Getting Out Of Your Cell Phone Contract May Be Easier Than You Think

If your new phone came with a contract, and it’s not performing as well as you expected, but you had to sign a contract in order to get service, you may think that you are beat.

In the U.S., giving users at least 14 days to exit a contract without penalties is law. Of course, this information isn’t much good to you if you’re already past those fourteen days. Smaller or regional carriers don’t tend to employ grace periods or contract termination fees, instead offering month to month or pay as you go service. So if you were lucky enough to have signed with one of these companies, getting out of your contract is not a worry.

A Closer Look at Contracts Could Be the Key

But what if you have service with a larger carrier? Looking at your contract’s fine print will reveal a lot of information about the consequences of cancelling early. One major carrier recently announced an increase in its regulatory fees. While the increase was only a few cents, it was revealed by a consumer group that this change could possibly void any existing contracts held by customers.

As a result, many that contacted the company to terminate their contracts were able to do so without penalty. So if your carrier has made changes like the one above, you may have a solution to exiting your contract with little difficulty.

Proving That Phone Issues Are Out Of Your Control

If you feel that your phone is honestly defective, or you find that the connection you’re getting with your new device is unreliable, you may be able to terminate your contract.

Try and gather as much proof as possible to back up your claim before you contact or visit your carrier. If your carrier continues to be uncooperative, you can take your evidence to other organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, who will record your claim. If this happens, your issue is officially valid, making it more likely that your carrier will release you.

Selling Your Phone to Someone Else

Online classified sites like Kijiji can offer you a way to unload a phone and contract at no cost, since posting is free. But once again, being as detailed as possible is key; try and answer all questions that may be asked, such as time left on the contract, how much you pay per month, features of your plan such as data and minutes and the make and model of your phone.

There are also sites which are now dedicated solely to the trading of cell phones and their plans. These resemble online auction sites, where those interested in taking on a phone with a plan can bid on your device. You will likely lose money here due to the commissions that most of these sites take off the top, but it can be worth it if previous attempts to rid yourself of your contract have been unsuccessful.

Your intentions to terminate a contract early may also cause your carrier to lower its early termination fees, as the last thing most carriers want is to lose you as a customer. Although it will be likely to cost you money to do this, you may end up paying far less than the original fee.


Guest author Ruth Suelemente enjoys keeping up on technology-related issues, especially in the wireless industry.  She has assembled information about 3G and 4G connections to help consumers learn more.

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