Break Your Verizon Contract Without Fee, Thanks to TXT Msg Raise

Do we sense a theme here? Verizon is raising their text message rates for those without a messaging plan. Loyal readers of this blog will know what comes next, if the rate increase constitutes a “MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON YOU” you can “CAN END THE AFFECTED SERVICE, WITHOUT ANY EARLY TERMINATION FEE”.

Details inside.

From Verizon’s website:

    If you are not currently subscribed to a Messaging Package, beginning March 1, 2007, the price for sending TXT Messages to the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico – as well as the price for receiving TXT Messages from anywhere – will increase from $0.10 to $0.15 per message. The price to send an International TXT Message will remain $0.25 per message. If you do subscribe to a Messaging Package, your package rates will stay the same. Please consult your Customer Agreement for information about rate changes.

From Verizon’s Customer Agreement:

    Our Rights To Make Changes
    Your service is subject to our business policies, practices, and procedures, which we can change without notice. UNLESS OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY LAW, WE CAN ALSO CHANGE PRICES AND ANY OTHER CONDITIONS IN THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME BY SENDING YOU WRITTEN NOTICE PRIOR TO THE BILLING PERIOD IN WHICH THE CHANGES WOULD GO INTO EFFECT. IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE YOUR SERVICE AFTER THAT POINT, YOU’RE ACCEPTING THE CHANGES. IF THE CHANGES HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON YOU, HOWEVER, YOU CAN END THE AFFECTED SERVICE, WITHOUT ANY EARLY TERMINATION FEE, JUST BY CALLING US WITHIN 60 DAYS AFTER WE SEND NOTICE OF THE CHANGE.

If you’re ready to end your Verizon service, put on your mean face and give them a call at 800) 922-0204. Ask if the text message rate change applies to you. If it does, read them the “Our Rights to Make Changes” section. Repeat. They’ll probably fight you on this, but hang in there. Ask for a supervisor. Escalate. You can do it! You have until March 1, 2007 to end your service.—MEGHANN MARCO

Verizon Legal Notice of Text Messaging Increase

RELATED: Verizon CEO’s Contact Info
Break Your Cingular Contract Without Fee, Thanks 2 Txt Msg $ Raise

Comments

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  1. nweaver says:

    Is there a guide for keeping/porting your number when you cancel?

  2. SwooshOU says:

    Cingular, check…

    Verizon, check…

    Now we need a script for weaseling out of a Sprint contract!

    Any takers?

  3. guttermind says:

    My two cents: I just got off the phone with a CSR who was unaware of the changes – she had to double-check with her supervisor. Just for kicks I decided to call Verizon, even though my contract will expire 4 February. I explained very nicely that I wasn’t happy with the text message increase and if I would be able to be released from my contract.
    She sounded surprised but pointed out my contract would end early and she didn’t know when the text message increase would be in effect so I could sit tight till then. I asked again if I could speak to someone or a supervisor regarding the dates of this change, she replied firmly that no one has the dates.
    But thanks to Consumerist, I know Verizon will increase text fees on March 1. Hmmm…
    I wish luck on those looking to be released.

  4. d0x says:

    Can you cancel the contract if you subscribe to the text messaging package?

  5. zgarza says:

    I contacted verizon and this is what they say.

    If you have the text message package, they are claiming you will still have to pay the early termination fee. Even though the rate goes up for any texts over your plan from .10 to .15, just like the pay by pay no text plan.

    But you can cancel your text plan before the rate increase happens, and then, when the rate goes up on March 1st, you will be able to cancel your contract without paying the extra fees.

    Seems to me that even if you have the text plan, you should still be able to cancel cause if you go over, you are still paying the increased price for the text messages, but they stood pretty strong on that point.

    So…cancel your text plans for a month, and then bail. Thats what I’m going to do.

  6. Kromem says:

    Does anyone LIKE their carriers? I’m Verizon, hate them, actually added in a date when my contract was up, and totally going to use this to get out of the contract, but then….I have no idea where I’m going to go.

    I guess I could flash the Alltel interface onto my phone and try to go to them for a monthly contract – I’ve heard good stuff.

    Any other suggestions? Good GSM networks, etc?

    I’ll let you guys know how the cancel call goes once I figure out where I’m switching and go through with it (my cell is my only phone, so I need to have service set up as soon as I cancel).

  7. Sqube says:

    I’m really inclined to do this… but I just don’t know who I’d go to. If I left Verizon, I think I’d pretty much have to go to Cingular. On the other hand, I’ve heard entirely too many horror stories about their customer service to really feel comfortable doing it.

    On the other other hand, I really want the LG Shine, and just know that Verizon’s giong to rape the UI like they always do.

    Why does life have to be so hard?

  8. dohtem says:

    Kromem: I am with T-Mobile and I love them. The CSRs can be clueless at times but I am usually more knowledgeable about what I want and I kinda know how to work them.

    Visit a phone forum like Howard Forums and learn the tricks. Sometimes people that work for these phone companies will post there anonymously to teach you how to get the most bang for your buck.

    If you don’t mind switching over to a GSM network, I’d recommend T-Mobile.

  9. leanback413 says:

    Are you allowed to stay on a month to month if you cancel the contract?

    If you have a text plan can you cancel it before march 1 and still try to break the contract?

  10. MrSelfDestruct says:

    “Are you allowed to stay on a month to month if you cancel the contract?

    If you have a text plan can you cancel it before march 1 and still try to break the contract?”

    Those are also my two questions….

  11. manbeast7 says:

    Ok, I just called and I argued with someone for for about 20 minutes to cancel my account without the ETF. I totally owned her and at the end she said that she agreed with me but she still couldn’t cancel my account without the ETF because of her supervisors orders. So, I asked to talk to her supervisor and she said that she was on the other line and that when she is available she will call me back. I doubt that the supervisor will ever call me back.

    I will be calling every day until March 1st.

  12. lordargent says:

    My contract expired 3 years ago (5 year old contract).

    But like Kromem says:, who would I switch to?

    When I bought my condo, I couldn’t get a signal with sprint, that’s why I switched to verizon. Also, I’m no fan of GSM so that basically rules cingular out.

    /it was 4cents to send, 3 to receive when my plan first started.

    /screw text messages, I already have more minutes than I can use, leave voicemail.

  13. DTWD says:

    Awww… I have three phones with mine(The primary) having the TXT plan. If all the phones are on a family plan, is there anyway to cancel the other two?

  14. shiver11 says:

    Repeat: Can you stay on a month to month if you cancel your plan with verizon? Are you able tufyo transfer your existing number?

    Someone please verify…

  15. Papa K says:

    I have four plans, all with unlimited “in” calling and txting. I hate Verizon, but it’s the only thing that works for two people on the plan (in-laws).

    I’d suggest we switch, but I’ve yet to find a carrier that doesn’t suck.

  16. drose8_07 says:

    Has anyone yet actually called and canceled their plan. I am wanting to do so, so I can upgrade my phone. I tried to call and they say that the Txt messages are a feature and they could actually remove that feature so they said we would not be able to terminate the contract early.

  17. LopsidedElf says:

    i called and they wouldn’t let me cancel, so how would i argue that it has a material adverse effect on me, and what does that mean?

  18. bullfroger89 says:

    I have two lines. One with a texting package and another without. I tried to get out of the contract and they wouldnt let me. They said that the one with the package is not being affected, and the one without the package had minimal use. So unless you text a substantial amount without a plan your chance of breaking the contract is minimal.

  19. Repton says:

    Geez, text messages are expensive in the states. In NZ, we pay 20c (about 14 US cents) to send texts anywhere in the world, and nothing to receive. And we’re not exactly well-known for cheap telecommunications..

  20. FunPaul says:

    Can anyone confirm whether Verizon will allow us to go to a month to month after breaking the contract? On one hand I’m sure that’s not their preferred method of doing business and on the other they’re still getting money.

  21. manbeast7 says:

    If anyone has called or is planning on calling to try to cancel your account without an ETF please let us know how it goes.

  22. Chumba says:

    Why in the hell do text messages cost so much to begin with. There is no way the cost of text messages should go up – if anything they should go down.

    This is just a round robin way to rape the consumer because “everyone else is doing it”. What a freaking joke.

  23. emily917 says:

    I chose Verizon Wireless for its coverage not for its text messaging. I have come to depend on its realibility. Isn’t a phone used to make and receive calls? I would rather have a service that works than to go to another carrier to pay less for texting because you cannot make a call!

  24. ron-o-neil says:

    I DID IT!

    This “loophole”completely works.

    I had a family plan (1400 min) with the standard messaging plan and I was able to break the contract without much of a hassle and NO $175 cancellation fee!!!

    The down side is they will NOT allow you to go to a month to month contract, silly…

    I was also able to port over my numbers to the new service provider without trouble (you must sign up with the new service provider first).

    Verizon is one of the better providers out there but, I had other reasons (iPhone release in May/June) ; )~

  25. shiver11 says:

    I DID IT!

    This “loophole” completely works and with little hassle if you read the supporting facts to them (ask for a supervisor).

    I had a family plan (1400 min) with standard text messaging and was able to cancel my service for every number in the plan.

    However,
    VERIZON WILL NOT LET YOU GO TO A MONTH TO MONTH CONTRACT (to bad for them) so you will have to sign up with another provider first if you want to secure/save your existing phone number and then cancel.

    Verizon is one of the better providers out there but so is Cingular and I had other reasons for wanting to break my contract (iPhone releases in May/June) ; )~

  26. mark_z29 says:

    I called and was transferred to a supervisor. He said that text messaging is a “feature” which you do not have to use, and thus is not affected by the “…can end the affected service…” clause. (I do not have a text messaging plan, but send several messages a month.)

    And what precisely is “material adversity”? That should be defined somewhere.

    I don’t see too many people making this argument fly.

  27. shiver11 says:

    Trust me it works. You have to understand the argument for starters and second, you must at least present yourself as if you know what you talking about.

    I have my new phones from Cingular in hand with my old Verizon numbers.

    Easy as 1, 2, 3…

  28. shiver11 says:

    Oh, and “A Material Adverse affect” in this situation means that the text messaging increased fee’s cost you more money. Thus, if you recieve or send text messages at all the increased fee’s affects you by taking more money from you wallet…

    Rea the clear instructions from MEGHANN MARCO above and you should have NO problems.

  29. wfj5444 says:

    I just cancelled my service. It was surprisingly easy. The first person I got to told me I could not cancel yet because “the notices have not been sent out.” I thought that was a dead end. I called back and I asked again using Meghann’s info. I was told that it was not a change in contract, etc. I escalated and within 3 minutes the same lady came back and told me either I could get a $5 credit per line and a new package, or cancel with the fee being waived. Woo hoo! Thanks Consumerist!

  30. whitethug says:

    Just canceled my service and it was pretty easy. I had to endure a bit of a hold, but I kept strong and kept referring to the CSA and talked about the lack of definition of Adverse Material Effect, and how I do not like the idea of contact changing in the middle. And they were very receptive. One note, is that I needed pay as you go text messages (just meaning you don’t have a plan)…pretty easy.

  31. eileen says:

    “I called and was transferred to a supervisor. He said that text messaging is a “feature” which you do not have to use, and thus is not affected by the “…can end the affected service…” clause. (I do not have a text messaging plan, but send several messages a month.)”

    …This is exactly what just happened to me. I did escalate to a supervisor and she told me the same thing. I argued for a long time but they did not budge. I do not have a text plan,a nd I have already ported my number to another carrier. Any other thoughts? Is there a magic phrase I’m missing? Thanks!

  32. Penguin66 says:

    Looking for a little advice. I would like to cancel my Verizon contract so that I can switch to my wife’s Cingular plan. Should I first go to Cingular and port my number to them? Or, Should I make sure I can get out of my contract with Verizon first before I port the number to Cingular? Any advice would be great.

  33. y2jayjk says:

    Is there anyway someone can make up a Mock conversation, ha. As in what I should say when I call…I have a Cingular phone coming, i wasnt going to do this until I received the phone. Also, how do i keep the same number for Cingular from Verizon?

  34. shiver11 says:

    YOU NEED TO PORT/HOLD YOUR EXISTING NUMBER FIRST WITH YOUR NEW CARRIER BEFORE CONCELING YOUR VERIZON CONTRACT!

    When you call Verizon and request to cancel make sure you repeat the information highlighted above by the original post person “Meghann Marco” (at the top of the page) and ask to speak to a customer service supervisor. When you speak to a supervisor state that you have no txt messaging plan and currently send txt messages and that the new upgrade in fee’s has a material adverse affect on your financial budget. It’s as simple as that. If they continue the conversation repeat, repeat, repeat, and make sure to read the contract information that states you are allowed to cancel your contract with in 60 days from receiving the notification of increased fee’s.

  35. gramptaz says:

    why are your fonts so small most people can’t read what’s on the site and a print out is so small a full sheet magnifier does nothing to help

  36. kathymichelle says:

    I have a verizon contract, six months left. Horrible service with many dropped calls. I have done the *** ‘send’ and the CS rep said not all areas have service. Mine has text, my DH’s does not. We are after the March 1, 2007. We pay on-line.
    Is there ANY out for us? We already have the AT&T phones and they are wonderful. Service in AK/WA/AZ.
    I have read that IF you roam ‘too much’ that VZW will cancel you. However I don’t want to wait 3 months for that.
    I need to cancel SOON!

    Any help out there for us?

    Thanks so much!