Cancelling your contract with your phone company

Cancelling your phone contract can seem like a chore. Whether it’s because you don’t like the service you’re provided with, leaving the UK or find a service that better tends to your needs, cancelling your contract can be a difficult and expensive task. With that in mind, we have created a guide to make the process quick and simple for you.

How do I leave my current provider?

When it comes to cancelling your contract, the most common way is to call up your provider. They will take you through a set of stages and questions regarding your contract and ask you why you’d like to end it. This is then followed by a 30 day cancellation period which allows you to restore your contract if you have any second thoughts.

When it comes to GiffGaff, however, this changes. They state that you’re not bound by a contract and can change it on a month by month basis, similar to a gym membership. All you have to do to leave your contract is simply retract your card details from their system. If you leave early in the month and still have credit remaining it will be refunded into your account.

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Does it cost money to leave your contract early?

Within the mobile service market, there is a trend when it comes to contract cancellation. O2, for example, will charge you based on how many months are left on your contact without the tax (20%). They follow this base rate when customers want to leave early.

Example: You’re on a 12-month contract costing £20 a month (incl VAT) and decide to disconnect after six months. This means you’ll pay an early termination charge covering the last six months of your contract.

Your early termination charge is calculated as 6 x £16 (VAT removed at 20% from the £20 contract), which gives an early termination charge of £96.00.

Other companies seem to follow a similar trend and use it as a way to sell their products. For example, EE uses this base rate but reduce their costs further by 4%. This might not seem like much, but if the contract has a lot of time left until it ends, 4% can make a big difference.

Example: You’re on a 12-month contract costing £40 a month (incl VAT) and decide to disconnect after six months. This means you’ll pay an early termination charge covering the last six months of your contract.

Your early termination charge is calculated as 4 x £32 (VAT removed at 20% from the £40 contract) which give you £128. Then subtract 4% from £128 to give you a final fee of £122.88

Can I keep my number after I cancel my contract?

If you cancel your contract but want to keep your number, then a PAC (Port Authorisation Code) is essential. To get this you have to get in touch with your provider and request to be sent your code. It’s now a legal entitlement to get your PAC free of charge, so you shouldn’t be charged to get it. 

To get a hold of your PAC all you need to do is get into contact with your provider’s customer services. Simply request your PAC after letting them know you’re wanting to end the contract. The only difference, again, is GiffGaff where you can make the request online.

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How do I keep my phone unlocked?

One of the main problems after finishing or cancelling your contract is using the same phone but with a different sim. More often than not you’ll find your phone is locked to your old provider. Companies such as Virgin Mobile and Three have now stopped doing this to their phones. Whereas O2 and Vodafone have stopped charging to get it unlocked. EE, on the other hand, charge a fee of £8.99 for this service. Each provider requires you to use their online application process to unlock your phone. After completing the application the standard waiting time is up to 48 hours