Script For Escaping Verizon Contracts Without Fee, Based On Text Message Rate Raises

Use this aggressive step-by-step script for leaving your Verizon contract early, without paying $175, in under 30 minutes.

No longer will Verizon get to think they can carve their logo in your head for life.

The play turns on Verizon’s recent raise in basic text-messaging rates from $.10 to $.15. We’ve laid out these steps before, but we enjoy Roosh’s confrontational style. He created the script based on previous Consumerist posts and comments. He talked to three different reps in thirty minutes. Within an hour after hanging up, his phone was off.

Read how it’s done, inside…


Roosh writes:

I canceled my verizon wireless service without a termination fee today. It took about 30 minutes and I had to talk to three people.

The tier 0 rep said she was transferring me to another department, but it was really just another tier 0 rep who was reading prompts. He said, “I will be more than happy to cancel your contract, but you will be charged $175.” He tried to say texting was a feature and not part of the service. I escalated to a supervisor.

Supervisor first tried to sell me a text messaging plan. I told her I shouldn’t have to pay a monthly fee to compensate for their increase. Then she said she would give me an UNLIMITED text plan for the remaining life of my contract. That caught me off-guard but I remained angry and pointed out that once the contract is over, I’d still have to pay more.

She then said, “Okay well now I see that you want to cancel no matter what for other reasons, instead of just the text messaging.” Maybe she reads this site, I thought. But I stayed firm and said, “You can think whatever you want to think, but I am telling you I’m cancelling because of the text messaging increase. I’m angry that Verizon can just increase text messaging prices by 50%.”

So she did it and my phone is being cut off within 24 hours, no termination fee.

I typed out a calling script and wrote down good answers to what would be common questions. Call prepared, be firm, and you will be free.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will have a lot more difficulty arguing this if you’re on a text-message plan. Be sure to cancel any text-message plans first before attempting.


Verizon Wireless Cancel Script

1. Note this section:

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.

2. Call Verizon at (800) 922-0204

3. Ask them if the change applies to you. They will say yes.

4. Say, “I was also reading this section in my customer agreement,” and read this aloud:

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.

5. Say, “Because this 50% increase in text messaging has a material adverse affect on me, I would like to cancel my contract without a termination fee.”

6. Escalate to supervisor when Tier 0 peon tells you to fuck off.

Answers to likely ploys:

VERIZON: “You don’t have to use text messaging.”

REBUTTAL: “But text messaging is part of the service that is spelled out in my contract for $.10 a message, which you are changing. As you can tell from my past usage, my network of friends and family have been using text messaging to communicate with me so even if I don’t send any out, I will still be charged your 50% increase rate to read text messages, which I will continue to get and read because that is how people communicate with me. Plus not being able to text message would be an effective reduction in service, which is not what I signed up for.”

VERIZON: “The increase is not materially adverse”

REBUTTAL: ” Wrong, it is. If I’m sending or receiving an average of 100 texts/month (check my history for this because it is a conservative estimate), then your 50% increase is costing me $5 a month or $60 a year. My monthly bill is $55 a year, so if I decide to send Verizon one less payment each month, would they consider that adverse? Of course they would. You would cancel my service and send the amount to debt collectors. I’m confident any court of law will find $60 to be adverse. “

VERIZON: “Still, this is not materially adverse.”

REBUTTAl: “Nowhere in your contract does not give a concrete definition of materially adverse. I’m telling you this is materially adverse, you know it’s materially adverse, and I’m confident a court of law will side with me that it is materially adverse. What is the point of a contract if you can just arbitrarily increase prices by 50% and then tell users they can’t cancel even though it’s spelled out in that very contract? “

VERIZON: “Sorry we still cannot cancel your contract.”

REBUTTAL: “I tried to be reasonable but I have no choice to fight this. You know I’m in the right. I will file a complaint with the FCC, BBB, and my state attorney’s office about what I believe is fraud. You are not honoring a contract that you agreed with me, and this is not fair. I’m asking you nicely, can you please cancel my contract without termination fee, like it says I can do in my contract?”

VERIZON: “Sorry, we still cannot cancel your contract.”

REBUTTAL: “Can I please have you name and ID number? I will be contacting your VP of Customer Service, Barbara Trinko, and complaining about the level of service you have provided with me today. Then I will call back tomorrow, and every day after that until you decide to change your mind. I will also offer you updates on the complaints I will be filing after I get off the phone with you.”


VP customer sevice
Barbara Trinko

barbara.trinko@verizonwireless.com

Her assistant
Cindy Granroos.
cindy.granroos@verizonwireless.com

phone: 480-783-5052 or 602-206-6882


Now that you’ve canceled Verizon, you may want to sign up for a new cellphone provider. Check this post, “Wireless Number Portability: How to Keep Your Number” if you want to keep your phone number.

RELATED:
Everything You Wanted To Know About Canceling Verizon But Were Afraid To Ask
Break Your Verizon Contract Without Fee, Thanks to TXT Msg Raise

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. grouse says:

    I love these scripts. Nice to have one on our side for a change.

  2. Yoni K says:

    Are there any cell phone service providers that are halfway decent? Why bother leaving Verizon (or Cingular) for more of the same B.S.?

  3. Vinny says:

    Be careful here, though, because if you cancel your Verizon account, you cannot port your number.

    I’m not quite sure how you would handle making this call AND porting your number. My guess would be to get them to allow you to cancel, and then port your number because if Verizon cancels you, you cannot port your number.

  4. NaughtyBitsGLiF says:

    After reading that I would wanna change my contract too. And I’m using Cingular.

  5. xaotica says:

    “My guess would be to get them to allow you to cancel, and then port your number because if Verizon cancels you, you cannot port your number.”

    i’ve been working for a telcom for ~6 years, including the department that handles ownership/movement of numbers. you can’t port a cancelled number regardless of whose decision it is to cancel it. you’d have to convince them to let it go while it’s still active without charging the contract cancellation fee. cancellation fees are b.s., though, so i agree that it ought to be possible.

  6. J.T. says:

    This is amazing. I seriously respect you, good sir, for being so forthright with this. It’s amazing what one must do sometimes to cut through the smoke and mirrors to get what you want.

    Kudos.

  7. r3m0t says:

    Agreed with J.T. – sometimes sticking companies to their contracts can suck big time.

    Plus, in America they charge you for /receiving/ text messages? That’s just insane!

    In the UK, they only charge you for receiving text messages when you’re outside the UK. You also usually have to notify them beforehand so that you don’t get surprised by the bill.

  8. grouse says:

    I don’t even know of any UK network that charges for receiving text messages overseas. You do get charged for receiving phone calls overseas though, while usually that is free to the receiver.

  9. shoegazer says:

    @grouse: 3 UK are waiving roaming charges if you are connected to a 3 network abroad (like in Hong Kong, Australia and Scandinavia, among others – not the US though, surprise surprise…). You can also take your plan abroad with Vodafone (i.e., pay the same for calling out when abroad as you do when in the UK).

    I too am gobsmacked at how the US carriers can charge you to receive txt messages. I must have spent more on receiving texts last Christmas than sending them. Damn my innate charisma and unsinkable popularity! ;-)

  10. fugly says:

    Jeez! I knew US networks charged for recieving calls, but texts too? OMGWTFBBQ!!!
    you guys really do take it in the rear from these guys, i thought UK nets were bad but that just blows! esp since you can’t exactly say “well i just won’t send any texts any more….” I say stick it to the thieving bullies for all you can.

  11. michaelw436 says:

    I canceled my service on January 24, and got the rep to verify that there wouldn’t be an early termination fee. I got billed on February 4, early termination fee included. I went through the whole deal again with another rep, and they agreed to credit my account. They said it would take 90 days for them to mail me a check. I think it is ridiculous that I paid them month after month, right on time, but when they owe me money, they wait 90 days. I am willing to bet that the whole company gets amnesia when the 90 days is up and I don’t see my check.

  12. Papa K says:

    There was a period that Cingular had free incoming text messages (even the plans SAID that – now they deny there was ever free messaging).

    The thing about the increase is – it should work even if you *have* a plan, because you still get charged more for msgs from anyone not a verizon customer – which still constitutes a change.

  13. Roosh says:

    I kept verifying with her that I would not be charged an early termination fee and she said I wouldn’t. I got her full name just in case.

    I hear other people got their phones cut off at the end of their billing cycle, so I think her cutting off my phone within an hour was her little jab.

  14. themacthinker says:

    Good stuff.

    ———-
    http://www.mostofmymac.com

  15. Nakko says:

    How does this work if your phone was provided “free” in the contract? Do you just simply have to return it?

  16. jimdean says:

    I found you guys via digg.

    I called Verizon, and since I have had a pretty good experience with them, I phrased it as “I would rather not cancel my account, but that’s what I might be forced to do”.

    The initial rep but extremely unhelpful. She tried to suggest that I turn off my text messaging. I explained that it was a feature listed on my contract and for 10 cents each. And since Verizon was raising the price on me, they were breaking my contract. After a back and forth, and again asking for a supervisor, she said someone would have to call me.

    About 45 mins later, I got the call. I phrased it as follows: “I’ve been a good customer and haven’t had problems before with Verizon but I may be forced to choose between canceling my account and paying 50% more for a feature of my account.”

    In return the supervisor offered me a one-time credit of $5 (must be the going rate).

    I explained that I have 18 months left on my contract and at my current usage levels ($8 month across two lines). I would be paying extra after the second month.

    The supervisor then asked a shocker “What can we do so we don’t lose you as a customer?”.

    I said I didn’t want to pay the new rate on text messages. After do the math, she said she could offer me a one-time $70 credit to cover for the extra charges. And I took and ran! Sure, they’re banking on us increasing our messaging, but we’ll see who wins that gamble.

    The moral of the story is if you’re persistent, and don’t want to leave, you can cut a deal. Me, I got $70 for maybe 10 minutes worth of total work. At the very least, if we maintain our messaging levels, we break even through the end of our contract.

    That said, the willingness of the supervisor to cut a deal proves the point – you have an out if you want it.

  17. cooljames says:

    I just called, and this totally worked. Once I identified myself as “nobody’s fool”, they updated my account with information relevant to my waived termination fee. When I find a better plan, I’ll just port the number and the fee will be waived.

    At least that’s what they say will happen. My experience from other companies is that fee waiving is like pulling teeth.

  18. Nygdan says:

    If more supervisors at more companies were sensible like that, then they’d probably keep more people from leaving and make up the $70 loss just by keeping the person as a customer.

  19. Maciek - symbiosis60.com says:

    To blokes in the UK.. Well we don’t really get it up our bums that much.. You get charged for incoming and outgoing SMS’ if don’t have any text messaging plan. If you have a SMS bucket plan, then you pay for that bucket and and messages just get pulled out of that allotment whether they’re incoming or outgoing. Also mind you that here we have plans with 1000 minutes per month for $39 and 1000 ANY SMS (MMS, MMS, Video) for $9 on top of $39 so try topping that with UK plans. True…the minutes in your plan get depleted whether you call or someone calls you but on the other hand in the US you don’t pay extra if you pay a mobile phone from land line. The divide is just different and so are plans.


    Matt

  20. Steve_Holt says:

    I have 2 questions, (and I apologize for being tardy to this thread)…

    1. Does anyone know if it’s possible to use this method to cancel a Verizon contract, still keep my phone (Samsung a990) and my number, but stay with Verizon on a month-to-month plan? Because that would be nice.

    2. What was the original notification date for the txt increase? i.e. when is the 60-day period for canceling over?

    Thanks.

  21. dustboo says:

    yay! thank you so much for this! i followed the directions exactly, and got exactly what i wanted! i no longer have vzw as of the 18th, and they owe me $100.

    it was quite painless too!

  22. digitalmaddog says:

    doesnt work they say the text messaging is a feature and not a service problem they say that this does not effect your service and this is a feature of the contract and they can change what ever they want to features

    i explained about the “a concrete definition of materially adverse”but he kept saying its a feature and not the service

    i did speak to one woman then was on hold for 7 minutes then the supervisor got on the phone

    after all was said he would not cancel my contract i told him this was outrageous and i would look over my contract more and contact the vp of cs — his response was here is my name and ext # have a nice day

    i will try the fax of the orig contract!!!

    thanks

    dm

  23. Roosh says:

    dm:

    Gotta be more aggressive than that. Say that text messaging is indeed an important part of the service and it is spelled out in your contract for .10 cents/msg. And that is why your phone has text messaging. Write down a good answer and try again. Also check out the digg thread from this post for more ideas.

  24. reddymedic says:

    I disagree about not being able to port your number without first cancelling your other service… It’s as simple as knowing your appropriate account information. I did it just fine.

  25. digitalmaddog says:

    thanks ill try that to!!!

    DM

  26. shaneh says:

    I called today and I received no pushback whatsoever. I wasn’t able to port my number, but seeing as I had just re-signed for a new 2-year deal and gotten a brand-new phone, I got the better end of things. No early termination fee, new phone I can give to my parents who still have Verizon, and now I can price around.

  27. spacejake says:

    I tried this script today and it did not work. I was on the phone with the first rep for 15 minutes. After talking past each other for a while, I went on to her manager. Talked for 30 minutes. More spinning wheels. I went through almost every “talking point” listed here, and he refused to budge an inch. “That’s how our legal team has advised us, so I’m afraid the best I can offer you is the $175 termination fee.” Over and over again.

    Hopefully others will have better luck. I might try again. Incidentally, I’m near the end of my contract, with 2 months remaining. I find it strange that they’d let the commenter above go so easily when she had a much longer term remaining. Go figure.

  28. skandranon says:

    I have been a verison customer for 3 years give or take. I had two lines, one out of contract and one with 6 months left. I called and had minimal hassles from them on canceling. Went though the whole deal reading them the two parts. Tier 1 rep barly tried to change my mind. Block txt msg, buy a package.. Then said it would be no problem and asked me to hold. Came back and now a supervisor is suposed to call me back. Why? They need to aprove not charging you the fee. Hrm ok how long? 24-48 hours. So I waited. 48 hours later, still no call. Called them. Asked for a supivisor. Maybe I can help you? I dont think so but heres the deal. Oh ok. Well in order to cancel the acount I will need to speak with the primay acount holder, only she can do this. (In my wifes name. Have this problem all the time. They ussally talk to her and then she gives me back the phone and deal with them.) They spoke with her 48 hours ago. Only she can cancel the contract. Ok she will tell you what you need so you can talk to me. Ok. They get her on the phone and then reoffer her the options they offered me 2 days ago. She says the right things and ok no problem, thank you for chosing verison, have a good day. All in all very little problems. Just be ready with what you need to say. If you say the wrong thing then you are not gonna be able to use this. Also if you have a txt msg plan you are outa luck. Be nice. It helps.

  29. uesque says:

    I used this script to cancel my service, and they must have caught on and either given up fighting, or lost the battle at some legal level, because they let me out without even talking to a supervisor. The CSR merely looked up the date that they sent the letter to see if I was within the 60 days, put me on hold to find a supervisor, came back on the line to tell me that it would be a bit longer for the supervisor, put me on hold again for even longer, and then came back and told me that the service was canceled with no fee. She did try to talk me into a plan, and also mentioned the competitors raising prices, but admitted that it was because she was required to, she actually applied very little pressure. It sounded like they now have a process for handling such calls, because they knew exactly what I was doing, and didn’t resist very much. It cost me about 15-20 minutes on hold as punishment, but I just put it on speaker and went about my business to the pretty music.

  30. mugen426 says:

    Just want to add my 2 cents here because i benefited from this post in regards to canceling my Verizon contract. Don’t give up the fight when the Customer Serivce Rep says no. Keep repeating the “OUR RIGHTS TO MAKE CHANGES…” part from top of the page mention the materially adverse part, and that should do the trick. I did get disconnected a few times and I’m not sure if those were accidents or not. Never-the-less, I got my account cancel without fees………Just as I am finishing this up, the Verizon lady ( bitch ) called and told me to fax her a copy of “OUR RIGHTS TO MAKE CHANGES”, of which i use and read, to her. She said there isn’t anywhere in their system that has such a thing. Well well well, she must’ve not worked there for very long or is not very bright. It’s in their Servive Agreement that is posted on the website.

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/footer/customerAgreemen

    Anyways, I just faxed it over. I should’ve canceled it on the spot, but I want to port the number tomorrow when I’m getting new service. Anyways, good luck to you all.

  31. sammygirl says:

    Verizon doesn’t send memo’s to its workers. They just have updates that they don’t really have to read. Its not really mandatory and I think a lot of the workers are worried about getting bonus’s more than they are about getting people out of contracts.

    If you have to get transferred its probably because you’re dealing with an outsource company and they might put up a fight because they probably haven’t read the update. They shouldn’t care so much about transferring you anyway because they don’t get docked anything for disconnecting the line.

    As for porting numbers over, as long as the account is active, you should probably call Verizon, tell them you’re porting over the number and it is because of the change in per txt price. You should be able to change it without the ETF but you may still get a charge for it later down the line. Its only because a computer disconnects and someone has to go in to take it out. No need to get upset. You’re already out of contract with them.

    You shouldn’t have to return the phone either because its not part of the contract. They sold it to you for free.

    If they keep saying all kinds of stuff, you really don’t need to explain anything to them. Say you got a notice in the mail and ask them to transfer you to the disconnect/loyalty team. If you ask, they have to. Have a good time :D

    Also, trust me, if you had to work there taking calls all day for people that have like 500 dollars in overage that don’t want to pay their bill even though the charges are valid, you’d be hating the world too.

  32. hmcrm says:

    I just thought that I would point something out here, as I have not seen anyone else do so. Nowhere in a customer agreement (from VZW or any other company I’ve had) does it spell out what your pricing is. The customer agreement has legal terminology. Based on this, the argument in the above script stating that the CA says $0.10/msg is incorrect. The CA doesn’t say anything in particular about price. Now I realize that I’m playing the devil’s advocate here, however, look at it from the rep’s point of view…they can tell if you are just trying to get out of your contract, and you can complain about it all you want. The threat of going to court means nothing either. If you check your customer agreements, most companies (VZW & Cingular both have this) state right in the contract that by signing it you agree to arbitration to settle disputes, I.E. NO COURT.

    Granted, you can probably still win that fight, but if you are going to have that fight with the carrier, don’t take your frustration out on the rep on the phone, they’re just doing their job. Would you want someone calling in and screaming at you for doing your job? Then there are those who would read the last statement and say something to this effect: “Then you shouldn’t be working for that company.” This is all fine and good, but not everyone can just quit that job and find something else, for some this is all they can get.

    Just a few thoughts for this whole issue. As a former employee of a cellular service provider, dealing with these issues myself, I feel for the reps. I’m not saying the companies are right, even I think some of the charges are bogus. Do what you can to leave when unhappy, but be courteous and civil in your pursuit. After all, being a prick to someone isn’t going to get you anywhere. Just like the old expression goes, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

  33. shortbear says:

    This only works when speak to someone without the fortitude to stand by their decision. I am a manager with another cell provider and we went through the exact same thing when our pay per use rates increased the same amount. Guess what, I cancelled numerous acoounts for customers, and the only ones that did not get charged the early termination fee were the ones that were no longer under contract. I happily provided my name for the unhappy ones and when they threatened to see me in court, I told them I looked forward to it. So, just hope when you call in, you don’e end up talking to me.

  34. Trackback says:

    Last week, Slashdot linked to an entertaining analysis of the cost of SMS messages. Noting that many carriers are raising their SMS prices despite increasing demand for the service — demand which should be spurring competition — the author of the post figures out the number of bits in a text…

  35. Fernando 'Acero' Sosa says:

    Please read my story at

    [www.ripoffreport.com]

    the tittle is Verizon Wireless Loyalty Dept I was told i could get out of my contract with no early termination fee because price changes affected me.. but Lakanja Jones denied me Florida Nationwide

    i just updated with the last call i made.. where i recorded one of the reps acknowledging that this change is affecting me adversely but somehow her manager doesn’t have a copy of the contract nor access to the verizon wireless website

    The email for Barbara Trinko doesn’t work anymore

  36. Fernando 'Acero' Sosa says:

    I have updated my rip off report.
    [www.ripoffreport.com]

    and I’m very happy to announce that i just received a call from verizon telling me that i can get out of my contract with not EFT. She was very apologetic about the mixed information i got from the other reps. She gave me her number and extension and told me whenever i finish porting my number to give her a call and she also noted my account.

    For a moment i questioned myself for wanting to get off verizon but that moment was shortly lived since i remember all the rude and obnoxious reps i talked to before. And because i want an iphone..

    Note to Verizon abide to your contract and don’t ever ever F with me again

  37. WordzSpoken says:

    Verizon has completely lost it, they are telling me that i cant cancel my contract with them because i owe them a past due amount.