Sometimes, you just want to change your carrier. It happens to everyone at some point and whether it be because of a new phone that some carrier has, your rates went up, your service level was downgraded or some other reason, you start looking at every other cellphone carrier other than the one you have been on for years. It happened to me because of a gift – I was given an iPhone by my grandmother who knew I thought they were pretty cool. I never would have bought one on my own at $399 but if she wants to buy me one, I will take it! The problem was that I was on Sprint and while my contract was over, my wife’s was not (even though I thought it was)…so we had to look into a way to get off their service and onto ATT’s without paying the dreaded early termination fee, or ETF. And while at first it looked like I succeeded in finding a way thanks to a postcard mailer from Sprint about a change of their Terms & Conditions, about a month after they said I was done and free and clear of the fees, I got a bill for $400 for ETF charges. Yikes! But after many phone calls and threatening legal action, I convinced someone there that they had already agreed to cancel the service without charging me the fees and we are done with them. If you are looking for a way out of your cellphone contract, here are some resources I came across that could be very helpful to you.
My Dollar Plan has one of the first posts I found that talked exclusively about Sprint and their change in T&C’s. Her post was very helpful in telling me exactly what to say and what numbers to try when contacting them. And even though I had to fight them in the end, the information contained in her post was very helpful!
Cash Money Life has some great tips on avoiding the ETF’s, transferring your contract to someone else, and the key factors in making a good complaint. He also talks about some little-known but kind of sneaky ways to get your contract canceled, such as always roaming when you are on the phone!
Chance Favors had one of his “My Two Cents” articles on getting out of a cellphone contract. Ciaran talks about the post at Cash Money Life and how he got offers from cell trading companies that he almost accepted in order to get out from his contract. In the end he went with a Spring SERO plan, but he goes through all his options along the way.
If you are serious about getting out of your cellphone contract, it might take a little bit of work and a lot of phone calls. But if you keep at it and are insistent, you will be able to find a way out. Just one last piece of advice – get the names, phone numbers, employee ID numbers, etc of every single person you speak to!
photo by airgap