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How To Cancel Cell Phone Contracts Without Penalty

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By Regina

Do you hate your cell phone contract?

Is service spotty no matter where you are?

Perhaps you have other problems with your current cell phone provider.

This can be very frustrating, and figuring out how to cancel cell phone contracts is no piece of cake either!

Canceling your cell phone service contract isn’t impossible. You just need to know what to do.

Keep these 3 things in mind before canceling any cell phone contracts:

  1. Many cell phone carriers can charge up to $350 per line to cancel your cell phone contract before it expires. This is very expensive, and you will want to avoid this at all costs.
  2. Cell phone carriers cannot change the contract without your permission. If a cell phone carrier makes such a change (like if Verizon changes its contract), then this could be your opportunity to get out of the contract. Keep in mind, there are rules for canceling this way though, and you will have to talk to a manager.
  3. Be extremely careful when buying your cell phone service contract from a kiosk. Kiosks are not the cell phone carriers; instead they are 3rd party distributors.

How To Cancel A Mobile Phone Contract

So, how do you actually cancel cell phone contracts? Try these ways that others have successfully used to get out of theirs:

  • Move to a blackout area, or just change the address to somewhere that is in the blackout area. If you do this last part, then be prepared to have a couple other pieces of mail as proof that you’ve actually moved.
  • If you’ve moved to a new location and your cell phone doesn’t work in that area, let your cell phone company know. In most cases, they will let you out of the contract early. Some even suggest finding an address that does not have service and then calling the cell phone company and saying that you will be moving there, but there’s no service. (Of course I’ve also heard of people tethering their cell phone to their PC and downloading as many bit torrent files as they can — because that nearly always results in the phone being deactivated and the cell phone contract becoming null and void.)
  • Keep your eyes open for changes in your contract that are materially adverse to you. Each carrier defines this differently. Because of this, it’s a good idea to find out how your carrier defines “materially adverse” before using it as a reason to break your contract for free.
  • If you’re really unhappy with your cell phone contract, call your carrier often and complain. Be sure that you get a confirmation number each time — so you have proof you called them. After a few times, if your service has not changed, then call them and tell them you are still not happy and that you are going to contact the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, and the State Attorney General’s office where their company is incorporated. Then do so, and keep a copy of everything so you have a paper trail. Cell phone carriers don’t like this and will, in most cases, let you cancel your cell phone contract without penalties.

Prepaid Phone Plans Are Good Too

If you’re tired of the fixed-year contracts, you could always go with a pre-paid cell phone plan instead. This might be a helpful option until you study the cell phone contracts of a couple providers to find the best one for you.

Most of the major carriers — including T-MobileSprint, AT&T, and Verizon — have their own pre-paid plans, so it’s definitely something to consider from a convenience standpoint as well. In fact, if you already have a contract with them, then they might consider switching you from your contract to pre-paid without a penalty!

UPDATE: How To Get Out Of Your Phone Contract Without Paying A Dime!