After feeling great about your contract for so long, it only takes a conversation with a friend to realise how much you’ve been overpaying. Suddenly, we feel as though we’re wasting money with no real way of making changes until the contract comes to an end. Today, we’re going to discuss what you can and can’t do mid-term so you’re always in the best position both financially and with your mobile device!
Why Switch my mobile contract early?
First and foremost, why would you even consider switching in the first place? Well, you might find a much better deal with another provider or a newer model might catch your eye. For some, they experience price increases or feel disappointed with the level of service.
With the classic pay-as-you-go agreement, there are no contracts and you can change five times in a week if you so desire. With a contract, it’s a little different so you need to be careful before switch mobile contract early.
Can I Cancel the Contract?
In truth, the options you have available will depend mostly on your provider and their cancellation policy. Therefore, the first step will be to read through the terms on your contract or approach the customer service team for help.(See Alternatives to cancelling mobile phone contract)
If you’ve been a loyal customer for some time, cancelling will be much easier than if you just joined six months ago. As you edge towards the end of your contract, the provider will be more willing to let you go because the profit has already been made.
Will I Need to Pay?
Once again, each provider has their own terms but the majority will have some form of termination fee. Typically, this fee is calculated by adding up the remainder of your monthly payments; for example, if your contract is £20 and you have six months left the fee would be £120.
Sadly, this means we’re paying money for absolutely nothing in return and this is important to remember.
Luckily, there are some exceptions to this general rule including the cooling period. Essentially, this rule says you can forgo the contract if you change your mind within the first two weeks. Additionally, you can also back out of your contract if they increase their prices.
Thirdly, a lack of coverage or poor customer service may allow you to exit the contract without any fees but this is less reliable because it depends on the small print in the contract itself.
As mentioned, an increase in price seems to be the main method of leaving a contract. Thanks to a new law introduced by Ofcom, everybody has the right to leave a contract freely if the provider increases the price without making you aware before the contract began; this applies to mobile contracts as well as landline and broadband deals.
Ultimately, this rule will come into play for any price increase regardless of any reasoning they may provide (such as inflation).
However, you won’t be able to leave the contract if the mobile provider had no input into the decision and this is possible with VAT increases or changes to taxation.
If the company is actively changing their pricing strategy, you must be given notice of 30 days and this is the time to make your decision of whether to leave or stay.
If you don’t act within these 30 days, your new contract will come into effect and you’ll have lost your right to waive termination fees.
I Can’t Cancel. What Now?
If you can’t cancel the contract, your provider may work with you to downgrade or change tariff. Once the change is made, the new tariff will be introduced for the remainder of the original contract.
Should I Stop Paying the Contract?
In short, no. Since you agreed the contract at the beginning, it’s now legally binding which means it’s your responsibility. This being said, there may be ways to control the amount you pay in the shape of fees.
For example, you may claim the provider has changed the service they provide and that they’ve stepped outside of the agreement. If you can prove the company has breached the contract, your fees will be reduced or dismissed completely.
Most commonly, this is experienced with roaming charges. If they’ve increased these charges, you can inform them of the breach and they’re likely to offer you a much better agreement to exit the contract.
Ultimately, it’s all done on a case-by-case basis so assess your contract and decide the best option for your own position before moving forward.
Mobile contract Cancellation Check list
If you have questions regarding the cancellation policy of your provider, feel free to give them a call so they can explain how it works. When speaking to them, there are some key questions you need to ask so you have the right information;
• Do they adhere to the standard cooling off procedures (i.e. two weeks)?
• Does the contract state that you can quit mid-term for no charge when they adjust their pricing?
• Are they willing to discuss a movement to a different tariff? What options are available in this regard?
• Can they explain the options available in terms of allowances?
When speaking directly with the company, it’s important to remember that prices aren’t fixed. While a supermarket chain will have prices given to them for all products, mobile phone companies set their own prices so try haggling wherever possible. If you can’t get the price reduced, see if they would be willing to increase your allowance instead.
Starting the Cancellation Process
If you want to start the cancellation process, you’ll need to visit the website of your network because they’ll provide you with the right information.
If you don’t want to lose your phone number, you’ll need a PAC code and this allows you to use the same number within a different contract.
Mobile network websites:
Are There Any Other Solutions?
For many, they fail when attempting to cancel their contract despite voicing their displeasure.
If this is the case for yourself, feel free to make a formal complaint in writing. Above all else, providers want to keep customers happy and they know the negative backlash of you talking about your problems with friends and family.
Aside from this, speak with other mobile companies because we’ve seen examples of companies paying the rest of a contract on the owner’s behalf (so long as they switched to them, of course!).
Since they’ll be taking a risk, they might ask for a minimum 18-month or two-year contract but it can be a good solution to get out of an expensive or insufficient contract.
If there really aren’t any options and we haven’t been able to help today, you might be best off just persevering.
In the grand scheme of things, you won’t have to wait too long before the contract comes to an end and you’ll be free to take your custom wherever you wish. If you can downgrade your tariff to the cheapest one possible, patience might be the name of the game.
Finding a New Contract
Once you’re free and ready to look for a brand-new contract, we advise looking at comparison sites for the very best deals.
With a simple search, you’ll find all the best contracts from all the biggest brands as well as the not-so-large brands. Sometimes, it can be worth a risk to choose one of the lesser companies to save money.
If possible, filter the results according to the minutes, texts, and mobile data you need.
Soon enough, you’ll find the perfect contract and you don’t have to worry about leaving mid-term ever again!