How to cancel TELUS

Whatever your reasons are for leaving your service provider, you should know in advance how to cancel your contract with minimal damage. Time and money are things you don't want to waste when the time comes to leave your service term. All Canadian carriers are required to follow the same rules when it comes to contract cancellations, so here's a breakdown of what to expect if and when you decide to cancel TELUS.

What kind of fees will I have to pay when I cancel my service?

In June 2015, The Wireless Code, created by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), spelled out the rules for wireless carriers across Canada. According to this document, here's what you need to know when cancelling a cell contract:

  • Three-year contracts are a thing of the past (even if you signed one before June 2015).
  • The 30-day notice to cancel your contract is gone.
  • Cancellation fees cannot be charged (just device subsidy fees).

These rules apply to major Canadian carriers like TELUS, as well as their subsidiary, Koodo. If you've had your device for less than 24 months, the only payment you will owe your carrier at the time of cancellation is your phone's device subsidy.

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What is a device subsidy?

A device subsidy can be explained through a simple equation:

  • Device subsidy = phone cost - initial payment

Let's say you want to get a new HTC 10, and the phone costs $1,000. TELUS will sell it to you for a $500 initial payment. Then, they will give you a $500 subsidy to make up the rest of the cost of the phone if you sign a two-year wireless plan. In the case of this example, the device subsidy would be $500.

Does the subsidy always stay the same?

No, it does not. As per the CRTC rules, your device subsidy needs to go down in equal increments every month up to 24 months. After two years, the device subsidy must be $0. You can now figure out exactly how much your device subsidy will go down each month.

  • Subsidy per month = device subsidy / 24

If we use the previous example, the equation looks like this:

  • $20.83 = $500 / 24

How much will I have to pay in order to cancel my service with Telus?

If you are leaving your contract before the two-year mark, use this formula to figure out how much your remaining device subsidy will be.

  • Remaining device subsidy = subsidy per month x number of months left on contract

Staying with our example digits, let's say you want to cancel your contract with TELUS after six months. This means you have 18 months remaining for your device subsidy.

  • $374.94 = 20.83 x 18

Is there a way I can avoid paying these fees?

While there aren't any definitive guarantees, you might try a few of these suggestions:

Poor service

If you have some examples of instances where TELUS failed you, or you had consistent issues during your service term, now would be the time to bring them up. Remember that a contract also holds your carrier accountable, and it's possible that they have breached it and are willing to compensate you.

New provider pays the fees

When you're shopping around for your next carrier, ask if they would be prepared to pay any of your remaining balance with TELUS.

What is the easiest way to get out of a contract?

It's possible that when you call to cancel your contract, the TELUS representative will try to offer you some incentives to stay with them. if you're determined to go to another carrier, tell TELUS that you are leaving the country, or moving to a region where their service won't be available. This will put a stop to their attempts to keep you as a customer, and let you pay your subsidy balance without further hassle.

The bottom line

Ultimately, the way to leave your contract with the least financial damage is to wait it out, if you can. The fewer the months remaining on your two-year contract, the lower your device subsidy balance will be. It's also important to remember that, if it's been more than 24 months, TELUS can't charge you anything when you cancel their service.