If you're not happy with Verizon's service, it's your right to cancel whenever you please. Just remember that you signed an agreement with the carrier, so you're probably not getting off scot-free.

The penalties and processes associated with canceling your Verizon service will depend on whether you're on a traditional two-year contract or in a month-to-month agreement. We'll tell you how to do both.

We'll also give you some advice when it comes to dropping lines from family plans, since canceling multiple lines at once can end in some incredibly hefty early termination fees.

How to cancel your Verizon service if you're on a two-year contract

Verizon, like most other carriers, doesn't really push its two-year contract anymore, but if you happen to be in that type of service agreement, here's what you need to know.

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Can I cancel my contract online?

No dice. The only way to cancel is to head into a Verizon store in person or to call Verizon customer service. They need to be able to verify who you are before they go losing any money – ahem, canceling someone's account. If you want to cancel, you can call Verizon's cancellation line at 1-844-837-2262.

What kind of fees will I have to pay when I cancel my two-year contract?

There are a few mitigating factors that determine what type of penalties you'll have to pay for canceling your Verizon service. How far into your agreement are you? Did you buy your phone from Verizon? We'll walk you through the nitty gritty.

Billing charges

Depending on you where you're at in your billing period, you might have to pay for whatever's remaining in the month, even if it's the first day of the new cycle.

Early termination fees (ETF)

Your early termination fees will be dependant upon how far into your Verizon agreement you are. If it's pretty early, then you'll pay $350, which will deccrease by $15 per month.

However, if you cancel within 14 days of signing, you'll be able to cancel without issue, provided you return your phone and pay the $35 restocking fee. Things start to get a bit mucky after 14 days.

If you don't cancel within three days of signing, you're also on the hook for your activation fee.

"You will also be responsible for all applicable usage fees, prorated access charges, taxes, surcharges or other charges that accrued to your account through the termination date," which means any talk, text, or data overages too.

Device/equipment charges

At their discretion, Verizon says they may decline your device return at any time. They might also may make you pay for missing components if you don't return the phone and everything that came with it in the original box.

If you were financing a phone through Verizon (which is technically independent of your service agreement), then you'll likely have to pay out what you owe.

Can I avoid paying fees?

There's no guaranteed way to get around fees, but we have some tips that just might work.

Poor service

You could just try complaining, plain and simple. Don't be a jerk about it, but you could claim that your Verizon service was poor and not what was promised in the agreement. If you owe them $350, they probably won't waive it, but they may reduce it.

New provider pays your fees

Some providers, like T-Mobile, offer to pay your switching fees, so long as you trade in your phone and buy a new one on their network. So if you weren't planning on taking your Verizon device with you, you might be out of luck, but you could certainly try. If you'll be switching more than one line over to a new provider, that could play in your favor.

What's the easiest way to get out of my contract with Verizon?

Just tell them you're switching to a new provider or moving to another country. You'll have to go through the whole rigmarole of them trying to "keep your business," which may lead to them sweetening the pot and retaining you as a customer, fair enough. Otherwise, just stay in the pocket and insist that you're leaving and that's all there is to it.

The bottom line

The whole process is entirely subjected to how you and the Verizon customer service rep handle the situation. Go in with a smile on, be pleasant, and hope that whomever you're dealing with is having a good day. Rules are rules, sure, and there are fees that Verizon says they "have" to charge you, but nothing's set in stone.

How to cancel your month-to-month service with Verizon

Things are much simpler if you're with Verizon on a month-to-month basis and are financing your phone.

Can I cancel my month-to-month agreement online?

Not gonna happen. In order for Verizon to verify your identity, you'll either have to head down to your nearest Verizon store or call them at 1-844-837-2262. You'll need your account number!

What kind of fees will I have to pay when I cancel my month-to-month agreement?

Unlike a two-year contract, there are no early termination fees for canceling a month-to-month agreement with Verizon. You'll just have pay your bill for the rest of the month you're canceling and then you'll have to pay out the phone you're financing. Once you're all paid off, you'll keep the phone — and since it's unlikely to work on another carrier, you'll want to consider selling it.

How to drop lines from a shared Verizon plan

Early termination fees apply to each line of service, so if you have a couple birds leaving the nest who want to start their own accounts, don't outright cancel their lines. You can request an Assumption of Liability. Rather than canceling the lines, the Assumption of Liability allows you to simply move service into a new account, under a new name. This could save you a ton of money in the long run. The best way to do this would be to hit up a Verizon store or to call their customer service line at 1-844-837-2262.

Once you start dropping lines from your family share plans, you might want to take a look at switching your other lines to individual plans. If you had four lines on your family share and two moved over to new accounts, then you have two lines on a family share plan and it's likely not saving you any money.

Just to remember

Everything is discretionary on the part of Verizon, so the above-mentioned fees aren't necessarily consistent across the board, since each cancellation case is different. Expect to pay early termination fees if you're in a two-year contract, but remember that other carriers may be willing to pay your dues for you.

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