Author Topic: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract  (Read 5091 times)

COlady

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Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« on: October 27, 2014, 09:53:43 AM »
When we moved to our current carrier about 1 year ago the service was pretty good.  Then they decided to start "upgrading" the towers in our city and since then we have no service in certain places in our neighborhood, about 50% of our calls drop, data is none existent in some areas etc.  I've called and talked to a Manager and tried to get out of our contract without a cancellation fee because they aren't honoring their side of the contract - the service is horrible! Their come back is "the contact does not guarantee that you will have service in all areas all the time" and "I see here that you've used XXX number of minutes this month and XX gigs of data so surely you're able to use your voice, texting, and internet".  They're not going for it at all. 

Then last weekend I went back to my hometown for a few days and found that I had absolutely no service there. As in there was an X in the service bar.  I called customer service on my dad's phone and they said I was in an "out-of-network roaming area that is not compatible with my device and came back with - we do not guarantee service in all areas and on all devices".  I'm so sick of this crap.

I then came up with the less than honest idea of "moving" to this out of coverage area to get out of the plan.  I asked what I would need to provide to prove the change in address and they said a lease agreement would be sufficient.  I asked my mom is she'd be okay with me "leasing" her house from her (she has a different last name than husband and I).  I told my husband about my idea last night and he is livid.  He said this is a horrible idea and that he will not put his name of the lease agreement (it would have to be because the plan is in his name).  He says he would just call and try and talk his way out of the contract but that I ruined this for him because I told them we might be moving and now they have put notes on our account indicating such.  I explained to him that I've tried talking my way out of it multiple times and that they aren't having it.  He says I just don't know what to say....

Anyway, is the lease agreement idea horrible? I don't feel bad defrauding them because they aren't giving us even decent service but my husband seems to think I'm evil for even thinking about doing this.

Daley

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 10:41:44 AM »
Anyway, is the lease agreement idea horrible? I don't feel bad defrauding them because they aren't giving us even decent service but my husband seems to think I'm evil for even thinking about doing this.

I'm with your husband on this as two wrongs don't make a right... this sort of attitude just bloodies everyone and makes the world a worse place.

There are other ways out of a contract than just "moving" to a dead zone. There's lemon law issues with phones, there's trying to have them produce the contract with your signatures, there's FTC and BBB complaints (if justified), you can sell off your contract to someone who wants the service, there's just biting the bullet and paying the ETF, you can reject any terms of service changes you receive...

I don't normally like to link WikiHow articles, but this one is a pretty decent one covering all your options (and many of the ones I mentioned in greater depth): How to Get out of a Cellular Service Contract

The point is, you can get out of the contract with some persistence... but be prepared to lose your numbers in the process.

Finally, mind if I ask what carrier you're dealing with, and do you have a replacement provider already lined up? Might I also suggest you give the guide a read as well before going any further.

COlady

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 02:23:11 PM »
Over 100 views and only 1 reply....opinions please people.

begood

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 02:35:42 PM »
I think most of us take I.P. Daley's word as the definitive answer on any topic related to cell phones. He's gained a lot of credibility around here as the go-to guy for these kinds of questions. So the fact that he answered you may mean that others feel you've already received as good an answer as you're likely to get.

FarmerPete

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 02:53:15 PM »
I know their network is on the small side, but T-Mobile will buy you out of your contract if you switch to them.  How long do you have left on your contract, and who is it with?

I haven't had good luck arguing with any cell carriers as far as contracts.  Basically, they are programmed to tell you that a contact is binding and irrevocable.  I had a situation where we had 1 line out of contract and 4 lines under contract.  One of the people under contract had to drop their cell phone.  I asked Verizon to transfer the remainder of the contract for that line to the one that was not currently under contract.  They refused.  I asked if they could transfer the phone number from the out of contract line to the one we wanted to cancel.  They refused.  I flat out told the manager that they had a choice.  They could either accommodate me and make me happy, or not and I would be upset.  End result is the same number of lines on Verizon and the same monthly payment to them.  They had no financial incentive to not accommodate me.  My contracts would be the same if they helped me or hurt me, but in one instance I would be a happy customer and in the other I'd be pissed.  It didn't seem to phase them at all.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2014, 04:00:08 PM »
Without knowing which carrier you're currently with, it's hard to make suggestions.  As FarmerPete pointed out, T-Mobile will pay for early termination fees IF you switch to T-Mobile, BUT... that doesn't help if you're: 1) currently WITH T-Mobile, or 2) T-Mobile doesn't have a strong signal in your area. 

It would be helpful to know:
a) your current carrier,
b) other carrier's you know to have good signal in your area,
c) length of time remaining on your contract  (we're all assuming 12 months, but may be mistaken), and
d) $ amount needed to 'buy out' your current contract.

Jags4186

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2014, 04:20:39 PM »
If you are on Sprint you could flash your PRL and force your phone to roam on Verizon towers. Then watch some Netflix or YouTube going way over your roaming allotment and likely getting a letter from Sprint saying they will be terminating your service. That's what I did a few years ago.

COlady

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2014, 11:57:49 AM »
Sorry for the delay in responding.  I am currently in a contract with Sprint.

COlady

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2014, 11:59:33 AM »
T-Mobile doesn't have great reception where we're at - we'd likely go with Verizon.  I can't do the roaming on Verizon towers on my Sprint phone where I currently live (I don't think) because I have Sprint reception, it's just not good.

COlady

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2014, 12:00:54 PM »
Without knowing which carrier you're currently with, it's hard to make suggestions.  As FarmerPete pointed out, T-Mobile will pay for early termination fees IF you switch to T-Mobile, BUT... that doesn't help if you're: 1) currently WITH T-Mobile, or 2) T-Mobile doesn't have a strong signal in your area. 

It would be helpful to know:
a) your current carrier,
b) other carrier's you know to have good signal in your area,
c) length of time remaining on your contract  (we're all assuming 12 months, but may be mistaken), and
d) $ amount needed to 'buy out' your current contract.

a) Sprint
b) Verizon
c) 9 months
d) $350 per line X 2 lines = $700

Daley

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Re: Get Out of Cell Phone Contract
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2014, 03:16:49 PM »
a) Sprint
b) Verizon
c) 9 months
d) $350 per line X 2 lines = $700

a/c/d) Sprint's ETF on smartphones since September of 2011 is $20 multiplied by the remainder of months left on contract with a maximum of $350 and a minimum of $100. By your own numbers, your ETF is not $700, it's $360.
b) With the exception of a couple small patches in the upper NW corner of the state of Colorado (around Meeker/Maybelle/Hamilton) and the NE corner (around Akron/Yuma/Heartstrong/Clarkville/Dailey/Holyoke), AT&T's coverage footprint is fairly comparable to Verizon's in your neck of the woods (excuse some glaring chunks of small town Wyoming and Nebraska). Unless you live in or travel to one of those towns (or states) on a regular basis, you could go AT&T just as easily as you could Verizon. This can open up a far greater range of options and price points.

Over 100 views and only 1 reply....opinions please people.

My first post provided all you needed for legal and reasonable methods out of your contract, and I linked you to a guide to help you through finding a cheaper alternative with any number of carriers that will give you good coverage in your area. There's not much left to add unless you want validation to do something unethical.