Advertisement

Cost of living For Members

How to negotiate a better mobile deal from your Norwegian provider

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
How to negotiate a better mobile deal from your Norwegian provider
While there's no guarantee that your negotiations will work out how you hope, with a bit of patience and savvy negotiation tactics, you can actually get somewhere. Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

When it comes to mobile plans, Norway's prices tend to be higher than those in neighbouring countries. But fear not – The Local's Robin-Ivan Capar is here to guide you through his firsthand experience, revealing step-by-step instructions on securing a more affordable mobile plan deal.

Advertisement

Moving to Norway brings with it a checklist of tasks you need to complete, and obtaining a Norwegian phone number often tops the list as it is required to access some of the country's essential services.

Yet, for many newcomers, mobile plan prices in Norway may seem overly expensive. If you, too, share that impression, you should know that your gut feeling is justified.

READ MORE: Why are mobile plans in Norway so expensive?

The Norwegian mobile market is largely controlled by two major players, Telenor and Telia, with their subsidiaries exerting significant influence.

This virtual duopoly sets the stage for limited competition, resulting in higher prices and fewer incentives for mobile providers to offer competitive deals.

That doesn't mean you just need to go with what you're offered. On the contrary, while Norwegian mobile users tend to exhibit loyalty to their current providers and are reluctant to switch even in the face of better offers, you'll often get a cheaper and superior deal if you're willing to put in some work and switch providers in the process.

We're about to get very concrete – I'll share the simple tactics I have successfully used on two occasions, as well as scripts I used to get several superior offers.

The best part? It took me only one hour of my time – so it was definitely worth it.

Step 1: Familiarise yourself with the details of your current deal

In this process, you'll be in touch with several mobile plan providers, so it's important to know your numbers.

How much does your current mobile plan cost you monthly with and without VAT? How much data does it include (in gigabytes)? Have you signed a contract with your provider (for example, 24 and 36-month contracts are both pretty common)?

Write all of this down on a pad or in a Word document before you move to the next step – which is hunting for offers.

READ MORE: What foreigners in Norway should know when choosing a mobile plan provider

Step 2: Getting offers from other providers

Okay, so now that you know exactly what you're working with, it's time to collect offers from other mobile plan providers.

The method I have used on several occasions is to use the service offered by bytt.no, one of Norway's largest online price comparison platforms for a number of products and services (from mobile plans and electricity to insurance - and more).

The first thing you'll need to do is set up a profile on bytt.no. The process is simple and really user-friendly; it took me just a few minutes to complete.

Once you're done and logged into your account, return to the bytt.no homepage, select "Mobilabonnement" (mobile plans) from the drop-down menu in the header bar, and click on "Sammenlign tilbud" (compare offers).

Then, select "Privat" (private), as you're a private individual and not a company. You'll need to answer a few short questions about mobile network preferences and fill out your contact information.

After you're done, you'll get offers from three mobile plan providers. The process works extremely fast. The last time I completed it, I received two calls from providers within 10 minutes of using the service.

Note: You can also follow the status of your request via bytt.no through your account on the website. There, you'll see the providers processing your request and the status of your inquiry.

Advertisement

Step 3: Negotiation time

It's game time. Once the providers start calling you (they'll usually start with a call and follow up with an email), it's important to stay cool-headed.

Don't reveal too much; keep your cards close to your chest. My approach to these situations can boil down to a simple formula – being to the point and plain out asking for a better deal.

READ MORE: How to switch to a Norwegian phone number

Here's a rough script that has worked for me (once in 2023 and once in 2024):

Hello! Thanks for calling back so quickly.

Yes, I'm looking to change my mobile plan provider as I'm not happy with the current deal that I have.

I would be willing to consider switching to you if you can offer me a monthly price of (insert a price that is better than your current one, I usually go around 25 percent lower, which leaves some negotiating room open) and (insert desired number of GB per month).

Are you able to offer that?

Some providers won't be able to offer the terms you need, but many will counter with an offer that is superior to the one you have (in my experience, two of three offers that I got through negotiations with providers were better than my current deal).

Advertisement

Step 4: Choosing a better deal

If you got the terms you requested (or if you're happy with the offer you got despite it not being everything you wanted), you can often seal the deal while you're on the phone with a representative (they will usually send you their offer via SMS, and you'll need to accept it via SMS to initiate the switch).

The next part is often so painless that you'll be left pleasantly surprised.

Your new provider will contact your old provider to organise the switch, and they will send a new SIM card to your address.

Once you get the new SIM card, all that will be left for you to do is to activate it – and enjoy the benefits of a better mobile plan.

Advertisement

…or using the better offer to have your provider improve your terms

Alternatively, you can use the new offers you received to negotiate better terms with your current provider.

Just call them, and feel free to use this script, which has worked for me in the past:

Hello!

I'm calling because I'm considering switching to a different mobile plan provider, as I got a really good offer from them.

However, I've been a customer of (insert your provider's name) for (insert the number of months/years), and I have generally been satisfied with your services.

If we can find a way for you to match their offer, I would be willing to remain your customer.

At this point of the conversation, the provider agent you contacted will likely switch you over to a department/colleague dealing exclusively with customer retention.

In some cases, they will not be willing to match the offer you got from competitors. However, in many cases, they'll be willing to match the terms. And that means you won't have to bother switching SIM cards (a minor inconvenience, but still).

Advertisement

Closing note: Don't bluff, prepare in advance

It's important that you actually invest the 30-45 minutes it takes to create a profile on bytt.no, get offers, and negotiate deals before you reach out to your current provider and ask for a price cut (that is if you plan on staying with them).

This allows you to negotiate from a position of certainty – if they refuse to improve their terms, you can thank them and inform them that you're putting your money where your mouth is and switching providers.

Bluffs can work some of the time, but by doing your homework, you get a solid overview of the options you can expect in the market, as well as a higher level of confidence, which ensures that you're well-positioned to succeed in negotiating your way into paying less to mobile plan providers.

You can also follow this same process to secure a better electricity, insurance, or loan deal – start by building up your negotiation skills on a mobile plan and work your way up to the big-ticket items once you've found some success.

And that's it!

While there's no guarantee that your negotiations will work out how you hope, my story is proof that sometimes, with a bit of patience and savvy negotiation tactics, you can actually get somewhere.

More

Comments

Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also