in to the Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV, she tweeted: “Virgin wanted to put our bill up from £51 to £109.

“Threatened to go to Sky who were offering same package at £48 for 12 months and Virgin could suddenly offer £47 for 18 months.

“I followed your advice of getting all my facts and prices in place in advance and stayed friendly.”

Haggling is by no means always guaranteed, but if it works, you can find yourself making a huge saving on your bills – particularly if you’re coming out of contract.

Martin used part of his show to explain his top haggling tips.

Have you managed to save £100s by haggling? Let us know: mirror.money.saving@mirror.co.uk

How to haggle and lower your bills

In a nutshell, haggling is where you call up and try to negotiate a better deal.

It typically involves finding a cheaper price elsewhere and asking your current provider if they can match it – or even better it.

If they can’t lower your tariff, then you can try telling them you’re leaving – but only if you’re prepared to actually do so.

Martin first recommended asking your current provider if you’re already on their cheapest deal.

“They don’t have to let you have their cheapest new customer deal, they just have to tell you what it is,” explained Martin.

“Some do, the big firms have to, but some don’t. Haggling is best done by politeness and charm, not aggression, so smile when you’re on the phone.”

Martin revealed some of the cheapest deals on the market right now
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You should also do your own research and compare prices to see the cheapest deals on the market.

On the show, it was revealed how nine million people are currently out of contract with their broadband – so it’s worth checking if you’re overpaying.

MoneySavingExpert has highlighted how the cheapest deal is currently with Plusnet, which costs £18.50 per month – but factor in the £75 pre-paid Mastercard gift you get by signing up through MSE, and your equivalent bill would be £12.25 per month.

This is for speeds of 10Mb. It is important to compare prices that are similar to your current deal – unless you think you can cope with slower broadband – otherwise you may end up with a cheap package that isn’t suitable.

The next cheapest package currently flagged by MSE costs £16.99 for 11Mb broadband from Shell Energy.

You also get an automatic bill credit of £50 when switching, so take this into account and you’re paying an equivalent of £12.83 per month.

On the speedier end of the scale, you can get 35Mb of Vodafone broadband for £19.50, along with a £120 voucher for Amazon, Tesco or M&S.

For those who need top speed, MSE has listed BT 50Mb broadband that costs £28.99 and you can claim a £50 prepaid Mastercard if you sign up through its website.

Once you’ve found the most comparable deal to your current internet, call up your provider and tell it about the cheapest price you’ve seen elsewhere.

“Use this as a benchmark. If they won’t give you what you want, say you’re thinking of disconnecting,” said Martin.

“If you can get it cheaper elsewhere, why give them your loyalty?”

Martin claims MSE readers have had between 70% and 82% success rates when it comes to haggling with big firms.

He continued: “If you’ve got digital TV, haggling works there too. Do a TV audit. What channels do you actually watch that you’re willing to pay for?”

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