When can you cancel a phone contract for free?
In some situations, you can terminate your mobile phone contract without paying anything extra. If you agree to the contract online or over the phone, then it will come with a cooling-off period. This is 14 days, during which you can cancel the contract for free. However, if you use the phone services during that time, then you will still have to pay for what you use. The cooling-off period does not apply if you sign a contract in person, such as in a store. You can cancel mid-contract at any time if your provider raises the price. They should give you a notice period of 30 days so that you can cancel before the prices go up. This does not apply if you have an initial discount period as an offer on your contract. Unfortunately, there is no law in place for cancelling a contract because of bad service. It will depend on whether your provider offers some kind of “acceptable network satisfaction guarantee” as part of your contract.
What are mobile phone cancellation fees?
Other than the reasons outlined above, you will not be able to break your phone contract without paying. First of all, most networks charge an “early termination fee” when you cancel before your contract ends. There could be a flat fee for leaving early, which may be anywhere from £10 to £50. On top of that, the provider will charge you a lump sum of what you owe them for the rest of the contract period. The earlier you break your contract, the higher this amount will be. You can calculate how much you might expect to pay if you know how many months are left on the contract and how much you pay every month. Multiply these together and that is how much it will cost to pay off the contract so that you can leave early. You can transfer your number to another network for free by requesting a PAC. However, if your handset is locked to the network, then they may charge you another fee to unlock it for you.
What is the cancellation fee for my phone network?
The cancellation fee for ending your contract early will vary. It depends on your contract type, how long is left on the contract, and your network provider. You should check your contract terms and conditions to confirm it exactly.
BT Cancellation Fee: The cost of cancelling a SIM Only contract early depends on your data plan. The fee ranges from £6.25 per remaining month to £28.50 per remaining month. Pay Monthly cancellation fees depend on your handset plan, and you may need to return the handset to BT. You can check the Early Termination Charges here.
EE Cancellation Fee: EE will enforce an Early Termination Charge of 96% of the monthly charges that remain, but minus the VAT. Even if you cancel at the end of the minimum term, they can enforce a Notice Period Charge. This means that you will still have to pay EE for the following 30 days whether you continue to use their service or not.
Giffgaff Cancellation Fee: There isn’t an early termination fee for Giffgaff, because you do not have a fixed-term contract. They allow you to cancel or change your “goodybag” whenever you like. However, the credit on your Pay As You Go SIM is not refundable. You can continue paying for a Giffgaff handset separately through RateSetter.
iD Mobile Cancellation Fee: You can return iD Mobile purchases instore within 14 days or online within 30 days. After that, there is a fee if you decide to leave your contract early. You can view the estimated cancellation cost in the “end my plan” section of your iD Mobile account. The plan will keep running for 30 days after you ask to cancel.
O2 Cancellation Fee: O2 simply requires you to give 30 days’ notice and then pay off the remaining balance on your contract before you can leave. They will deduct the VAT from this amount, so it could be less than you expect. The final bill will still include any out-of-bundle charges and a lump sum for the remaining balance on any device plan.
Plusnet Cancellation Fee: Since they only offer SIM Only rolling contracts, you don’t have to worry about any early termination charges from Plusnet. You do have to give 30 days’ notice to cancel it, but then all you have to pay for is the remaining 30 days. If you cancel mid-30 days you will still have to pay the full price of service for that period.
Sky Mobile Cancellation Fee: As with BT, Sky Mobile calculate early termination fees according to your data plan and how many months are left on your contract term. It can range from £2.41 per month to £14.85 per month. You can try to reduce this amount by cancelling any extras on your plan before cancelling the actual contract for good.
Tesco Mobile Cancellation Fee: If you cancel your Tesco Mobile contract, they will not charge any extra fee. They only ever charge a lump sum of the monthly subscription multiplied by the remaining months. The final bill includes any recent usage and the line rental for the last month. If you have Tesco Mobile insurance it is a separate contract.
Three Cancellation Fee: The termination fee for Three mobile contracts also works out at the total of the remaining monthly charges for your contract term. However, they detract a variable discount from this amount. The discount is currently 20% but it can change at any time. You can check the price guides for each type of Three contract here.
Virgin Mobile Cancellation Fee: If you cancel early, Virgin will charge you the full monthly price for the 30-day cancellation notice period. Then they will charge you 46% of the remaining charges on your contract. This early disconnection fee is much lower than other mobile networks. However, it can still be expensive to cancel early.
Vodafone Cancellation Fee: There is a 30-day network guarantee at Vodafone. This allows you to cancel within the first 30 days without paying an exit fee. After that, and before the end of the minimum term, you must pay an early exit fee to leave. This will be 98% of the total of the remaining monthly payments on your contract, minus the VAT.
How can you avoid phone contract cancellation fees?
There are a few ways that you can try to side-step cancellation charges if you are not happy with your phone contract. If the problem is your handset, you could upgrade this outside of your SIM contract. Simply buy a new SIM-free unlocked phone and transfer your contract SIM. You can recycle or sell your old phone then change to a SIM-only contract when it does expire. If you are unhappy about poor coverage, then complain to your network. They might be able to improve it for you rather than giving you no choice but to switch providers. If affordability is the problem, downgrade the plan as much as possible to reduce the price. Or you could ask to put your account on hold temporarily. If you really want to leave your contract, then transfer it to someone else who can take over. You could ask the network you want to join if they could take over your contract from the previous network to secure it.
What happens if you do not pay your phone bill?
It may be tempting to just stop paying your phone bill and start a new contract with another provider. Unfortunately, it is not that easy to get out of a previous contract. You agreed to the terms and conditions when you signed it. This means that you have a legal obligation to pay for the length of time specified or adhere to the cancellation policy. If you do not uphold the contract then you cannot continue to use the services. Therefore, if your account goes into arrears, then the network could suspend your services. They could disconnect your phone and pass the debt on to a debt collection agency, who will pursue you for the money that you owe. You can complain about wrong charges or ask them if you can spread your payments out instead. Otherwise, you must pay up according to your contract.
How do you cancel a mobile phone contract?
There is no simple one-click method to cancel something as complicated as a mobile phone contract. The provider will need to discuss the terms of your contract with you first. They also need to speak to you directly, either on the phone or in writing, to confirm your identity and your wishes to leave the contract. You will need to give the 30-days notice and secure a deal with another provider in the meantime. Request a PAC from your current provider if you want to transfer your number to the new network. You can usually find advice on cancelling contracts on the mobile provider’s website. You can also ask them for an estimation of your cancellation costs first. Then, if you are unable to afford it right now, you can work out when you will be able to afford to cancel. Your provider may try to offer you a discount or extra service to persuade you to stay on their network. It is your choice to go ahead and cancel or not.