It's well-known that service providers (like phone and electricity) would rather retain a customer than sign up a new one, and you can use that fact to get a better deal by calling them and threatening to switch providers. You'll get much better results if you can identify a specific deal and say you're about to sign up, rather than just generally threatening to switch.Picture from Gizmodo's Power Shooting Challenge
Blogger and tech journalist Neerav Bhatt details how he got a better deal from his power company by calling them and saying he was about to sign with an alternative provider, offering specific details of what was on offer. Using Google, you can easily identify deals on offer in your state. As well as looking at rivals, it's also worth checking what your current provider offers: if they have a new customer special, you can mention that as well:
I made it clear I was disappointed by that my electricity company was offering new customers a deal of 7% off usage fees and a once off $150 credit on their first electricity bill and not making much of an effort to keep me, an existing good long term customer who has always paid my bills on time. Suddenly the customer service representative “discovered” an additional deal they could make: 7% off usage fees if I signed a 2 year contract and $100 credit off my next electricity bill.
Hit the link for the full details of Neerav's experience, and share any useful negotiating tips of your own in the comments.
Cut Your Australian Electricity Bill By Threatening To Switch Providers [Rambling Thoughts]