If magenta isn't your color anymore, you may be surprised at how easy it is to cancel your T-Mobile service. Maybe you live or work in an area with poor coverage or simply want to try a different carrier. Whatever the case, T-Mobile has long prided itself on not locking its customers into its service. T-Mobile no longer offers multi-year agreements, so cancellation is as simple as it can get.
How to cancel T-Mobile service
If you're ready to switch carriers and want to keep your phone number, make sure to set up your new service before canceling T-Mobile.
T-Mobile shook up the mobile space when it announced its Un-Carrier program back in 2013, becoming the first mobile network operator to shift away from two-year contracts on its postpaid plans. Instead, your only commitment is the financing plan on your devices if you've chosen to split your payments up instead of buying a great Android phone outright and unlocked.
This means that rather than a set ETF (early termination fee), you'll be on the hook for the remaining balance of your phone, tablet, wearable, and/or any accessories you tacked onto your monthly bill. Of course, if you brought your own device to T-Mobile or you paid for a new one outright at the start of your plan, you won't have any financial obligations to worry about.
When it comes time to cancel, you'll need to visit a store or call T-Mobile's customer service line at 1-877-453-1304 and speak to a representative. They'll need to verify who you are before making any changes to your account, which typically can't be done online.
What about JUMP! On Demand?
In addition to its regular JUMP! financing program, T-Mobile offers a more flexible JUMP! On Demand leasing option with some devices, in which you make smaller monthly payments over 18 months, rather than the standard 24, and can swap devices every 30 days. While this is enticing, the terms of ending this program can often be confusing for customers.
JUMP! On Demand is centered around leasing, not buying, which means that even at the end of your 18-month lease, there's still a remaining balance on the phone. You can return the device to a T-Mobile store to remove the balance from your bill. Still, if you'd rather keep the phone unlocked and bring it to your next carrier, you can either pay off the remaining balance in full or split it up over the next nine months through T-Mobile's Purchase Option Installment Plan (POIP).
Is there any way I can avoid paying cancellation fees?
Once again, T-Mobile doesn't have any ETFs or contractual fees to worry about, but you'll need to take care of your final monthly bill if you're on a postpaid plan, along with any outstanding balance on financed devices. Luckily, there are a few ways you may be able to avoid some of those charges on your way out.
If you only recently signed up for T-Mobile's service and are leaving due to problems with coverage, T-Mobile has a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to return your devices and cancel your plan without any restocking fees or charges for the service.
Coverage issues aside, you can also return most devices within 14 days of purchase, albeit with a $25-$75 restocking fee, depending on the type of device. You may be able to sweet-talk a customer service rep into waiving the restocking fee, but you certainly shouldn't count on it.
New provider pays your fees
These days, many postpaid carriers offer sign-up promotions in which they reimburse you for the remaining balance of your device, typically in exchange for trading in that device, porting the associated number, and buying a new device in its place. In addition, many of the best cell phone plans have perks to get people switched, whether it's a free device or a discount.
T-Mobile actually helped kick off this trend with one of its Un-Carrier moves, but of course, competitors quickly followed suit. Check with your new carrier for the specifics on how its buyout offer works.
The bottom line
If you're with T-Mobile and you want to cancel, it's generally no more involved than paying off any outstanding balance for your service and financed devices and porting your number to your new carrier. The rest is fairly automated and requires little to no action on your part. But, of course, every situation is different, so talk to a T-Mobile customer service representative before initiating a number port or cancellation request.
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