1 Jan 2013

The Banter Requirement

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

It's a time of opportunities! So having this in mind I made a few changes. 

The small win first. My broadband / phone. I'm currently with Sky for both of this. There service is alright, I've never had much downtime on anything. There prices aren't too bad either. 

One thing that has annoyed me though, they continually raise their prices! Mine has increased by 21% this year! That is a little bit above inflation

Then they have the audacity to ring me to try and sell me other services! Don't they know we're in recession?!

Well, I'm having none of this. So I asked the nice lady if there was any way to reduce my bills. So she puts me through to a nice guy who turns out to be from just down the road from me, he goes through my bill with me and as I already knew, he can't give me any savings either, not without reducing my service anyway. Which isn't good enough realy is it. Considering they are shafting me for an extra 21% more a month! The nice man mentions that using the good old, "I'm gonna leave unless you give me some money off" tactic might help. Then puts me through to cancellations, the lovely Juliet in Edinburgh. Again after five minutes of going through my account she offers me 10% off my bills for the next 12 months. Not exactly the best thing considering the 21% INCREASE! But hey, I've already been on the phone for half an hour and am getting bored. So I wished her a happy new year and moved on with my life.

The good thing about letting them ring me and using this opportunity to reduce my bills is that I don't have to pay for the call! Normally I'd have to ring an 0845 number which from my mobile can be up to 45p a minute. This call could have cost me £13.50! This money is better off in my pocket and I'm happy to keep it there.

The other bigger win was with my mobile. I'm probably the same as most of you and had a mobile phone for a long time now. To be honest I've been paying over the odds for the service I get. So I thought I'd shop around. My contract actually ran out on Christmas Day which is handy and I've seen quite a good deal, with a free spanking new phone - OOOH! So I rang T-mobile my current provider, they said they can't compete with that and put me through to disconnections. Fair enough I thought, and was planning my trip to Tesco. 

The helpful lady at disconnections asked what the deal was, again repeated that they couldn't compete but asked for 5 minutes to speak to their third party provider chitterchatter, she then duly rang me back and announced that the deal could be beaten, they will do more minutes, more texts, more internet for less a month. Ermmm....ok! 

So end result I'm saving almost £10 a month from my mobile alone. To make this money I'd need £5628 ( basically a full cash ISA) earning 2% interest. 

To get these savings I've just had to do a bit of research, then ring them (or let them ring me), being willing to leave makes it easier. Then just have a chat, make sure they realise your a person, not just a phone call - ask them how they are. Have some Banter with them - calling the guy from Derbyshire a sheep shagger on New Year's Eve seemed to help! Relate to them, they called me at work, so I asked if it was busy, I told them I was at work - I knew it wouldn't be we could both relate to this. 

The fact that just having a bit of banter with someone on the end of the phone has saved me this much money is a huge win for me.

I'm going to be doing more of this, think home/car insurance, mortgage. hopefully these larger expenses will bring larger rewards.

Here's to the new year, bring it on buddy!

Stay well


Image: By Jon Sullivan 


  1. It's true, having the gift of the gab and a little charm can take you a long way indeed. I used to be that guy on the end of the phone, and those jobs were so tedious, talking to someone nice who took the time to talk back to you often made my day, so I know from experience it definitely works.

  2. Thanks for the input Matt,

    I don't understand why we can't treat everyone as humans? It's probably all that time on hold :(