The joys of negotiating a fibre broadband deal

13 Feb
Is there anything worse than arguing with the cable company, yet anything more satisfying than finally getting them to give you a deal? It’s a pain in the butt in every country, but in the US all you seemingly have to do is threaten to switch to a competitor and suddenly the deals come out and the prices drop. I tried this a couple weeks ago with Sky. It went something like this:
“I am interested in upgrading to fibre broadband. I see on your website you can get half off for the first six months.”

“That’s only for new customers.”

“Oh. You can’t give me that deal for being a loyal customer?”

“No.”

“My contract is almost up and it would be cheaper for me to switch to another provider like BT or Talk Talk. Are you sure you can’t give me the deal?”
“Ma’am, I’m not going to do this with you, if I could give you a better deal, I would. I can’t.”

south park cable
Imagine her whole speech in a thick Irish accent I could barely understand. I was feeling defeated, but I did not give up. I searched through Sky forums and researched ways other people had gotten them to cave. I talked to three different people before getting someone willing to play ball. I tried a different strategy and said I was simply interested in what offers were available and that I had seen an offer for current customers on cable.co.uk (I truly did). The guy looked for the offer for a good 15 minutes, putting me on hold every so often, before eventually coming on and saying he couldn’t find the half price offer anywhere (really? Because it’s everywhere!) but that he’d give me an even better deal with half price line rental every month for a year. So now we’re paying a little less than we were and our broadband is twice as fast.

Moving on…

I feel like the winter Olympics are harder to get into than the summer. That, and they’re not covered as extensively here. In 2012 I could turn the telly on at any given time of day and some BBC channel would be playing something, but now it’s only BBC2 and only until around 7 p.m. I’m not sure if that’s because of the four-hour time difference, or because the BBC went all out when London was hosting and doesn’t care about Russia or winter sports. I have been tuning in every so often, and I gotta say I’ll always be Team USA, but it’s hard not to root for Team GB when the announcers absolutely lose their minds and {perhaps literally} wee themselves over a bronze medal. I caught the women’s snowboarding slopestyle event on Sunday while eating breakfast. Jenny Jones from Team GB had a solid run and at one point was ranked first, but fell down to third and had to watch several more women compete before securing the medal. Sarka Pancochova from the Czech Republic fell so hard she cracked her helmet. Then Austria’s Anna Gasser, a favorite to win, fell and the BBC commentators cheered. Maybe it was their accents, but I still found the commentators less annoying than NBC’s, although they were quite unprofessional. This Daily Mail article says hundreds of people complained that the commentators were “puerile” and “hyperactive.” I remember laughing when I heard this gem:

Leigh said: ‘I can feel my pulse in my lower intestine.’ Warwood replied: ‘That’s not your pulse, Ed.’

Cheeky! Even though Jamie Anderson won gold for the USA, I was really happy “our girl” (as the announcers repeatedly called her) Jenny Jones took home the bronze. It was Britain’s first medal on a snow event ever (and so far is their only medal of these games), so I guess it was a pretty big deal.

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