How to Not Pay the Termination Fee for Cellular Service

By Paul Lin

As the fine print decreases and monthly fees increase, you may need a way out of your contract without facing early termination fee penalties. Switching to a plan to match your needs while getting out of your service contract before it expires can be a pain. Nevertheless, like all contracts, there are several loopholes you can utilize to break a contract without having to pay a penny for termination fees.

Things You'll Need

  • Telephone
  • Service Contract


Step 1

Transfer your service contract to family or friends. You and the person you are transferring the contract to must be present either by phone or at your service provider store. Ask your service provider representative to perform an Assumption of Liability. The Assumption of Liability terms legally transfers the contract to the other person. The representative will give the other person a copy of the contract conditions and he must sign and acknowledge the terms.

Step 2

Move away from the service provider's coverage area. You can physically move away from the service grid of the service provider or transfer your address to a location that is off the grid. Speak with a service representative about your alleged "move" and he will most likely cancel your contract without you having to pay the termination fees. You must be prepared to provide documentation regarding a change in address.

Step 3

Wait until your current cell phone service expires. The only way a cell phone service company can ensure you fulfill your obligations to the contract is by applying an early termination fee. Check with the service provider to see when your contract expires. If your contract expires soon, waiting out the contract may be the best way to avoid early termination fees.

Step 4

Find changes in the contract you initially signed with the service provider. Service companies are required by law to notify their users about any changes within your contract. If you receive a notice about these changes, this could be an option for opting out of your contract early without termination fees. Choose to disagree with the new terms of the contract. With persistency and possibly complaining from you, they are required to honor your cancellation request free of charge.

Step 5

Return your new phone and cancel within two weeks of your contract. This option is the easiest but only applies to a new contract that has not exceeded the 14-day grace period. You must return the phone and accessories in order to utilize the return policy.