General Question

miltonandmichele's avatar

How can you get out of a contract with your cell phone provider?

Asked by miltonandmichele (19points) January 11th, 2008

I read that the contract allows cell phone companies to recoup the $$ they lose by celling the phones at reduced rates to lure you into signing up. In my case, I had a very basic flip phone and when my wife upgraded, i took her Palm Treo 650. It’s a used phone that has already been paid for so why do i need to be locked into this contract?

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10 Answers

ccatron's avatar

depending on the provider, you will usually pay a fee to end your contract. Verizon, for instance, charges $250 to end a contract.

GeauxTigers's avatar

The other way is to make them drop you. You’ll hear of horror stories of phone companies dropping people who call support too often and such. But that’s a long shot, you’re best just sticking it out and not renewing the contract.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Try and tell them that you are mad that they have been handing over mass phone records to the govt with FISA and NSA. The govt is trying to give telecom companies immunity for doing this. Im not 100% sure, but I don’t think the immunity has been granted yet.

figbash's avatar

I’ve tried to wiggle my way out a contract, and they just appear to be ironclad. That’s pretty much how they make all of their money…

Spargett's avatar

There are quite a few websites that broker between two parties looking to trade providers, each party absorbs the remainder of the existing contract. You pay a small fee for getting connected, something like $15.

Either that or you can have a friend take over your existing contract, which I did with my girlfriend and T-Mobile.

Another thing you can do is wait for a “material change” in the contract (increase in text messaging costs for example), which voids the original agreement and allows you to terminate the said agreement without penalty, since the original party made changes to the agreed contract. I did this with Sprint. The law is on you side in this case.

GeauxTigers's avatar

The law may be on your side, but the carrier isn’t going to help you along. They’ll be as discreet as possible about the change, and be prepared for customer service reps who will play (be?) clueless – and simply refuse.

ccatron's avatar

why not just pay the fee? if you sign a contract that says you will pay a fee if you decide to end the contract, why should you be able to get out of it?

jz1220's avatar

I just got out of my contract with Verizon through a loophole in the agreement I signed. About two months ago, they increased the text message fee from 15 cents to 20 cents. In the agreement, there is a clause that states that if a change is made (like to the price of a text message), the customer may cancel the service within 60 days of notice without having to pay the early termination fee. That’s what I did, and it worked.

You can find details on the slickdeals or howardforums forums if you search under ”(cell phone provider) ETF” (ETF for Early Termination Fee).

JackAdams's avatar

A guy I knew, ended his cell phone agreement very easily, after his wife made a telephone call to the service provider and said, “This is Mrs. [name] and my husband no longer needs his cellular telephone, unless you think he might get a phone call in his casket.”

She convinced them (with tears and words) that he had recently died, and they believed her and cancelled his contract and service, immediately, with no no further charges nor penalties of any kind.

Strauss's avatar

Sometimes, if you are changing carriers the new carrier will help you pay the ETF

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