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Old 07-28-2015, 04:26 PM   #1
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Canceling a cell phone plan

SO and I have a two-year family plan for our cellphones with Verizon. My phone is old and well beyond the penalty phase. Hers is newer and isn't free and clear until this coming March.

I want to switch to another carrier with a less expensive plan but would rather not pay an early termination fee.

Is anyone aware of a means of avoiding the early cancellation charge?
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:16 PM   #2
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I've heard of T-mobile paying early termination fees for you switching.

The early termination fee also goes down monthly, so you may not have as large a fee as you think.

I've managed to keep my Verizon bill low by buying my own phones and staying out of contract. Because we have our own equipment, we get a $25 per line discount. Our bill consists of our data plan plus two phones at $15 each. After a work discount, we pay $96 a month for two smartphones and 10 gigs of data. That's very competitive.

I buy our phones used online from reputable sources, or trusted sellers on ebay. So many people just have to have the latest and greatest, that the market is flooded with barely used phones at big discounts.

For me the only two networks that I'd consider are Verizon or At&t. T-mobile seems very customer focused, but their coverage has huge gaps in high speed data coverage. When we travel, we enjoy streaming Pandora and using Google navigation, so a solid data connection is a must.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:47 PM   #3
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Thanks, bakechef. I'm looking at a second level provider that uses the ATT network. So I need an unlocked GSM phone. It's an AARP backed plan with Consumer Cellular. The rates are really good.

What are the reputable sources you would recommend?

Depending on the cancellation penalty, we may or may not bow out early.
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Thanks, bakechef. I'm looking at a second level provider that uses the ATT network. So I need an unlocked GSM phone. It's an AARP backed plan with Consumer Cellular. The rates are really good.

What are the reputable sources you would recommend?

Depending on the cancellation penalty, we may or may not bow out early.
Swappa.com has a good reputation and it's really easy to find the phone you want at a good price. It also breaks down phones by carrier, so it's easy to find an at&t compatible phone. Buying brand new phones is around $600-700 (which you end up paying for through your contract) but good used phones can be had for under $200 (except iphones which remain overpriced even when old).

I've bought from various sellers from ebay, most were reseller companies and one was private sale.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:50 PM   #5
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Thanks. I did some looking and found Gazelle was recommended too. I guess I have options.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:32 AM   #6
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Thanks. I did some looking and found Gazelle was recommended too. I guess I have options.
I had forgotten about Gazelle. I bought a phone from them and the experience was good.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:32 AM   #7
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Bakechef, your responses are encouraging. Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2015, 02:15 PM   #8
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Andy - cell phone stuff today is like visiting a used car lot.
"How much does it cost?" gets a "How much money you got?" type response.

all the major player players will pay any contract cancellation/early termination fees if you switch from another carrier.

some of the major players have ditched the twenty year minimum contract stuff as well.

everything changes pretty much every hour - so you really have to shop around.

I had Sprint for 15 years - two lines. DW got a smart phone; I stayed with my flip-phone with texting turned off.... so I wanted to get a smart phone (mostly to bluetooth with the car) and Sprint wanted $185/month + misc fees and taxes - ending up at north of $225/month - for two smart phones with the minimum data use.

so we dropped Sprint completely, went on an AT&T family plan with my son - four smart phones with unlimited talk/text/data and the bill with all misc fees taxes etc is $122.xx/month - oh, including some special $10/month 'free tablet'&data access my DW fell in love with at the store.... the unlimited data is important for our particular plan as my son dropped his Comcast cable and uses his phone(s) as WIFI "hot spot"

which is really neat because if we're traveling / etc. I use the phone hot spot vs any hotel (free/paid) / unsecure option.

the glitch to all of this stuff is just the constant change. meaning that "your mileage may vary" from any other experience - just be sure to have all the phones in hand and be ready to change when you hit the store(s)

the "off brand carriers" - especially those using mega-national networks like Verizon/AT&T/Sprint can be good deals but typically only for one phone. the more phones you can bundle, the better gets the deal.....

the biggest catch is the the 'unlimited' data. any number of carriers are now doing limited, but 'roll over' plans - you can use GB from past billings period(s). however, the really big thing with data plans is whether you use your phone as a computer or just the odd-ball 'on line stuff' - DW had some seemingly stingy data usage limit for years and years with never 'going over'

and consider - my son dumped Comcast and uses the A&T WIFI hotspot for all his internet needs. prior to the unlimited plan, he would go over. he got 'hit' with $10 "chunks" of overage. well, $20-$30 in now-and-again 'overage' charges paled in comparison to his Comcast ISP cable bill.
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Old 07-29-2015, 02:57 PM   #9
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Last month, when DH and I were traveling and I was using my phone a lot for Internet access, I got a text message from Verizon that I was about to go over the data limit. It would cost $10, I think, for another gb, or I could add another gb to our plan for free by responding to the text. So I did! Just a story to illustrate how much they want to keep your business.

We've been with Verizon almost 20 years. When DH finally decided he wanted to get a smartphone, he wanted an iPhone and not to pay any higher fees. He got it. Unlimited talk and text, four gb shared data.
Just a story to illustrate how much they want to keep your business.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:34 AM   #10
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Cell phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
SO and I have a two-year family plan for our cellphones with Verizon. My phone is old and well beyond the penalty phase. Hers is newer and isn't free and clear until this coming March.

I want to switch to another carrier with a less expensive plan but would rather not pay an early termination fee.

Is anyone aware of a means of avoiding the early cancellation charge?
How hard have you negotiated wit Verizon?

Every time I decide to switch carriers, Verizon has come up with a newer plan that more fits my needs and is cheaper. But it takes wheeling and dealing to get it out of them.

Verizon hates to lose customers.
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