The boxes were ready / The deals, they were primed
“Let’s Balance the Budget / Save Money!” They cried.
A week to celebrate guidance on managing money and making the most of your income, which empowers people to live a good life.
What did we do?
For #TalkMoneyWales we wanted to celebrate this part of our service and the clients who make us who we are. We aimed to turn our event into a fresh new way of giving advice, which we hoped would help our clients develop one key money-saving life skill.
We decided upon Deal or No Deal: Broadband Edition.
The game was designed to raise awareness of the importance of shopping around for a good deal towards (and certainly after!) the end of your broadband contract. If you stay with your provider after this time you could find yourself paying more and more money for the same package. What starts out as a good deal could actually turn into the exact opposite.
| What do we need to know?
Loyalty Charges: Increases in the cost of your package deal the longer you stay with your current provider
Shop around: See what deals are available. Balance your wants and needs.
Make the saving: Ask your current provider for a deal or switch to better.
It’s just as important to feel confident enough to ask your current provider for a better deal, and shopping around beforehand can be a real help with this. If they can’t make you a good offer, you can always say you’ll leave. And if you still can’t get a good deal that suits your needs and your income, it’s best to make the switch.
How did we do it?
We decorated 7 gift boxes in the classic Deal or No Deal red and blue. Inside each gift box we hid a real broadband package, each one we had found by doing our own comparison search on an Ofcom-recommended comparison site (you have to practice what you preach after all!)
We also hid prompts inside to guide our contestants and get them thinking about to what separates good deal from bad; how to spot a genuine benefit from a clever marketing tactic.
Is it really a deal?
Do you need everything included in the offer? Or could you ask for a contract which includes just what you need?
Can you spot clever marketing?
One provider promised you could watch Netflix on their broadband... But since you’d be paying for Netflix yourself you’d get the same service from anybody!
Let the Game Begin!
Volunteers, staff members and clients alike came together in reception area to play the game. Everyone chose a gift box to hold and one lucky contestant was chosen: willing client and savvy broadband haggler, Alan*.
Alan asked each participant to open their gift box one at a time, to explain the deal inside and what they thought about it: was it like their current deal? Was it better or worse? Would they switch to this deal instead? Clients waiting to be seen by an adviser began pitching in with their experiences, good and bad: some were regular hagglers; many more had never heard of loyalty charges! Volunteers, staff and clients alike were shocked to realise they had fallen victim and paid far more than they should have for too long!
A once quiet reception came alive with laughter and people from all walks of life began sharing their tips and tricks.
What did we learn?
As the boxes were opened, the conversation turned to how to negotiate a better deal from your current provider. One thrifty and knowledgeable participant gave us his top tip:
“If I’m not happy with what I’m getting, I just tell them I’ll be leaving them and going elsewhere for my broadband till they offer me something better!
Straightforward, really. I’ve got cheap and fast broadband.”
This is definitely important when you’re trying to balance the budget but still get the service you want. If you’ve worked out you’re paying too much or your current arrangement no longer suits you, it’s time to switch to another provider unless they can offer you a genuine incentive to stay: a cheaper, better deal.
One of our new advisers also explained that buying a bundle isn’t always better. If you have a bundle you don’t fully use, then it’s worth asking for a better contract just made up of what you need… if you don’t watch 100+ TV channels, then why pay for them?
Our contestant opened the final box. Now he knew all the options on the table he could say what was a good deal for himself and his family.
This ended our Deal or No Deal: a game with only winners. And to ensure these gains could be shared by the many, not the few - during TalkMoneyWeek and beyond - we created a new leaflet which contains the tips you need to make these savings for yourself: to turn the game into a reality.
*Name altered to protect our client’s anonymity.