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TV deals: When are you a new customer?

Published 14 May 2016 by

There are few things more annoying than seeing a great deal from your TV subscription service, only to find out it’s just for new customers. Providers like Sky and Virgin Media offer these deals to tempt new customers but if you’re already a subscriber, you might feel a bit cheated.

But can you cancel your service and sign up again straightaway to get the new deals? Will this mean you’re a ‘new customer’ or not? Let’s find out what the subscription services say, when you’ll count as new customer and how else you could save.

Can you sign up again?

Cancelling your contract and signing up again sounds like a great way to get the new customer deals. Unfortunately, it probably won’t work.

TV providers don’t get rid of your data the second you ring up and cancel. For example, Sky says you’re only a new customer after you’ve left for 12 months. Virgin Media have a similar policy – you must have cancelled all of its services for at least 12 months or you’re not a new customer.

You can’t usually get around this by cancelling and asking someone else in your household to sign up either. Providers usually group everyone at the same address, so your partner probably wouldn’t count as a new customer if you cancelled the service. Check the T&Cs of your service to be sure though – they can vary between providers.

What’s more, if you cancel your TV subscription and want to set it up again straight after, it could cost you. You could have exit fees to pay, as well as additional set-up charges. If you’ve got a TV, broadband and phone package, you might even lose your landline number.

How you can save

If you’ve got a TV subscription service and there’s a better deal for new customers, you don’t have to miss out. It’s worth ringing up your provider and asking them about the deal. They might be willing to give you the same offer or at least cut what you’re paying now.

Keep in mind your provider doesn’t have to do this and they might tell you that they can’t put you on a better deal – particularly if you’ve only recently switched. However, if you stay polite, your provider might offer you a better deal so you can save.

It might also be worth looking at whether you need a TV package or if you could save with a streaming service like Netflix. It all depends on what channels you watch – you can’t get most of the popular Sky Atlantic programmes on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

But if you aren’t as dedicated to your TV shows, it’s worth considering a streaming service. And if you never watch TV live at all, you might not even need a TV licence just to watch some catch-up telly.