We Poke Sticks At Wired’s Cellphone Cancel Tips

Wired’s August issue features some advice on cancelling your cellphone service, but how good is it?

• Join the Army. Federal law lets soldiers escape ongoing service contracts without penalty. “You may be asked for documentation,” advises Wired. Change may to will. Being stuck with a crappy cellphone plan might be no Springfield, IL but it’s better than mine sweeping.

• Study the coverage map and see where they don’t provide service. Tell them you’re moving there. This does work.

More tips flicked, after the jump…

Put your cellphone contract on the auction block at Celltradeusa.com. You know what, we did this a few months ago and haven’t had any luck. Soon after we did the free sign-up, we got a message from an interested party. To respond to the query, we had to pay the $20 entrance fee. We haven’t had any pings since. Others have reported success. Part of the problem might be we didn’t dress our profile up with cash bonus offers or other perqs.

• Complain. “Say you want out because the service isn’t up to par. Then back that up by filing official complaints online with the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau.” This one has a chance of working. Companies really hate a paper trail of your dissatisfaction and will work to quickly stem it. We once got $400 knocked off our Verizon bill after merely asking the phone rep for the HQ address to mail complaints to.

• The last tip they have to cut your plan down to the bare minimum as this could be cheaper than the pro-rated termination fee, usually around $200. You have to be careful with this one because depending on the plan you knock down to, it could re-extend your contract for another two years.

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  1. Papa K says:

    One trick I used was put my phone on ‘vacation.’ I said I was leaving the country (China, I believe) and wouldn’t need my cell phone there (roaming, you know).

    I had about six months left on the contract, and was more willing to shell out $5/month compared to the $200 they wanted (or whatever it was then).