Author Topic: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up  (Read 4113 times)

baniak

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early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« on: November 11, 2013, 09:23:51 AM »
So, back in the day (early 2012) I let myself get talked into/I talked myself into joining an AT&T family plan with my SO, originally with a dumbphone that "only" cost me $50/month. In May of this year, when I became eligible, I just plain ol' talked myself into getting an iPhone 4S, and the resulting $90/month for that plan. (plus $100 for the device.)

This is a $90/month gaping wound in my finances, and I was wondering what I could do to stop the bleeding.

So, here's the math (assuming I keep using a smart phone, which I will):

Sucking it up: $90*18 months = $1620
Early termination: $320 (early termination fee) - $60 (6 months * $10/month of service) + $250 (for a new device) + $45*18 months (for Straight Talk/other MVNO) = $1320

Worst case, it looks like I could save $300 over the next year and a half. If I cut down on the device cost by $100, and the phone plan to $30/month I could end up saving $650.

Is there anything else I'm missing? What are the other downfalls of early termination of a cell phone contract?

Daley

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Re: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 09:28:34 AM »
Is there anything else I'm missing? What are the other downfalls of early termination of a cell phone contract?

You're missing better, cheaper MVNO plans than StraightTalk. Make sure you only pay for what you need and don't get suckered in by the siren song of huge data caps and "unlimited" services. There are no other downfalls if you come out ahead on paying off the ETF. You're free to go and do whatever you please with the equipment you have.

Have some useful links:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-isps-voip-cell/
http://www.techmeshugana.com/2013/05/how-to-save-money-with-an-iphone/
http://www.techmeshugana.com/tools/wirelessroi.html

baniak

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Re: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 10:27:59 AM »
Thanks for the advice and links re: other MVNOs.

the fixer

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Re: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 12:57:54 PM »
You may be able to sell your contract to someone, especially if you throw the phone into the deal. See http://celltradeusa.com/ and http://www.trademycellular.com/

I don't have any personal experience with this, but I found out about these while trying to help someone in a similar situation as you. I'm interested in what others have to say.

Miss Growing Green

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Re: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 01:00:44 PM »
For MVNOs, I use Republic Wireless and love them.  You have to buy a $99 phone upfront, but you get UNLIMITED talk text and data for $19 a month.  Yay.

Daley

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Re: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 01:16:22 PM »
Once again, Republic Wireless is one of those providers that doesn't stand up to scrutiny and the math... just like Ooma. Details are in the already linked Superguide. It's wasteful and it's the very worst sort of hardware and vendor lock-in, all because your greedy "unlimited" buttons are being pushed in the advertising copy. Far better service can be had for less.

A perfectly good phone has already been purchased, and the ETF payoff will let you unlock it accordingly and reuse it if you insist on sticking with the smartphone hedonic adaptation treadmill. iPhones are horribly wasteful, but so is discarding a perfectly good phone because you can't take it with you to another carrier is even worse.

oldtoyota

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Re: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 07:45:18 PM »
At the risk of setting off my PTSD at having to deal with ETFs and T-Scoundrel, I second looking at the Superguide. Listen to IP. You do not need unlimited. I can attest to the fact that you can live without constant access to the internet.

Although I got AirVoice Wireless, it might not be the right for one you. Read the superguide and do your homework. You can get there and enjoy great savings.


baniak

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Re: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 08:51:03 AM »
One last question I had is what is the likelihood that as part of Early Termination they will ask me to return my iPhone - I'm with AT&T. I'm not attached to it, just would be happier not having to buy a new phone.

madage

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Re: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 09:18:46 AM »
One last question I had is what is the likelihood that as part of Early Termination they will ask me to return my iPhone - I'm with AT&T. I'm not attached to it, just would be happier not having to buy a new phone.

AT&T doesn't want your phone. AT&T is much more interested in the fee they will charge to cancel your service. One more thing - make sure you get them to unlock your phone!

alanwbaker

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Re: early termination of phone contract vs. sucking it up
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 08:55:25 PM »
Bite the bullet and stop the bleeding then find an unlocked phone and an MVNO.

6 months ago I did this with a Google Nexus 4 and AirVoice's $10 a month plan and I'm very pleased.