|Saving for views like this...|
One of the things we wanted to review was the cost of our TV, Internet and Phone. We've been with Sky for a good few years now - with the exception of the one year we went off to Virgin Media when our building was swathed in scaffolding. We wasted no time in leaving them just as soon as our contract was up either, and have been back with Sky ever since. However, much as we like their services, over the past few years the costs have gradually crept up, and we decided enough was enough.
First step was to do our research - a quick Google through news stories suggested that Sky are currently losing rather a lot of customers to BT - it always pays before you call to haggle to know who the current enemy are! From there we looked at the BT website to see what they would offer, and quickly found a package that would work for us for £35 a month - including line rental paid up front to bring the costs down - we were prepared to do this if needed. It always helps to know that if you don't get any joy with bringing the cost down with your current provider, you've got another one lined up that you'd be happy to go to. Next step was the phone call - initially I went through to the department dealing with upgrades/downgrades - explained that it was getting a bit too expensive and I wondered if there was anything we could do to bring the costs down. The chap I spoke to looked over each part of our package and said that there was no savings to be made, so I asked to be put through to someone to discuss what I needed to do to terminate the contract. That gets you through to "terminations" - and they are the people with the real power in these negotiations. I always start by gently making the point that we've been very happy with Sky's service, and don't ideally want to leave. Then summarise the reasons for doing so - in this case a package from BT that actually offers slightly more than we currently have, and is £15 cheaper than our current Sky deal. In my experience going in and being entirely upfront about where you want the deal to end up usually pays off - it's not haggling in the real sense of the word. So now you not only have the eventual price you want to pay on the table, you also have who their competition are, and oddly enough, whoever are the biggest competition of the moment, there is usually a deal there to match it. This applies to all the major players by the way, not just Sky. Less than 5 minutes later I was putting the phone down having committed to a new 12 month contract at just £35 per month. The rules for success here are straightforward - be polite and chatty. Be honerst - don't threaten to leave if you have no real intention of doing so. Be honest about the other offers you've seen, but by all means be slightly grey about how you've come across them - in this case I described it as "The package BT are prepared to offer" - making it sound as though they'd contacted me with this deal.
|Looking forward to my new lens for more like this!|
That by, or before, 24th July 2017, we will have made the final payment to our mortgage.
The significance of this is that it will mean that we have paid our mortgage off in 14 years rather than the originally planned 25. It will also mean that I will be mortgage free before my 45th birthday - quite a good achievement I think you'll agree? As for this year, our target will be to end the year with £5,000 stashed into our overpayment account - a bit of a tall order this, but we'll see how it goes. I also want to replace in my personal savings the money I am about to spend on my new camera lens - again, by the end of the year.
I'll try to remember to do quarterly updates on these targets to let you know how we're going. How about you - any challenges or targets been set in your house for 2014?