Q:

How do you close a cellphone account?

A:

Quick Answer

Cancel your cellphone service by contacting your carrier and asking to cancel it. If you cancel before the end of the contract or owe money on devices purchased through an installment plan, carriers often charge early termination fees and the balance of the installment agreement.

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Full Answer

Sometimes it is possible to cancel the account while avoiding additional fees. Some carriers offer to pay early termination fees for the old phone if you switch to qualified plans. If the person holding the contract dies or the carrier changes the terms of the contract, canceling without paying fees is also possible. Cellphone customers who move outside the carrier's area of service often have the option of canceling the contract as well.

If a friend or family member accepts responsibility for the contract, the original holder receives a release. Online services exist to help cellphone customers wanting out of their contract to connect with customers willing to take over the responsibility. However, these services often charge a fee. Customers looking to end a contract this way often transfer their phones to the person taking over the contract and pay for the first month of service.

Some customers report escaping the early termination fee by asking, but this is a rare occurrence. If you want to get out of a contract because of poor service, report any problems to your carrier to increase your likelihood of breaking the contract without a fee.

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