How to Negotiate a Cheaper Mobile Tariff with UK Providers

Is it possible to cut your mobile phone bill down?

With everything that’s going on in the world right now with Covid 19, staying in touch with friends and family is more important than anything.

The majority of people rely on their mobile phones to communicate, whether it be for private use, work or just browsing the internet on them.

Ask yourself these simple questions:

  • Do you think you are paying over the odds for what your phone provider offers you?
  • When is the last time you checked your mobile phone bill, are you paying for services you don’t actually need or have never even used?
  • Do you read or hear about fantastic mobile deals but never do anything about your own contract or deal?

I know personally from speaking friends and colleagues, literally only a handful said they looked closely at what they got for their money, whereas the majority of them didn’t have a clue how much they were paying now, or how much of what they were paying for they didn’t actually use!

It’s like all those people who have good intentions going to the gym in the New Year, signing up for the year with a direct debit, going twice and giving up! The direct debit keeps coming out, and you are not even using that service anymore. Who is the winner then? Not you that’s for sure. Don’t do it – watch your pennies closely.

My mobile contract with 02 was due to end and I was paying £16 per month for unlimited texts / minutes and I got 4GB of roaming data. Yes it’s not a bad deal compared to what other people I know are paying, however due to having no option but to tighten my purse strings I decided to see if I could get it even lower.

Take time out and do a little research

Within just 20 minutes of looking online for cheaper mobile options, I came across a ‘sim only’ card from Smarty (Three), it was only £10 a month. The sim only deal gave unlimited free calls, unlimited texts and it also had a whopping 30 GB of roaming data.

Well, how could I refuse that you say, it’s £6 cheaper a month than what I was currently paying and I got an extra 26 GB of data!

Looking at all the deals online can be a bit mind-blowing, however a good place to start is by looking at Money Saving Expert site by Martin Lewis, he always has some great information on there about the latest mobile phone deals.

Is it easy to switch mobile provider though?

After reading about how to switch mobile providers, it looked pretty simple.

In previous years you had to telephone your phone provider and request a pac number, which they didn’t always give you straight away…they made you wait. These days however, all you need to do is send a text to one of two numbers depending on whether you want to keep your existing number or not.

  • You’ll text ‘PAC’ to 65075 to keep your old number or ‘STAC’ to 75075 get a new one. (Of course you still have the option to go online or to actually phone your current phone provider).
  • Your existing provider will immediately send you the switching code. Also the text back to you must include any other vital information such as outstanding handset costs or credit balances / exit penalties etc.
  • Once you have the switching code you will need to give that to your new provider within 30 days, then you will be switched to the new provider within one working day.
  • If you’re not sure whether you are still ‘in contract’, and would have to pay any early termination charges, you can simply text ‘INFO’ to 85075 to find this out without requesting a switching code.

Having to change provider isn’t a big deal, however it is still a little time consuming and a bit of an inconvenience.

Anyway I decided to go for it, I’d ring my mobile company up and tell them “that’s it, I’m leaving” after all these years. I felt a bit guilty to be honest, but my loyalty to them was soon out of the window especially when I knew I could save myself money and get a better deal.

Approach your mobile company first before switching

I rung my mobile company and told them that after looking at all the deals on their website I could only see similar deals which were £24 plus, and that was definitely a big fat no from me!

Whilst chatting to the lady on the other end of the phone, I asked her numerous questions like is there any way I could reduce the fee because I’d been such a loyal customer etc. That didn’t get me any further to be honest…

Then I had a brainwave… I asked her if she could price match the deal I had found. Yes it was a bit cheeky, but at the end of the day you have to think about saving yourself some pennies.

Can your provider do a price match?

The lady asked me what deal I had found and what the other provider could offer me, I have her all the information she required then after a few minutes of silence the other end she came back on the line and said they can do the same deal that I had found. Yes I was absolutely made up with myself then!

I’d got a much better deal and it was much cheaper than what I was previously paying. To top it off I didn’t have to sort switching providers and start setting up new direct debits with another provider, and my mobile number would stay the same as well.

The phone company I use is just an example to show you that it is possible to reduce your mobile bill (not all the time I admit), but just by doing a little bit of research first rather than just accepting the current deal you are able to save a substantial amount of money over the year.

Don’t have any shame whatsoever asking if they can price match. Loads of big retailers do it as well, you just need to look at the small print.

It’s simple… if you don’t ask you don’t get. There are hundreds of providers all wanting your money so if it means they undercut or price match another provider they have got your business and money for another year or so.

Is there anything else your mobile provider can do for you?

The icing on the cake with my call was that once the lovely lady renewed my contract for another year on this great deal, I then said “oh before I go, please can you update my husband’s mobile also on the same deal?”… guess what? she did it! No problem at all. She knew I’d done my research and had all the information at hand, so she could either match it or lose another customer.

I looked at my online 02 account to check it had all been set up ok, it was perfect, then I noticed we also got 6 months free Disney+ with it! Double bonus!

Remember this is about saving money – your hard earned cash

I urge you to definitely look into other deals before you just sit back and think oh well, it will do for another year, I’ll look round another time.

Remember these are difficult times. Your hard earned cash is better in your pocket. Also always double check everything in writing and on any contract before you agree to anything.

Most companies give you a 7 – 14 day cooling off period which lets you be the one in control. Therefore, if you are not happy with anything in that contract, you can get in touch, sort it out or cancel.

I really hope by reading this article it has inspired you to do the same as what I did. None of us like to be ripped off, we all want a good deal, so go for it today, not tomorrow!

Featured image by Mimzy from Pixabay