You may have several reasons why you want to cancel your mobile phone contract but the most likely reason is that you’ve found a cheaper deal elsewhere.
Be careful though because it could cost you hefty cancellation fees.
If you'd rather speak to an adviser about your problem, call the Which? Consumer Rights Advice Line on 01992 822 829 to join today.
The answer is true. Read on to find out more.
Check your right to cancel
Here at Which? we always recommend you switch to the cheapest provider where possible, but with mobile phone contracts our advice is to proceed with caution if you want to cancel your contract early.
Before you sign up with a new mobile service provider, check carefully whether you have the right to cancel your contract and if so, at what stage.
Fees for cancelling a contract
If you cancel before the minimum contract term is up, you'll have to pay an early termination fee.
In most cases these fees are very high. For instance, if you signed up to an 18-month contract and want to cancel in the second month, you might have to pay 16 months' worth of fees.
In this case it might be worth staying with your provider until the minimum term is up and then calling them to renegotiate a cheaper deal or telling them you’re going to switch.
If you want to cancel your mobile phone contract after your initial contract term is up, you can do so at any time, although most companies require 30 days' notice.
At the moment there are no rules in place that allow you to cancel because of poor network coverage - this includes if you move house to an area where you can't get a mobile signal.
To keep your existing mobile phone number you need to ask your existing provider for a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC).
If your ordered your phone online, you can cancel under the Distance Selling Regulations within seven working days.
Keeping your mobile number
You normally have the right to keep the same mobile phone number when you switch mobile provider.
To do this, you need to ask your existing mobile provider for a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC).
You give this code to the new provider to make the switch but most companies require a month’s notice.
Changing your mind after entering a contract
If you enter the mobile phone contract over the phone or online, then the Distance Selling Regulations say you have the right to cancel the order and receive a full refund for up to seven working days from the day after you place the mobile phone order.
You don’t have to give a reason for cancelling the phone service. However, you waive your distance selling cancellation rights if you ask for the mobile phone service to start immediately.
When the Consumer Rights Directive comes into UK law in June 2014, the cooling off period will be extended to 14 days.
Cancelling an order for a mobile bought online
If you buy a mobile handset online, by mail order or over the phone, under the Distance Selling Regulations you have seven working days from the day after you receive the mobile to cancel your order.
You’re entitled to receive a full refund for the mobile handset - obviously you must return it
Use our template letter to cancel your order under the Distance Selling Regulations.
Returning a mobile phone bought in a shop
If you buy your mobile phone or enter into a phone contract in a high street shop, then you don’t automatically have any cancellation rights if there isn’t a problem with the handset or the service.
But, some mobile shops do have generous returns policies so read he shop’s policy before buying.