How do I cancel my contract with Verizon?
July 9, 2008 2:54 PM   Subscribe

How do I cancel my contract with Verizon before my contract is up?

I would like to terminate my contract with Verizon and am willing to pay the $175 early termination fee, but I'd like to transfer my phone number to my new provider. How do I go about doing this? Do I simply sign up with the new provider, they transfer my number for me, and Verizon sends me a bill after the fact? Or do I need to contact Verizon first?

I have changed providers before and it was no problem, but the contract throws a wrench in my plan. I'm just looking for the quickest/easiest/painless way to do this.
posted by afx114 to Technology (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't have time to look up what pitfalls there might be, but have you tried asking your future provider how you can do this?
posted by rhizome at 3:03 PM on July 9, 2008


The short answer is that I don't think there is a quick and easy way to do this, because you're dealing with not one, but two horrible corporations.

A friend went through this when the iPhone came out last year. For him, it was a process that took several days to resolve completely and required several calls to both Verizon and AT&T. I think, from what I remember, that Verizon has to "release" your number before AT&T can "assign" it to your new account.

God speed.
posted by kbanas at 3:04 PM on July 9, 2008


It's easier than you think. Have your new provider port out your number. Verizon will charge you the early termination fee on your bill. It can sometimes take a day or two for numbers to be sorted out, but it generally takes less than 24 hours.
posted by Phoenix42 at 3:10 PM on July 9, 2008


Thanks, also a side-question. As long as the early termination fee is paid, there will be no negatives attached to my credit, right?
posted by afx114 at 3:12 PM on July 9, 2008


Do I simply sign up with the new provider, they transfer my number for me, and Verizon sends me a bill after the fact?

Yes, exactly.

As long as the early termination fee is paid, there will be no negatives attached to my credit

No, I can't imagine why there would be.
posted by chrisamiller at 3:28 PM on July 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whatever you do, don't cancel your old contract before the number is ported to the new provider, or you will lose it.

Once you number is ported, you old contract will still be in force, meaning you'll keep getting a bill, it just won't be tied directly to a phone number. At that point you can cancel, or do whatever you want with Verizon.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:45 PM on July 9, 2008


This might not apply to you, but there is one loophole in getting out of Verizon early-cancellation fees. When I cancelled my contract with them it was because I was moving to an area where they didn't provide coverage, so they refunded the $175. YMMV.

It was such an easy process, that I'm not sure why less-honest people haven't picked up on it, and signed up for a dozen Verizon plans the day before they move, get the free phones, and cancel the next day to avoid the fees. A mystery I guess.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:48 PM on July 9, 2008


Talk to your new provider, when I switched from Cingular to Verizon, Verizon credited me with the early cancellation fee that Cingular charged me, once I received the invoice I took it in and showed them and they added a credit to my account. I'm sure other companies commonly do this sort of thing as well.

That said, your new provider will tell you what order to do things in. I think when I did it I signed up with Verizon, then I contacted Cingular and formalized it. I definitely started the number transfer process with the new provider before I formally cancelled with the old one.
posted by biscotti at 4:11 PM on July 9, 2008


biscotti, that sounds amazing. Can you elaborate on that? Did they offer, or did you ask a manager at Verizon?
posted by suedehead at 4:59 PM on July 9, 2008


Also take a quick read over at the consumerist. They have stories about how to possibly get verizon to waive your fees (due to changes in your contract, etc.) Also, Verizon may be forced to prorate your fee.
posted by filmgeek at 5:36 PM on July 9, 2008


Once you number is ported, you old contract will still be in force, meaning you'll keep getting a bill, it just won't be tied directly to a phone number. At that point you can cancel, or do whatever you want with Verizon.

This is blatantly false for Verizon Wireless and fairly sure this is not the case (nor legal) for any other carriers. Upon receiving the port request you will receive a final bill with your early termination fee attached. You will probably also receive a call or two trying to "save" you by Verizon.
posted by Octoparrot at 7:34 PM on July 9, 2008


I'd been told that this was possible by a friend who'd done it, so when I was discussing switching over to Verizon with the salesperson, I said that there was a $175 cancellation fee from Cingular, and that while I'd really like to switch to Verizon right away, I wasn't prepared to eat $175 to do it, and the guy offered it to me (trust me, I am the furthest thing from a wheeler-dealer, but I said I was prepared to walk away if I didn't get what I wanted). I suspect that this is one of many things they have available to them to use as carrots to get you to sign up with them, but the salesguy was true to his word and we got the full amount credited once we received the invoice from Cingular. While I have admittedly fairly limited experience with US mobile providers, it's my opinion that there are a lot of things they're willing to do to get your business, and the worst that can happen is they say no if you ask.

I also believe that the Verizon salesguy told me that porting my number to Verizon notified Cingular automatically that I was cancelling, but I called them to make sure anyway.
posted by biscotti at 8:33 PM on July 9, 2008


And, FYI, I was told by a Verizon store manager that the $175 ETF is prorated depending on how long you've had Verizon service.

Last summer, my friend ported her number to Verizon the way they're describing, by going directly to the new provider without cancelling with the old provider, and she just got billed for her ETF without consequence.
posted by santojulieta at 6:14 AM on July 10, 2008


This is blatantly false for Verizon Wireless and fairly sure this is not the case (nor legal) for any other carriers. Upon receiving the port request you will receive a final bill with your early termination fee attached. You will probably also receive a call or two trying to "save" you by Verizon.

Hmmm, my apologies, I was assuming my experiences with porting in Canada would apply to the states. I stand corrected.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:55 AM on July 10, 2008


Just an update for historical posterity:

I simply went and ported my phone number by purchasing my iPhone and activating it on AT&T. My Verizon account was automatically canceled and I was sent a final bill including my termination fee. Easy as pie.

However, Verizon claimed that the port happened 2 weeks later than it actually did. I had to call them and complain, after which they refunded me the pro-rated cost of service for those two weeks. So keep an eye on these fuckers -- they will try to squeeze every possible penny out of you.
posted by afx114 at 5:03 PM on August 27, 2008


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