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How to get out of a phone contract

How to get out of a phone contract

Whether you are upset with your current phone contract provider, found a better deal somewhere else, or you are looking to sell your current phone and get a new one, getting out of a phone contract can be challenging as providers don’t want to let go so easily. While some contracts can end in a year, others might have you tied in for over two years in some cases, especially if they allow you to pay for a new phone over that period of time. 

Although having that option is great if you can’t pay the full price of the phone upfront, it also means that your contract will be rather long, and you might have a hard time if you are looking to end it. However, if your circumstances change and you are forced to end your phone contract, here is how you can end your contract for each of the biggest telecommunication companies in the UK, depending on the following circumstances: 

1. You have a fixed contract which is coming to an end

2. You have just started a new contract

3. You still have time left in your contract 

How to cancel your contract with Vodafone

1.You have a fixed contract which is coming to an end

If your contract is already coming to an end, Vodafone will notify you by text, email or letter, explaining what options you have. These usually include the following: 

• continue as normal with the current contract

• upgrade the contract to a different one

• choose to terminate the contract. 

If you choose to terminate the contract, there will be no extra fees you will need to pay as it was already coming to end. 

If you are interested in upgrading your contract, you can use the Vodafone mobile app to see the rage of upgrades available at that time, however this can only be done when you are at the end of the commitment period. 

2. You have just started a new contract

If you’ve only started a new contract with Vodafone but for whatever reason you have decided to end it, you need to contact them and let them know you want to terminate it in the first 30 days after starting the contract. If you wait any longer than that you will need to pay an early termination fee.

 If you are wondering how much the early termination fee is, it is calculated by multiplying your monthly plan charge (TVA not included) with the number of months that are left from your contract. 

To avoid paying this fee it’s best to terminate the contract either within the 30 days trail, or when your contract is naturally coming to an end. 

3. You still have time left in your contract

If you are in between the 30 days trial and the end of the contract period, you will need to pay the termination fee mentioned in the previous point. The service will end 30 days after you have announced the supplier of your decision of terminating the contract, however you are asked not to cancel the Direct Debit as final fees might be extracted from your account or you might receive a refund depending on your circumstances, after the termination of the contract. 

How to cancel your contract with Three 

1. You have a fixed contact which is coming to an end

If you have a contract with the company Three which is coming to an end, you can cancel it by calling them, and the contract will be ended after 30 days. To terminate the contract you will need to phone Three and make sure you have at hand your mobile number, address, password and date of birth as they will need this information. 

You can check when your contract ends on the Three mobile app. During that phone call they might want to give you the option to upgrade your contract instead. 

If you’ve decided to upgrade your contract instead of ending it, you can either have them do it for you during the phone call, in store, or if you need some time to think it over, you can do it yourself using the mobile app. 

2. You have just started a new contract

If you have just started a new pay monthly contract with Three but you’ve changed your mind and you’d like to end it, you have 14 days from the beginning of the contract to end it, otherwise you will have to pay their early termination fee. 

The cancellation fee is the lump sum of the monthly payment, multiplied with the number of months remaining of the minimum agreement term, minus a variable discount (which is currently 20%). The Three pay monthly contract also states that the company reserves the rights to differ the discount % from time to time. 

3. You still have time left in your contract

If your contract with Three is not near coming to an end and you’ve gone past the 14 days trial period, you will have to pay the early termination fee mentioned in the previous point. After you’ve announced your departure, the contract will be terminated after 30 days and the fees will be extracted from your Debit.


Image credit: Song_about_summer/Shutterstock


How to cancel your contract with O2

1. You have a fixed contract which is coming to an end

If you have a pay monthly mobile contract with O2 which is coming to an end, you can simply call them to let them know you’ve decided to terminate it. If the contract is coming to an end but you don’t want to terminate it, it will continue to act under the terms and conditions before the termination, until you let them know you’ve decided to leave or upgrade. 

If you’ve decided to end the contract, you will have to give them a 30 day notice, after which the contract will be terminated. If you’ve terminated the contract but after some time decide you want to reopen it, just simply contact O2 and they will happily do that for you.

2. You have just started a new contract

If you have just started a contract with O2 but you want to terminate it, you have 14 days to do so before having to pay early termination charges. These charges differ if you are an O2 Refresh customer or not. 

What is O2 Refresh? 

O2 Refresh is a feature that allows you to get a new phone whenever you like, by splitting your bills into two parts: an Airtime Plan which cover all your data, calls and text, and a Phone Plan which covers the cost of your phone.

If you want to end your contract and you are an O2 Refresh customer, you will not have to pay early termination charges for the Airtime Plan. If you are ending the contract before paying your Phone plan in full, your final bill will also include the lump sum owned for the device. 

If you are not an O2 Refresh client and would like to terminate your contract after your trial period or before the contract terminates naturally, you will need to pay an early termination fee. This fee is calculated by adding together the pay for the number of remaining months you have. The VAT will be deducted. 

3. You still have time left in your contract

If you still have time left of your contract but would like to terminate it early, O2 will charge you the early termination fees mentioned before, depending on whether you are a O2 Recharge customer or not. 

How to cancel your contract with EE

1. You have a fixed contact which is coming to an end

If you are approaching the end of your pay as you go monthly contract with EE and would like to terminate it, you can do so by popping into a store or doing it online, with no early termination fees. Make sure you are less than 45 days before your contract would end naturally, otherwise your request to cancel can be denied. 

2. You have just started a new contract

If you are a new customer, you can end your phone contract with no early termination fees if you are in the first 14 days of your contract, after which you would need to pay a fee to terminate it. 

The early termination fee is calculated by adding together all the monthly charges for the remaining period of the minimum term. The VAT is also deducted in the process. 

However, if you are before the 14 days trial you can end the contract the following ways: 

If you signed up online or by phone  you can fill the termination form provided by EE on their website, which you will have to email to channel.returns@ee.co.uk or send by post to the following address: 

Channel Returns, 

Mercia House, 

Senhouse Road, 

Darlington 

DL1 4YB.

After receiving the form, EE will get in touch with you with further instruction. 

You can also end the contact my phoning EE. 

If you signed up in the EE store you are only allowed to cancel if you are experiencing coverage issues, or the coverage doesn’t exceed your expectations. 

3. You still have time left in your contract

If you are looking to end your phone contact with EE but you still have time left before the contact ends, you will be expected to pay the early termination charges mentioned in the second point. If you are willing to pay the charges you can let EE know you are looking to terminate your contract by phoning them. After 30 days your contract will be ended and the final payments and fees will be extracted from your account. 


Image credit: Stockfour/Shutterstock

How can you keep your phone number after ending a contract? 

If you have managed to end your phone contract and would like to keep your existing phone number, you can do so by calling the old provider to ask for your Pre-Authorisation Code which you will need to give to your new provider for them to transfer your phone number. 

How do I make a complaint? 

If you are really unhappy with your current provider, you have the right to make a complaint which they are obligated to make a note of. After you phone them, make sure you make a note of what you’ve told them on the phone, the date and the time of the phone call.

They might send you a 'letter of deadlock', in which they will ask you what you have done on your part to solve the issue, if they are unhappy with your complaint. 

If you don’t hear back from your provider in 14 days, you can go to the ombudsman they belong to, who might be able to find a solution to your problem. 

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us

Feature image credit: pathdoc/Shutterstock