Cancelling a phone contract

Last updated Oct. 29, 2022 by Charles Zemub

If you’re thinking about canceling your cell phone contract and moving to another carrier, you should know that specific fee are associated with this transaction.

If you don’t follow the proper protocol in canceling a cell phone contract, you’ll have to pay hundreds of dollars just for the privilege of switching carriers.

But if you read this guide, we’ll show you how to avoid those fees and get out of a contract without paying them.

Get a New Contract

The first way to cancel your cellphone contract without fees is to sign with a new carrier. Then, you can call the company directly and tell them you want to leave. They will let you know if they offer promotions that would lower the cost of your phone and service plans. If not, look for a competition carrier with better deals.

When looking into getting a new contract, make sure not only not to pay any early termination fees but also don’t pay cancellation or activation fees (if necessary), other monthly charges like deposits or equipment leases, and any other mobile-related expenses (like data plans) until after you’ve confirmed that everything else works out financially on paper.

Port Your Number to another Carrier

If you’ve decided to cancel your contract and move to another carrier, the next step is to port (transfer) your number.

This means you’ll be able to keep your old phone number when you switch carriers. You can also port out a number if you want to cancel your current service and start fresh at another airline.

Porting out will allow you to cancel one contract while starting another at a different company without paying early termination fees (ETFs).

The ETF is the fee carriers charge if you leave before paying off the total cost of owning their devices and services over two years or more, depending on what kind of contract plan applies for each phone type: postpaid or prepaid.

Cancel Your Contract during the Trial Period

If you sign up for a cell phone contract, there’s typically a trial period that allows you to cancel if you’re not satisfied within the first few months.

If this is the case and you don’t find yourself using your new phone, or if there are other reasons why canceling would be in your best interest, go ahead and cancel.

Be sure to follow these tips:

  • Call Customer Service right away. Call before they have time to send any s to complete the cancellation process quickly and easily.
  • Don’t give them a reason; say, “I want out.” While some carriers may try to persuade you into staying with them by offering incentives like lower rates or free accessories (such as cases), don’t be tempted by these offers. They can come with strings attached.

Switch to a No-Contract Carrier

If you’re settled in one place and your carrier offers good coverage, then the no-contract pages are a great option. The benefits can include:

Better phone selection. As we’ve mentioned, most no-contract carriers have a better phone selection than the big four. You’ll also find that they often offer different models of the same device (for example, instead of just iPhone XS or XR, there might be an upsell to XS Max).

Better deals on plans and devices—and sometimes both. While prices vary by carrier and market (and even region), it’s not uncommon for you to find better deals with a no-contract page than what your current provider offers, especially if all the features are comparable between them (i.e., L, TE speeds).

For example, Ting charges $30 per month for unlimited talk/text and 3GB data; Sprint charges $35 for complete talk/text with 5GB data.

Verizon charges $45 per month for complete talk/text plus 8GB shared data between two lines, and AT&T charges $60 per month (or $100 if you want 4G LTE) for unlimited talk/text plus 10GB shared data between two lines—so Ting has some pretty compelling options at lower prices than its competitors here.

Better customer service and sometimes both! Most people don’t think about calling their cell phone company when they’re having trouble with their network or device because they assume that customer service doesn’t matter much anymore since everyone knows everything about their phones these days, but this isn’t true at all.

Our survey found that 91 percent of consumers say they’ve had issues explicitly related to networks or devices within 24 hours over the past year alone. Hence, it’s worth checking out any new provider before switching from yours altogether.

Buy a Light Phone

The best way to avoid paying a hefty early termination fee is to pay attention to the phone you’re buying. So if you’re planning on canceling your cell phone contract, keep these things in mind:

Buy a light phone. Phones that weigh less than 2 ounces are easier on the pocket and easier to carry around than heavier phones. They can also be held more easily with one hand while walking, driving, or talking simultaneously without worrying about dropping them.

Make sure it’s not too bulky or thick, so it fits comfortably in your pocket when closed (or open). You’ll want something easy to carry around, so you don’t have an excuse not to go outside more often.

Sell Your Phone

You can also sell your old phone to a friend, or family member, on Craigslist. But before you do, ensure that it is reset to factory settings and that all your personas have been removed from the device.

This will ensure that whoever buys the phone won’t be able to access any of your information when they turn it on for the first time.

Next, remove the SIM card and make sure it never comes into contact with any electronic devices, which means turning off Wi-Fi when you’re not using it. Hence, there’s no way anyone could accidentally connect through one of those networks (and thus gain access).

Transfer the Contract to Someone Else

If you’re not interested in keeping the phone but don’t want to pay the early termination fee, consider transferring your contract to someone else.

The person who takes over your agreement has to sign a new one with their carrier of choice and pay any applicable early termination fees.

You will be free of your old phone and contract obligations and can continue enjoying all of the perks of owning a cell phone (though maybe not quite as many).

The person taking over your contract will have to pay off any remaining payments on their current device, including paying off some or all of the purchase cost.

They’ll also have to pay an early termination fee, so make sure this is something they are open to before going into it with them.

Wait for the Expiration of the Contract

This is one of the best options if you want to cancel your cell phone contract without paying early termination fees. The only problem is that getting out of a cell phone contract can take a long time.

If you’ve been with your carrier for an extended period, then the chances are that your page won’t charge any early termination fees if you decide to cancel before the end of your contract.

However, they will probably charge a cancellation fee and any remaining costs on the line of service that were not paid by you already (like data overages).

Move Somewhere with Better Coverage

Consider moving to a place with better coverage. This option may not work for everyone, but it’s worth checking if you’re looking for an easy way to cancel your cell phone contract without paying fees.

Call your carrier and ask if they’ll let you switch providers or get out of your contract without paying the early termination fee (ETF). If they say no, ask them about getting a new phone and possibly switching carriers at that time. You may be able to do both of these things for free.

Break Up With Your Significant Other (Seriously)

If you’re in a relationship and want to break up with your significant other, there are many ways to do it. If you have some emotional connection to them or want them to be broken up with in person, this is the best way to go about it.

However, if either party desires an amicable breakup and can handle it over text or phone, that might also work for both parties involved. Just ensure that both parties are on the same page when making decisions like these because otherwise, things could get ugly quickly.

Ask for an Early Termination Fee Reduction in Writing

Send a letter by registered mail.

Include the name of the person you spoke with, the date of the conversation, and the name of the employee who took the call.

Include your reason for wanting to cancel early, including any problems or dissatisfaction with service. Also, briefly describe why you feel an ETF waiver is warranted in this case, for example, if they’ve waived fees in similar situations.

Find a Coupon Online That Will Cover Your Cost of Cancellation

If you’re willing to shop around, you may be able to find a coupon that will cover the cost of canceling your contract and paying early termination fees.

If you’re not sure how to do this, go online and search for “coupon codes” or “coupons” by carrier (ex: AT&T). You will likely find several results with links directly to the companies’ websites, where they offer deals that make it easier for customers to cancel their contracts without paying any early termination fees.

Some carriers offer coupons in several different amounts: $50 off your next bill, $100 off your following statement, etc.

Others only offer one specific amount depending on your cell phone plan or service package (for example, an iPhone 5 user might get an extra $75 off when canceling their contract).

It’s also possible that some companies will waive their early cancellation fees if someone agrees not to renew the agreement after those two years are up, meaning they don’t need any promo code.

You can use the Consumer Rights Act to cancel your contract within 14 days, even if you don’t have a reason.

You may wonder what the Consumer Rights Act is and how it applies to your cell phone contract. The Consumer Rights Act applies to all goods and services, including cell phone contracts.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, you have a 14-day cooling-off period in which you can cancel your contract without paying any fees or penalties.

This means that even if your service provider claims there are no cancellation fees for canceling early, they can’t force you to pay them anyway.

how to switch phone carriers without paying

Switching phone carriers can be a huge source of frustration, mainly because most of the options out there involve some hefty fees.

Even if you’re not on contract with your current provider, you may be subject to early termination fees or upgrade fees that could cost you hundreds of dollars.

Luckily, there’s a way to avoid these fees and switch phone carriers without paying anything. All it takes is a little time and effort.

Before you start, ensure your contract is up with your current provider. If it isn’t, you’ll have to wait until it is before making any changes.

You’ll also need to know how much time is left on your contract and your monthly bill amounts (outstanding balance) for each line.

Start by calling each carrier individually and requesting an end-of-contract buyout for each line on your account. This will result in all remaining payments being waived.

However, it will also ensure that any extra cables or services you have added during your contract will be terminated automatically, including device insurance and international calling plans.

how to get out of a 2-year contract

Whether you are a new o old customer, you’ve signed up for a two-year contract with your carrier.

You’re now expected to pay for their service for two years. Canceling a two-year contract can be nearly impossible.

Signing up for a two-year agreement means you’ll have to pay for the entire contract even if you want to exit early.

However, many cell phone carriers will offer deals for early termination, sometimes as low as $100.

Check with your provider’s store or website to see what they can do for you. But be warned: fees could be so high that it might not be worth it.


Is there any way to get out of a phone contract?

Generally, you are stuck with your mobile phone contract for the whole contract period. Unfortunately, there aren’t many ways to get out of it early, so if you’ve got some issue making your life miserable and feel like you can’t stick it out for the entire length, it’s probably not worth doing.

One way you might be able to get out of it is if your phone is lost or stolen if this happens, and your contract doesn’t have a clause allowing you to terminate the agreement; in this case, it’s time to contact your service provider and ask them.

Contact the manufacturer if your service provider is unwilling to help you exchange or repair a phone that has become unusable due to a known defect.

If neither works out for you, a few other options may be worth trying. First, you could try telling them about some troubles that might make sticking with the contract uncomfortable for you.

For example, if there’s a family emergency somewhere in your family and you feel like having to deal with things through voice calls would make things more stressful than they need to be.


What are the five ways to terminate a contract?

The five ways to terminate a contract are:

1) Breach of contract,

2) Mutual agreement of the parties,

3) Death of a party,

4) Violation of law, and

5) When the consideration for the contract is no longer valid.

What are the seven ways an offer can terminate?

1. Acceptance

2. Counter-offer

3. Withdrawal/termination by the offer

4. Revocation

5. Expiration of time or event

6. Death or incapacity of either party

7. Other causes

What is the most common way to terminate a contract?

Most contracts can be terminated in two ways: by mutual agreement between the parties or by one party suing another.

Termination by mutual agreement is, in fact, the only way that most contracts can be terminated. In other words, if there is no mutual agreement to end the contract, you are stuck with it for its entire duration.

Either party can terminate the contract by giving written notice and ending the relationship.

How can frustration terminate a contract?

Contracts can be terminated by frustration when the underlying intention of making the contract is defeated. Due to a change in circumstances, the parties’ expectations of what they will get from the agreement are not met.

The law generally requires that the party claiming frustration must prove the following:

1) A definite contractual obligation was created

2) The contract is breached

3) The party seeking to terminate the contract proves that he acted in good faith

4) The party seeking to terminate the contract proves that there has been a fundamental change of circumstances which shows that it would be unjust for him to be bound by his obligations under the contract

5) All reasonable steps have been taken to mitigate loss

Can a contract be terminated at any time?

Contracts can be terminated anytime, but there are consequences for breaking the terms. For example, if you buy a new car from a dealer and then decide to end the contract, you will likely have to pay a cancellation fee.

If you get married and then decide that marriage is not for you, your spouse may want some money in return for agreeing to end things amicably.


The best way to avoid early termination fees is to wait until your contract expires and switch carriers with no strings attached. However, if that isn’t possible, use one of these options to get out of your cell phone contract without paying fees:

Cancel before the end of the billing cycle. When you cancel service during a billing cycle (typically 30 days), providers will not charge an early termination fee if you have paid for all services provided up until that date. Of course, you’ll still have to pay any outstanding balance on your account, but it’s better than spending an extra fee on top of what’s already owed.

Return or exchange a phone as part of a trade-in program. Many major carriers offer a trade-in program in which they give discounts when customers return their old phones in exchange for new ones—these rebates can be applied toward the purchase price or taken off directly from your bill at the time of purchase.

For example, T-Mobile offers up $300 off when customers turn in their current device and buy another one from them within 30 days; Sprint offers up to $240 off per line when customers trade in an eligible previous-generation iPhone 6S or newer model; Verizon offers up to $200 off per line with its Activation Fee Credit promotion.

We hope you found these tips helpful! You may think waiting is the best way to avoid early termination fees, but that’s not always possible. If you must cancel your contract early (for example, if it’s not working out with your significant other), use one of these options to get out of your cell phone contract without paying fees.

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