Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No More Cell Phone Cancellation Fees

A friend of mine has a cell phone contract that he doesn't want. I'm not sure of the details, all I know is that he wanted to get out of the contract and he was going to be charged $130 for early termination fees. He called the phone company and the customer service agent was sympathetic. Then she told him that there were ways of getting around it. If he could find someone to take over his plan then the contract could be transferred to the new person saving them the activation fee and him the cancellation fee. He does not know anyone who needs a phone right now so he thought he was stuck. But the agent told him there were websites not affiliated with the phone company that match strangers together.

When he told me about this I was surprised. I had never heard of such a thing so I did a search and yes they do exist. I found sites like cellswapper.com and celltradeusa.com which match up people stuck in contracts with people looking to get in to a plan at no cost. Both of those sites cost $15-$20 for the person getting out of the plan but are free for the person taking over. I found a free site too Trade my cellular.com.

It is a win-win because the first person gets out of their contract. Then the second person gets in to a contract without an activation fee and the first person ships them their phone and any accessories. On some websites, the person stuck in the contract can even offer cash incentives to entice people. If I ever need a new phone line I would do this. It could even be a way to upgrade your phone if you don't mind taking over someone else's contract. I know Verizon will let people change their plan at anytime as long as they keep their contract so it really doesn't matter what plan you get in to. If you like the phone that is offered you can get in and change the plan later.

I thought it was a great idea and very nice of the customer service rep. to let him in on that money saving tip. Even if it costs him $20 to transfer his phone contract, that's a lot better than $130.


Over the Cubicle Wall said...

I have almost convinced myself that I am going to go with Net10 when my current Verizon contract is up. You can get 5300 minutes that are good for up to two years for $430, phone included. I am not sure yet but my contract is not up until September. If I ever make up my mind, your post may be a good way to get rid of the contract phone earlier than then. Thanks for the tip.

Daizy said...

That sounds like an interesting plan. What is there coverage like? Do texts cost extra?

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Supposedly they use Verizon's network. Not sure about that, but they have a coverage map online. Texts are 5 cents each, sent or received, so two texts use up a minute of talk time.

You can get smaller prepaid blocks of minutes, but the 5300 was the best deal per minute and the minutes last the longest. $400 for 4000 minutes plus 1000 bonus minutes for ordering online, and 300 minutes come with every phone. Phones are $30, so $430 total. Not bad. I think as long as you re-up before the minutes expire, any unused ones carry over to the new batch's expiration date.

It looks tempting, but I am still trying to find the catch :P

Dave said...

Just another reason I am glad I don't have a cell phone. I hate them; they (i.e. other people's) make my life worse. I have no use for them.

Daizy said...

Dave, they can be a nuisance. I hate cell phone to cell phone calls or cell phone to cordless phones. I can't hear them at all.