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How to cancel Verizon service

Pixel 3 XL with Verizon SIM card
Pixel 3 XL with Verizon SIM card (Image credit: Android Central)

Can you hear me now? No? 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.

How to leave 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.

Can I cancel my contract online?

No dice. The only way to cancel is to head into a Verizon store in person or call Verizon's customer service line. 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 dependent upon how far into your Verizon agreement you are. If you're at the start of your contract, you'll face a $350 charge, though that ETF decreases by $15 with each completed month.

However, if you cancel within 14 days of signing, you'll be able to cancel without issue, provided you return your phone in undamaged, working condition. In most cases, you'll be tacked with a $50 restocking fee (opens in new tab), though if your customer service rep is feeling particularly generous, you may be able to get that fee waived.

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

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, so be sure to keep everything around until you've at least cleared the two-week return window.

How to separate lines from a shared plan

Early termination fees apply to each line of service, so if you have a couple of birds leaving the nest 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 their service to 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 visit a Verizon store or call their customer service line at 1-800-922-0204.

How to cancel postpaid, contract-free service

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

These days, with the phasing out of two-year contracts across the mobile industry in the U.S., customers are far more likely to be on a postpaid plan without a bi-annual contract.

Can I cancel my postpaid agreement online?

Just like with Verizon's contracted plans, you'll need to visit a store or call Verizon's cancellation line at 1-844-837-2262 to end your service. This may be annoying, but it ensures that a Verizon customer service rep is able to verify your personal information and prevent unwanted access and changes to an account.

What kind of fees will I have to pay to 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. Instead, you're just on the hook for the current billing cycle, along with the remaining balance of any devices you might be financing on your plan. This could save you money over an ETF if you're close to the end of your 24-month financing agreement — though if you just got the phone, this could actually end up costing you significantly more (though on the bright side, the phone is yours to keep once it's fully paid).

Before you get too discouraged though, a number of carriers now offer buyback programs to entice new customers and make switching easier by reimbursing you for the remaining balance on your financed or leased devices. In exchange, you're typically asked to trade in the device towards a new one, and port over the associated phone number. It's worth consulting with your new carrier before making any rash financial decisions. 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.

How do I keep my number?

Unless you plan on starting fresh with a new phone number, it's actually important that you don't close out your account with Verizon before switching to a different carrier. Instead, you should ask a customer service representative for your Verizon account number and PIN or password. Your new carrier can use that information to initiate a number transfer request, which will automatically end your service with Verizon.

Just be sure to keep any associated paperwork, receipts, and bills from Verizon handy after you switch — your new carrier may need that information if you opt for one of the aforementioned buyback programs.

It's easier than you think

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. Consult with a customer service representative in-store or over the phone to get the clearest answer.

Mick is a writer and duty editor for Android Central. When he's not on the job, he can usually be found vacuuming up pet hair or trying to convince his wife that he needs more guitars.