A SAVVY saver has knocked money off her Virgin Media bill just by making a quick call.
The tip comes just days after the telecoms company announced it will increase prices for millions of customers.
The bill rise is the latest blow for households facing a cost of living crisis, and will add £50 a year on average to customers's costs.
It comes as BT, EE and Three also announced mid-contract price hikes in recent weeks too.
Posting in Facebook's Reduce Your Supermarket Spend group, the Virgin customer said she received an email updating her on the upcoming price changes.
The email said her bill would be going up by £9 a month from May 31, from £35 to £44 – or £108 more a year.
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Disappointed with the news, she immediately phoned Virgin to explain that she wasn't happy with the hike, as like millions of people in the UK she is struggling with rising prices.
After saying she wasn't happy Virgin agreed to keep the price at £35 for the rest of her contract, saving her £108 a year.
She said: "Hi all, if you are with Virgin please check your emails as I have received notification today to tell me that our bill is going from £35 to £44 on the May 31.
"I have called them and it is now staying at £35 until the end if my contract."
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Some people commented on the post to say that they've had similar emails from their provider and said they can't afford the increase.
But they've had success asking the same question of their provider – what can you do about it?
One person wrote: "Call them and call their bluff by saying you're leaving, then they will come back to you and negotiate."
Another said: "I did same they reduced it till end of contract too and said next contracts will be same price we pay now – please everyone ring them."
Many telecoms providers increase their prices annually based on the rate of inflation plus an extra 3.9%.
The current rate of inflation sits at 10.5%, so most bills will rise by 14.4% – however not all companies follow it exactly, so make sure you've checked what your provider is doing.
We've got the full list of providers and what they're doing here.
Most customers will see their bills increase from April 1, though some customers will have already seen an increase.
Customers still within their contract, or at least still within their minimum term, can't do much about the hikes, though it's always worth haggling.
If you're out of contract you might not need to pay the higher price.
But you could be paying more than you need to as a new deal is usually cheaper.
How to haggle for a cheaper deal
If you think your bills are too high and want to reduce them, the first thing to do is find out what the cheapest deal on the market is.
You can use this rate as a bargaining tool to get a better offer from your provider.
Get in contact with your provider to see if they can match this rate – if not, you might want to switch instead.
If you're mid-contract though and wish to leave, bear in mind that you could face an exit fee so check with your provider for any charges.
Virgin Media customers unhappy about the bill rise have the right to cancel mid-contract without a fee, within 30 days of being notified about the change.
Plus, it could be harder haggling with these prices as they come most years from all providers.
Make sure you do your homework.
Whether it’s car insurance or a TV package, compare deals across the market then, once you’ve found the cheapest one, use this to boost your bargaining power.
Try price-comparison sites such as Moneysupermarket, GoCompare, and Compare The Market.
Companies also usually have a customer retention department so it's important to know who to speak to.
You’ll probably be put through to them if you’ve threatened to leave.
They have the power to offer the best deals and discounts.
You can even ask yourself to be put through to these people, if it is not offered.
Just explain that you have been shopping around and are willing to walk away if you’re not given the deal you want, or get particular extras thrown in such as TV channels or cashback.
For more ways to cut your phone bill, we've got eight tips for slashing costs.
How much will my bill increase by?
Your internet provider or mobile network should contact you to let you know how much your bills will increase in April.
If you're an BT, EE, Plusnet or Three customer, there's an easy way to work out how much more you're set to pay from April.
Just find out what 14.4% of your current monthly bill is – you can use an online percentage calculator to work that out.
If you're a Virgin customer you'll need to use 13.8% instead, though remember this is an average rise.
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Then add those two figures together – this will give you your new monthly payment.
To find out your annual cost, times that total figure by 12.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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