When you look for a new phone deal, it pays to scope out the current deals available across the market, even if you would rather stay with your current network.

If you find a better price or a better package than the one your provider offers, you can use this as a bargaining tool to push your current provider down in price.

Price match promises

You should also look out for price match promises on the deals you're interested in. This means that if you can find the same package or phone elsewhere at a better price than you paid, the place you bought it from will refund the difference.

Price match promises are offered by most networks, although sometimes a price-match won't extend between networks (eg from EE to Vodafone).

If you can find a price match on a phone or package identical to the one your provider is offering, it's worth using this as ammunition to haggle for a better price.

Play the competition game

The market of mobile phone tariffs is incredibly competitive and so you, as the consumer, have a considerable amount of power.

To take advantage of this fact you should always haggle when your current contract is coming to an end.

If you can show your provider that you can get a better deal elsewhere - and that you are prepared to move for it - they are likely to bring your deal down in price so that they don't lose you as a customer.

How to haggle for a better phone deal

Once you've found a deal that you want with another network you should call your network provider and tell them that you're planning to switch. It's best to call about a month before your contract is due to end so you get to reap the benefits of a cheaper plan right away.

Ask them to match the deal you've found; that might mean lowering the price of your tariff, or offering you more texts or minutes for what you're currently paying.

If they refuse, ask to be put through to their disconnections department. You'll then speak to someone who will try to persuade you to stay, working for what's often known as the customer retention department.

It's likely that you'll speak to someone who will try to persuade you to stay on a standard package. However, there's scope for you to haggle - simply say that you'd like to stay but you've seen better deals elsewhere. Generally this will prompt your provider to offer you a better deal in order to keep you.

As soon as you sense that they're budging an inch, push for a mile and ask for everything you'd ideally want in your mobile phone plan.

Remember that you can change your mind at any point during this process if they don't seem to be budging.

But if you really can get a better deal elsewhere it's a good idea to go for it and move as soon as your contract is up so you don't end up paying any more than you need to.