Unhappy with your service? Moving to another country? It's time to free yourself from AT&T. Since carriers have essentially done away with traditional two-year service agreements, you'll likely be on the hook for the remainder of your billing month, and then whatever you owe on your phone. Here's what you need to know.
How to cancel AT&T service
AT&T doesn't offer two-year service agreements anymore, which means you can essentially cancel at any time. If there is still time left in your billing month, then you'll have to pay that off, but that's it in terms of service.
If you're financing a phone through AT&T then you'll have to pay out the remainder of what you owe on your phone. To see how to pay off your installment balance, you'll need to go on your AT&T phone to Manage device & features in your settings.
Is there any way around the fees?
There's no guaranteed way to avoid paying any of the fees associated with canceling AT&T, but you should check with your new provider just in case. Many carriers these days offer sign-up promotions in which they reimburse you for the remaining balance of your installment plan, typically in exchange for trading the device in and porting the associated phone number over.
Of course, if your account with AT&T is still relatively new and you've simply changed your mind about the service, you might still be able to back out of your agreement at little to no cost. Most devices can be returned within 14 days of purchase with a restocking fee of up to $55 — check AT&T's return policy documentation to see exactly what the company will and won't accept.
What's the easiest way to get out of a contract?
Plain and simple, just tell AT&T that you're switching providers. There's no need to tiptoe around it, and AT&T might even try to sweeten the deal to keep you, especially if you're a long-time customer.
If you're looking to port your number to your new carrier, though, it's important that you don't cancel your AT&T plan first. Simply call AT&T's customer service line and request your account number and PIN — you'll need to give that information to your new carrier, who will initiate the number transfer and service cancellation on your behalf.
The bottom line
There are quite a few variables to consider when canceling your service with AT&T, whether or not you're canceling early. If you really want to see what it will all cost you, you'll have to contact AT&T and have a customer service rep go through it with you.
Things to remember
All of the above-mentioned fees and policies are at the discretion of AT&T. Every cancellation scenario is unique, so the above are just guidelines and may vary on a case-by-case basis. If you're entirely unsure of your situation, your best bet is to go online and chat with AT&T directly, call them at 1-800-331-0500, or visit your nearest AT&T store.
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Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.