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Old 07-28-2015, 03:26 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, 07:16 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, 07:47 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, 08:47 PM   #4
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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.
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, 09:50 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, 06:32 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, 08:32 AM   #7
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Bakechef, your responses are encouraging. Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:15 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, 01:57 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, 08:34 AM   #10
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Cell phone

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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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Old 07-30-2015, 12:14 PM   #11
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I use a prepaid AT&T smartphone with no paid data service. If I need to get online I go to a wifi hotspot. And since I'm not much of a talker/texter I get by with only $25 voice only refills just about every other month.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:34 AM   #12
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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?
I was in the same boat Andy, but I learned a very hard lesson a year ago.
I wanted to save some money and opted for the Consumer Cellular plan at $15 a month with a free phone. Consumer Cellular uses the AT&T network I think.
The very first day, my wife could not reach me and I had zero reception in the next town over. Since I only had it one day, I sent it back.
I never closed the Verizon account and was glad i didn't.
My wife was in the mountains and none of our grandchildren had reception while she had excellent reception. We are both with Verizon.

The lesson I learned was Verizon has the absolute best network and reliability. We pay more for it than some of the others, but at least I am very confident i can make a call if I need to.
I cannot say the same for any other service in our area.
You pay for what you get.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:41 AM   #13
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I was in the same boat Andy, but I learned a very hard lesson a year ago.
I wanted to save some money and opted for the Consumer Cellular plan at $15 a month with a free phone. Consumer Cellular uses the AT&T network I think.
The very first day, my wife could not reach me and I had zero reception in the next town over. Since I only had it one day, I sent it back.
I never closed the Verizon account and was glad i didn't.
My wife was in the mountains and none of our grandchildren had reception while she had excellent reception. We are both with Verizon.

The lesson I learned was Verizon has the absolute best network and reliability. We pay more for it than some of the others, but at least I am very confident i can make a call if I need to.
I cannot say the same for any other service in our area.
You pay for what you get.
That's the reason I stick with Verizon.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:42 AM   #14
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I was in the same boat Andy, but I learned a very hard lesson a year ago.
I wanted to save some money and opted for the Consumer Cellular plan at $15 a month with a free phone. Consumer Cellular uses the AT&T network I think.
The very first day, my wife could not reach me and I had zero reception in the next town over. Since I only had it one day, I sent it back.
I never closed the Verizon account and was glad i didn't.
My wife was in the mountains and none of our grandchildren had reception while she had excellent reception. We are both with Verizon.

The lesson I learned was Verizon has the absolute best network and reliability. We pay more for it than some of the others, but at least I am very confident i can make a call if I need to.
I cannot say the same for any other service in our area.
You pay for what you get.
Thanks, RB. ATT coverage around here is pretty good.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:53 PM   #15
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Verizon is the best. We have 3 phones on my account and I paid for a lot of data. I don't think the prices are that high; I would have to have purchased two smart phones for example - those are like $600 phones.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:15 PM   #16
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Verizon is the best. We have 3 phones on my account and I paid for a lot of data. I don't think the prices are that high; I would have to have purchased two smart phones for example - those are like $600 phones.

Verizon annoys me. After I sent back a piece of defective equipment, they canceled my unlimited data plan. Even after going straight to the top, I was told there was nothing they could do as unlimited data was no longer in existance unless you were grandfathered in.

We live out in the country, and Verizon is our internet provider. I don't watch YouTube, don't get Netfix or Amazon Prime videos since they eat up our bandwidth and I still have to increase our allotment every month.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:13 AM   #17
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Thanks, RB. ATT coverage around here is pretty good.
In our nearest bigger town reception is good also. My grand kids were not appreciative of their provider when they realized once they left the big town, their phones were no longer anything more than a annoyance.
If you travel, I would rethink this.

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We live out in the country, and Verizon is our internet provider. I don't watch YouTube, don't get Netflix or Amazon Prime videos since they eat up our bandwidth and I still have to increase our allotment every month.
Same here. No cable. We rely on satellite TV and DSL internet.
Directv is great and I would have it over cable any day even with storms causing loss of signal.
But my DSL is horrid. 1.5 mbps is to slow to use the Directv Genie or to use Netflix. I can buy a faster internet speed (mbps), but they told me they could not guarantee faster speeds as the network is old and outdated.
Yet they still actively are recruiting new customers touting "high speed internet" with differing levels of speed. Crooks!

Oh..They are called Windstream. The worst ISP on the planet.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:58 PM   #18
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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.
I've been with Verizon for 15 years and they always seem to be very responsive every time I ask for anything. I let them know what I want, that I won't be going under contract and they seem to get me what I need.

There are cheaper cell plans out there, but they are best suited for single line use, once you add on another you are about where we are on our family plan. Owning our own equipment, having work discount, brings us to $96/10 gigs unlimited everything else. Many "unlimited" plans will slow you down after a certain amount of data used. And if it is an unlimited on the phone, there is a cap on the wifi hotspot so that people won't use it as their home ISP.

So many games.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:13 PM   #19
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Several years ago, we didn't renew our contract with Verizon and switched to Straight talk. You have to buy your own phone but it's worth it!

We both have the Samsung Moto-e and we love them!
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:34 PM   #20
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Thank you all for your responses. I appreciate your help.

Now I have to do my part.
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