UPDATE: Cancel Verizon By Moving to Cambodia

It’s raining and dreary, a perfect day for an indoor project. Like forgery. To escape our Verizon contract, we told them we’re moving to Cambodia to work in the US Embassy. The 30 days for us to send them proof of this is coming up. We know this really pissed a lot of people off when we first did this so let us explain. We were told that one way to break your cellphone contract was to tell them you’re moving to an area out their service range. Cambodia certainly fits the bill. Almost too well, it can be argued.

Personally, we think the $175 terminations fees are a crock. Professionally, we want to see whether it really works or not. Be sure to check out our new blog, “Stuck in Folsom Prison.”

We don’t advise anyone doing this. This is a “do not try at home,” like wrestling on your roof or riding shopping carts down stairs.

(Yes, the letter looks like crap on purpose. Anyone know a free online fax service that doesn’t make you sign up for a monthly service?)

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    While you’re at it you could also keep a tally on how many federal laws you’re breaking. Might be fun! :)

  2. Ben, surely you’re better off forging a Cambodian power company bill than falsifying a document from a United States embassy.

  3. Triteon says:

    It also may help to not post your own falsified letter on a website of ever-increasing reknown.

  4. Magister says:

    If you really submit that, and someone at Verizon happens to read this website… Then you could be in a bunch of do-do… What happens if you succeed? This link will go out everywhere, then some dude under the guise of Homeland Security will come, knock on your door, take all your water and ask you to come with him.

  5. Plaid Rabbit says:

    Fraud like this is sure to send you to pound-me-in-the-ass prison, dude.

    Come on, it was funny, but going through with it?

  6. Emrikol says:

    *cough*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forgery*cough*

    Really though, it is amazing how hard and horrible canceling service for anyone is anymore. I’m surprised the credit card companies aren’t charging a “universial paperwork malignancy fee” or something when you cancel.

  7. I have to agree with Danilo…surely there is another document that you can forge that won’t subject you to Federal Felony charges of fraud or whatever the other cornucopia of charges that our government can bring against you?

    A website of this size, dealing with the topics that you do…don’t you have a lawyer on retainer, or maybe a family member who is a lawyer or a Black’s Law Dictionary or something?

  8. I would direct you here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18

    Though this is in no way legal counsel.

    Also, what is the point of this exercise? Proving that you need to commit a federal crime to get out of a phone contract without paying a fee?

    It would be tremendously more useful if you could find a legal, if not quasi-ethical method of getting out of these unreasonable contracts…

  9. Ok…it ate my comment…let’s try this again.

    I direct you here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18

    Though, this is in no way legal counsel…

    What is the point of this exercise? To prove that you must commit a federal crime to cancel a cell phone contract?

    It would be immensely more useful if you could provide a legal, if not quasi-ethical, method of cancelling a cell phone contract. I think most people when faced with a $200 cancellation fee or federal fines and a minimum 5 years imprisonment, will just pay the damn cancellation fee.

  10. Jess A. says:

    crayonshinobi: “Proving that you need to commit a federal crime to get out of a phone contract without paying a fee?

    Or, really, proving that you could commit a federal crime to facilitate getting out of a phone contract early without paying a fee. My Verizon contract only charges a termination fee if I wanted to end the contract early. After all, it is a contract that I signed, agreeing to keep the service for however long the contract was for, and at the time of signing I agreed to pay a termination fee if ending the contract early.

    In other words — I think that it’s pretty lame to treat the termination fee that’s a standard part of the contract as if it’s a grave injustice against consumers. And it’s lamer, still, to approach fraud & forgery as a means of escaping a contract you willingly signed.

  11. Sheik says:

    I don’t think your going to be blow the whistle on any big companies in the slammer. Do they even give you internet access? Doubt it

  12. DeeJayQueue says:

    I think the point is that consumers don’t get any benefits out of signing a contract with a cell provider. Yeah, you get a discount on a phone, but anymore the prices on phones have come down a lot, to the point where the ones people want they have to pay full price for anyway, and you only get the cheapy one for free or discounted with a new contract. The only party the contract benefits is Verizon. Charging you a term fee is just cell companies’ way of sticking you in the butt and preventing fair competition.

    I don’t think I’d resort to fraud or anything to get out of a contract but I agree that they’re mostly just bad profit.

  13. Smoking Pope says:

    Wait, don’t start baking cakes with files in them yet. Here’s how this plays out:

    Scenario #1 – Verizon sees the page and refuses to waive the termination fee.

    Scenario #2 – Verizon waives the termination fee, which Ben leaves Ben two outs: Pay the fee anyway, or change his mind and keep the service.

    Scneario #3 – Verizon waives the fee, Ben cackles evilly and spends the money on smack.

    Realistically, only scenario #3 lands Ben in real hot water if the feds take notice. Otherwise he can plausibly claim that the whole thing was a function of his job as a consumer watchdog and no one was deprived of any money.

    Yeah, the feds may want to speak to him about forging US Embassy paperwork, but I find it hard to believe they’d prosecute unless he gained monetarily.

  14. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    Please keep in mind that Europe espouses the alternative to the US cellular system. Here’s how they compare:

    * In the EU, tie-in agreements (providing discounted phones in exchange for a commitment) are not allowed, so

    * You choose your own provider,

    * The monthly charges are about the same as they are in the US,

    * You are free to change providers at any time, but

    * You pay the full, no-contract price of the phone, but you can buy it from the cheapest vendor.

    It’s a trade-off between being free to change carriers or having the opportunity to buy subsidized phones.

  15. RandomHookup says:

    Your Holiness:

    You forgot Scenario #4 — He blames his evil twin Brownlee for the whole thing.

  16. Smoking Pope says:

    Or scenario #5 – He pockets the $175, flees to Singapore and lives like a king until such time as Verizon’s black ops team tracks him down and has him whacked.

  17. I don’t think the crime here is the deprivation of money, Smoking Pope.

    Rather, I think it’s probably not okay to falsify and pass a document purported to originate from a consular office of the United States federal government. I mean, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV, but that’s not exactly the sort of thing that would help me sleep well at night.

  18. Smoking Pope says:

    I know that, but all things considered, the feds would probably not care to prosecute a case where the falsification was done in public and didn’t result in monetary gain. That transparency would probably be enough to just result in a stern warning (possibly with thumbscrews).

    That having been said, the current political environment certainly makes that very iffy, and it’s not something I would’ve chosen to do.

  19. homerjay says:

    Judging by Ben’s lack of response to all these plea’s combined with no more posts to the blog after this one, I’d say he’s already locked up at Gitmo.

  20. RandomHookup says:

    He’s actually on a plane to Thailand as we speak after being designated the “felon to be named later” in the John Mark Karr swap.

  21. Gunnar says:

    you can use Scanr to send faxes, however you will first have to sign up for the service (it’s free).

  22. basherbot4000 says:

    Wow, I haven’t seen this much positive feedback since we were all laughing about 49 people burning to death a few days ago!

  23. RapperMC says:

    I feel bad for you Ben. I had a similar experience a couple of years ago when I decided to try and auction off my vote for the 2004 election on eBay. Only once I had listed it did my friends start sending articles about others who had done that, and how they had been arrested and all of this stuff. I made myself physically ill, waiting for Johnny Law to bust down my door.

    But, hey! Nothing ever happened to me.

    Of course, I took it off the next day, so…

  24. Jesse in Japan says:

    Um, shouldn’t that letterhead read United States Department of State?

  25. “You forgot Scenario #4 — He blames his evil twin Brownlee for the whole thing.”

    This one ain’t me. Ben and I have a difference of opinion on this whole “Verizon Cambodia” thing: I would tend to sympathize with the argument that you signed a contract, and you shouldn’t lie or shirk your way out of it. And Ben might agree with that, but he’s way more into the “investigative journalism” aspect of this site than I am, which is what these posts are about.

  26. Sheik says:

    Just fax it from a kinkos. They’ll never beable to identify you.

  27. Not-A-Fraud says:

    Nice job. My wife got out of her Verizon contract because we actually live in Italy and work at the consulate. I’m glad she took care of this before you started this BS, because we’d probably have to have the Ambassador call to verify our new residence. PS: We just used a utility bill, as per Verizon’s instructions.

  28. RapperMC says:

    Whatever happened with this? I guess you didn’t go to jail, huh?

  29. VZWCustService says:

    Ha. You know what’s hilarious? That idiot allowed everyone to see his name on that forged document. His FULL NAME. And I work for Verizon Wireless. Cancelled accounts don’t just disappear. It won’t be hard to find.

    In two words – he’s screwed.

  30. Impetusangelic says:

    I completely agree, forging a federal document is a bit extreme especially for something as trivial as getting out of a contract that you did initially agree to.
    *I’m not sure if it still works but about 2 years ago a cellphone salesman (who I will not name) did tell me that if you really want out of your contract the best way to do it is to open up a PO Box in an area that is not serviced by your provider.

    The reason I say this may no longer work is due to the fact that I have Tmobile and recently moved to an area they do not service. When I inquired about breaking my contract they are requesting me to send in a faxed copy of my Drivers License that would prove my new address.

    So for some the PO box may work but for Tmobile I know it does not. It’s atleast an alternative to look in to.