Utility Bills: Shop Around!

Published on: April 4, 2022

This could be a very profitable way to spend half a day. There is low-hanging fruit waiting for Utility customers willing to ask for better deals.

I often use an hourly rate comparison. If your employer asked you to come in for half a day for say £200 to £500 net of tax, would that seem a decent hourly rate? But just a few hours online shopping around for competitive car and house insurances on comparison websites can sometimes save hundreds of pounds.

Mobile phone contracts are ‘front loaded’ to cover the cost of your phone. Typically, the contract might be for two years and if you want or need a new phone, shop around and compare your existing provider against their competitors who spend millions advertising to attract new customers and, while this may not always be the case, may save their best deals for these potential new customers.

But what if the phone you have does everything you need and is one of those rare things, a two-year-old phone that hasn’t been dropped and had its glass screen smashed?!

This is where a SIM-only deal comes into its own and again, could save £200-£300 per year over and above your existing contract. Again, the mobile phone companies may not proactively contact you to reduce your monthly bill, you will need to ask for it!

QUICK WIN: Are you a Subscription TV subscriber and not tied into a contract? Contact your TV provider, tell them just how disinterested you are in anything they show, have much too exciting a social life to watch TV and if ever you do watch anything, it’s invariably Freeview or Terrestrial TV. Give them 30 days’ notice to cancel, then one of two things could happen. As long as they have your marketing permission, you can expect a call from a ‘Retentions Adviser’ who will have the authority to haggle with you to change your mind in which case you find a compromise for a price you are happy to pay. Sometimes the real price is half price but again, only if you ask. The other scenario, even more ridiculously which I’ve experienced, is that within seconds of me giving notice to cancel a subscription, I received an email offering ‘Welcome Back with 50% off’! This may not always be the outcome but I believe it is worth a call to find out.

  • Disclaimer:Three Counties does not advise on mortgages and debt and this post is for general information purposes only. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up the mortgage repayments. This blog post was taken from a Three Counties ebook, Your Family, Your Finance, Your Future – click here to download the full guide.
  • Writer Bio: Martin Howe is a Director with Three Counties and has over 20 years’ experience in financial services, specialising in all areas of financial planning.

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