How to cancel T-Mobile service

T-Mobile retail storefront
(Image credit: Android Central)

You're one step closer to freedom when you know how to cancel T-Mobile. You may want to leave because you found a better deal or are tired of dealing with poor coverage. Regardless of why you must go, 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, set up your new service before canceling T-Mobile.

T-Mobile shook up the mobile space when it announced its Un-Carrier program in March of 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 split your payments 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 any accessories you tacked onto your monthly bill. Of course, if you brought your device to T-Mobile or paid for a new one outright at the start of your plan, you won't have any financial obligations to worry about. If your device is damaged, you can still change it, but you'll be charged for the damage.

When it comes time to cancel T-Mobile, 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.

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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 this option, 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. But this is what's included in the how to cancel T-Mobile process.

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 and 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.

Suppose you recently signed up for T-Mobile's service and are leaving due to coverage problems. In that case, 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.

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. For example, you would have to pay $70 for devices with a total retail price of $600 or more and $40 for devices between $300-$599. The device needs to be in good working condition with no changes made to it. 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 a free device or a discount.

T-Mobile helped kick off this trend with one of its Un-Carrier moves, but competitors quickly followed suit. Check with your new carrier for the specifics on how its buyout offer works.

The bottom line

Whenever you want to cancel any plan on any carrier, you usually have to pay off something or run an errand to take your number with you. You're generally good to go after taking care of a few things. But since every account is different, it's best to go to your nearest T-Mobile store to get a quick answer from a representative before you do anything involved with the cancelation process.

Samuel Contreras

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.