How To Cancel T-Mobile Without ETF

Want to get out of your T-mobile cellphone contract without paying a $200 early termination fee? Now you can. T-mobile is raising its text message rates August 29th to 20 cents per message. This counts as what is known as a “materially adverse change of contract.” Under standard contract law, if one party changes the terms of the agreement in a way that financially harms the other party, then the contract is void. If the contract is void, so is any stipulation that you be charged a fee for breaking it (especially as technically they broke it first). You will have much better success arguing its a materially adverse change of contract if you are not currently in an unlimited text message plan. You don’t have to wait until August to escape, members of the Slickdeals forums are already reporting success escaping without penalty. Stay tuned to The Consumerist for more information and tips on using this money-saving tactic.

SMS rates going up! [TmoNews] (Thanks to Arnaldo!)

(Photo: scentzilla)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Saboth says:

    Heh I like how they called the cops, yet it is perfectly legal for him to do this.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    @Saboth: I think you meant to post here.

  3. blue_duck says:

    That is beautiful~ that’s how I got out of my Sprint contract. In my personal experience, a little nudge from the BBB ensures it goes smoothly.

  4. blue_duck says:

    @Ben Popken: I was wondering about that…

  5. Saboth says:

    @Ben Popken:

    That’s really weird, I didn’t even open the T-mobile post!
    But yup, I meant to post in the other thread.

  6. Dyscord says:

    Heh. I wonder if Sprint’s rates are going up. Would be a good chance to cancel.

  7. Saboth says:

    Actually it looks like the pictures are swapped on the stories now.

  8. AdmiralKit says:

    They’ll try to hold you in if you’ve got any sort of a text messaging plan. When we left Verizon, we had 4 phones on our family plan and two of them had ~200 messages/month or something along those lines. The CSRs tried to argue that because they had text messaging plans, there was nothing materially adverse to those phones and thus should get charged the ETF. However, the counter to that is that if you go over your allotment you get charged, and thus is materially adverse to you (it helps if you’ve gone over a couple of times to emphasize the point).

  9. Prions says:

    I wonder how long until they address this little loophole.

    Something like: “We reserve the right to change service fees at any time without notification” should just about do it.

  10. xhentil says:

    I’m just starting a new job where they will provide me with a cellphone. I’m going to try to get them to give me a stipend for it and I can just keep my TM number and upgrade a few things (Something about a federal ruling on business cellphones being part of pay now?). In the event of this failing, I don’t really want to have two phones.

    I have unlimited texting with TM now. Is there any way I could possibly use this to get out of my contract?

  11. Pro-Pain says:

    @Prions: just a matter of time.

  12. secretoftheeast says:

    I would suggest to readers interested in going through with this to do it sooner rather than later. With the verizon admin charge increase, people had luck early on, and then the legal dept clued all the centers in on the “policy” (not contract law). At that point, you will have to try your luck in arbitration, where the law doesn’t count, just what’s fair (for verizon).

  13. secretoftheeast says:

    @secretoftheeast: Okay, I rambled a bit, but my advice still stands.

  14. girly says:

    Everybody talks about how to get out of most of the carriers…when you get out, where do you go to?

  15. VikingP77 says:

    @girly: I would like to know the same thing! They all suck as far as I’m concerned….

  16. graphikartistry says:

    Hi -

    I’m a t-mo customer, how do i cancel (get out of contract)?

    Can I then re-up without an annual contract? How?

    Thanks!

  17. graphikartistry says:

    Hi… How would you go about canceling service/get out of contract and could you then re-subscribe w/out a contract (month to month or whatever)?

  18. WOOT. Worked. I called and like he said about the plans. They never canceled the txt plan that was on the number. However it was only for 400 msgs. I argued that If i go over im still getting charged more. She still refused. And didnt like me using the term “materialy adverse” :)

    I asked for a supervisor. I was on hold for a min. Then she comes back saying that she talked to him and got permission to waive the fee. One more for the little guy.

  19. If you have a phone already and cancel. then you could then reup. However with a new number. possible activation fees and such. Maybe have to buy a new sim card also. Just be careful on which plan you choose. Some Tmo plans require the contract agreement.

  20. DeafChick says:

    Didn’t they just raise their fee not too long ago? That’s how I got out in the first place.

  21. Mr_D says:

    Like girly says, where do you go from T-Mobile?

    AT&T? Ha.
    Verizon? Double Ha.
    SPRINT? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha……

    While T-Mobile is no cellular messiah, it’s probably the best of a bad lot.

  22. Tzepish says:

    I agree with the others here… I saw this post and figured it’s a great way to escape T-Mobile, but then I researched the other carriers and found that I wouldn’t be better off anywhere else.

    :-(

  23. girly says:

    I have Sprint (8+ years)! LOL!

  24. shorty63136 says:

    FTW!!!

    AT&T since 2002 though. But I love it for the little guy :)

  25. animatedantmo says:

    I would also like to know about using this to simply escape my contract and go month to month. Suggestions?

  26. and I should do this and switch to ATT/VZ/S/etc because. . . ?

    CDMA phones only work in the US, ruling out VZ/S, and ATT has no signal in my office building. Before my colleague dropped his iPhone into a cup of coffee (srsly, that’s hard to do) and killed it, he had to go outside to get a signal, same as with the RAZR before it.

    so T-Mo it is. my contract expires in Nov, I hardly use SMS anyway, and I’m not getting an iFone, so there’s no point really.

  27. Yoni K says:

    FAIL!
    First level tech and supervisor rejected my request.
    I tried the standard argument points (politely, of course), and their general response was: (paraphrase) “The contract includes a clause that allows us to change the rates at any point.”
    Any advice?

  28. @animatedantmo: I can all but gurantee that won’t fly. Don’t let that stop you from trying though!

    @Yoni K: Can they direct you to that portion of the contract? Since I’m gong to presume that you aren’t on the phone with them right now, see if you have your contract hardcopy in a file somewhere

  29. @animatedantmo: That probably won’t fly. Dosen’t mean you can’t try.

    @Yoni K: Look over the hardcopy of your contract and see if it says that (or anything they could interpret as that). Also ask them if they can direct you to the portion of the contract that contains this exclusion.

  30. campredeye says:

    I tried this with US Cellular a while back when they changed their text message plans. I argued with them for a while about it over the exact premise of the “materially adverse change of contract” and they laughed at me. I was given the runaround for a while nothing ever came of it, and then I ended up buying a new phone :|

  31. mike says:

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to cancel your contract and then go month-to-month?

  32. GoBobbyGo says:

    This prompted me to call TMO to ask again if it was possible to cancel all text messages (I don’t really want to drop TMO because, while they suck a little, they suck less than anybody else – they’re far cheaper, the coverage isn’t bad enough to notice a difference, and they’ve got that unlimited wifi calling that makes all my calling from the home phone free)

    The CSR didn’t say no like I expected. Instead he said “not yet” and said that starting in July TMO is giving a lot more control of text messages to its customers – you’ll be able block all of them (which I’m planning to do) or block incoming or outgoing, or even limit a line to a certain number of texts per month, above which the rest are blocked.

    I’m not psyched about being locked to a contract anymore than anybody else, but if the alternative is one of the even-worse cell phone companies, I’ll stay here.

    I just had Verizon for 2 years and the coverage wasn’t much better and it cost 10-15% more. I had AT&T for a short time years ago but they were such liars and thieves that I canceled almost immediately and will never do cell business with them again. What’s left? Sprint? Yeah, right.

    U.S. Cell was the other company I looked at when I switched but they couldn’t come close to competing with TMO on price.

  33. evilghost says:

    GoBobbyGo, my experiences mimic yours. I called and was quite polite to the CSR and explained my situation. Honestly, I use text-messaging infrequently (between my wife and I sharing pictures of our daughters) and there is no solution to effectively mitigate the text spam (even after changing the MMS email address to not use NPANPXX format and disabling Internet->SMS messaging) I still get SMS spam from time to time. It’s hard to justify the rate increase and paying for spam. The CSR spoke of the option to disable SMS messaging (something I called about and requested when I initially established service and was told they could not do as requested because their billing system and notification system depended on messaging). I also heard the July time-frame for more granular controls of SMS.

    I hate being forced to pay for spam. T-Mobile is a great carrier and the state-side CSR/support is much nicer than speaking with CSRs overseas.

  34. nikki0081 says:

    Now if I can only get out of my Sprint contract that’s not up until 2010

  35. ogremustcrush says:

    Eh, this is cool, but I don’t really have an incentive to do it. I like T-mobiles service, and since I wouldn’t be able to get another phone with the new 2-year pricing from them for like 6-months after the end of the contract, where does that leave me. Verizon and AT&T are both more expensive and have more annoying policies. I thought about the idea of getting an iPhone 3G, but while I pay $65 for 1000min unlimited n/w, unlimited data, and 400sms/mo, it would be $95 on AT&T for 950min unlimited n/w, unlimited data, and 200sms/mo. Pretty clearly inferior. I’d rather just buy one for $400 or whatever on eBay and unlock it for T-mobile. My Blackberry is working well enough for me that the only phone I would even really consider moving to is the iPhone.

  36. winter_in_asia says:

    Done. My wife and I are both month-to-month now.

  37. jamar0303 says:

    @geeniusatwrok: Um, no. Actually, CDMA covers North and South America as well as Asia (and Israel). If that’s why you’re not considering Verizon/Sprint, don’t let that stop you.

  38. darksunfox says:

    So much of this depends on who you talk to and what store you do it at. My fiance had to get our phones at a certain store to get a retailer discount, but we have had everything else done at a Verizon store I’ve been working with for 8+ years. They’re very good, and they’ll get stuff done with you right there, applying discounts or refunds, doing warranty repairs or replacements on the spot… and even bending the rules a little (such as we had a phone die in the middle of a contract, but since we’d only bought 1 new phone and kept 1 phone from the previous contract, they let us upgrade the other one for the same price as signing a new contract while not extending the contract). Stuff like that sure keeps us going back there!

  39. screwywabbit says:

    @winter_in_asia: Done? Can you please tell us how you did this? Thanks.

    The TMONews blog is “an unofficial T-Mobile blog”. So how can we verify that this is really true. Although I do trust you guys (at Lifehacker) but I didn’t find any such news on the Tmobile website. Many of us here have questions like:
    1. How exactly can one get out of the ETF? By just calling T-Mobile CSR? And say what?
    2. What if the CSR says that it’s mentioned in the contract as Yoni K mentioned?
    3. Can one cancel the contract (if that can be done) and still be on a month-to-month plan?

    It’ll be of great help if someone can REALLY post answers to all these questions.
    Much thanks.

  40. Does anyone have a copy of a T-Mobile contract in PDF or Doc that they can link or e-mail for print-out. I want to try this tonight.

    Thanks.

  41. wcnghj says:

    I tried contacting the consumerist about this on Unicel. Unicel is also increasing they texting fees.

    [img399.imageshack.us]

    #7 Of the CTIA Consumer Code
    “7. Provide customers the right to terminate service for changes to contract terms. Carriers will not modify the material terms of their subscribers’ contracts in a manner that is materially adverse to subscribers without providing a reasonable advance notice of a proposed modification and allowing subscribers a time period of not less than 14 days to cancel their contracts with no early termination fee.

  42. GoBobbyGo says:

    @fourinxchange: go to http://www.mytmobile.com (no need to log in). At the bottom, select “terms and conditions”.

    Section 3 says:

    Changes to the Agreement or Charges. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, IF WE: (A) INCREASE THE CHARGES INCLUDED IN YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING ACCESS RATE PLAN, OR (B) MODIFY A MATERIAL TERM OF OUR AGREEMENT WITH YOU AND THE MODIFICATION WOULD BE MATERIALLY ADVERSE TO YOU, WE WILL NOTIFY YOU OF THE INCREASE OR MODIFICATION AND YOU CAN CANCEL THAT SERVICE WITHOUT PAYING A CANCELLATION FEE (WHICH IS YOUR ONLY REMEDY) BY FOLLOWING THE CANCELLATION INSTRUCTIONS IN THE NOTICE. IF YOU DO NOT CANCEL YOUR SERVICE BY FOLLOWING THOSE INSTRUCTIONS, OR YOU OTHERWISE ACCEPT THE CHANGE, THEN YOU AGREE TO THE INCREASE OR MODIFICATION, EVEN IF YOU PAID FOR SERVICE IN ADVANCE. IF THE NOTICE DOES NOT SAY HOW LONG YOU HAVE TO CANCEL, THEN IT IS WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE NOTICE, UNLESS A LONGER PERIOD IS REQUIRED BY LAW. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, CHARGES FOR PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OPTIONAL SERVICES, OR ANY OTHER CHARGES THAT ARE NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING ACCESS RATE PLAN (SUCH AS DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE, ROAMING, DOWNLOADS, AND THIRD-PARTY CONTENT) ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE, AND IF YOU CONTINUE TO USE THOSE SERVICES, OR YOU OTHERWISE AGREE TO THE CHANGES, THEN YOU AGREE TO THE NEW CHARGES. VISIT OUR WEB SITE, RETAIL LOCATIONS, OR CALL CUSTOMER CARE FOR CURRENT CHARGES. (emphasis added)

    If someone can tell me how they managed to leverage that into staying on and going month-to-month, I’d be much obliged.

    Again, I’m pretty happy with TMO, but it’s always better to be out of contract than in it.

  43. pigeonpenelope says:

    @graphikartistry: 1. just call and cancel.
    2. no. if you cancel you have to wait 90 days to open up a new account or they’re reopen your original one and the contract sticks.

    you can view the terms and conditions on http://www.t-mobile.com.

    the company will not hassle you or take you to the cleaners because you tried to use this as a way out,they’re Tmobile, they will sweet talk you out of it but they will be respectful. i would consider your options first. other carriers charge just as much for text messages but their text messaging features are more expensive–not to mention rate plans.

    @linus: no it is not possible to cancel your contract and go month to month. not for the text messaging hike. they’re reducing the etf by how long you have been on the contract so eventually it won’t cost much if you chose to cancel–this means the committment isn’t as scary.

  44. wcnghj says:

    @geeniusatwrok:

    CDMA is not US only.

    [www.cdg.org]

  45. Hawk07 says:

    I hope T-Mobile is instituting more control over txt messaging for people who don’t want or need it because as it stands now, if some random person gets your number and sends you them, you’re liable for the charges.

    It’s a huge fleecing of the customer and T-Mobile has shown no interest in siding or helping the consumer other than adding more charges to their bill which helps pad T-Mobile’s revenue.

    And for T-Mobile corporate that reads this, I have no problem fighting with your customer service reps over three txt messages that I received, but did not want. I couldn’t give two craps if I waste a few of your corporate dollars in wages, benefits, and taxes on your CSRs so they can deal with my issue. You eff with me, I’ll eff with your people and time until I’m satisfied. The only justification I can think of is that T-Mobile hopes their customers just pay the bill so they can make a little extra money.

  46. GoBobbyGo says:

    @Hawk07: See above – they are giving customers more control over text messaging. Which I haven’t heard about any other provider doing. The CSR I spoke to this evening said it would be effective July 12.

  47. screwywabbit says:

    @GoBobbyGo: That’s the catch. Read carefully… “MODIFY A MATERIAL TERM OF OUR AGREEMENT WITH YOU AND THE MODIFICATION WOULD BE MATERIALLY ADVERSE TO YOU, WE WILL NOTIFY YOU OF THE INCREASE OR MODIFICATION AND YOU CAN CANCEL THAT SERVICE WITHOUT PAYING A CANCELLATION FEE”

    “That service”, which means that if you have been paying 10c for each text then now you will pay 20c. But, yes, they will have to come up with a solution that one can disable text messaging on the plan, which currently is not in place. Hence you can tell the CSR that you would like to disable text messaging; and in case they cannot do it then they are obliged to cancel your contract without charging an ETF.
    Any thoughts?

  48. magnoliasouth says:

    @Prions and @Pro-Pain: I don’t think it would apply here since it is contract law. It’s the law that would need changing, not the contract wording.

    Am I right on this?

  49. winter_in_asia says:

    @screwywabbit:

    I called in and said that I had heard about the rate change and would like to cancel my contract without an ETF because of the “Materially Adverse” change to the contract.

    It took maybe 10 minutes. Be sure and use the words “Materially Adverse” and make sure the CSR notes that there should be no ETF.

    I actually told them that it would be to their benefit to switch me to Month to Month as opposed to canceling outright. I told them I had thought about staying with them (which is true), but that I would be happy to move to another carrier if forced to do so. They switched me to Month to Month. The CSR had to get permission to do it, though.

  50. @jamar0303: okay, I didn’t know CDMA was much use outside of North America, thanks, but mostly I travel to Europe, land of GSM.

    Oh and I think “Asia” in your example is limited to Japan and Korea.

  51. @wcnghj: wait, OK, sosumi. CDMA works in “Asia” and other places. but GSM works everywhere, for a price of course.

    I still don’t have much of a reason to leave T-Mo, though.

  52. breakspirit says:

    Well guys, I just canceled my account and it couldn’t have been easier. I just told the nice lady I wanted to cancel because of the 20 cent text message increase and she tried to sell me a text messaging plan, which I declined politely. She then said “Well, that’s ok. Since there was a change in the plan, we’ll go ahead and waive the termination fee too. Your plan will expire after July 18th.” So, I didn’t even need to argue or anything about the termination fee, THEY brought it up! As an added bonus, my plan expires shortly after the release of the new iphone. Man, I’m so glad I read this article.

  53. jamar0303 says:

    @geeniusatwrok: A little late, but for future reference- it also includes China, Thailand, and India, among a few other countries.

  54. macguy112 says:

    OMG I just cancelled my family plan, but kept my other line open (1000 Min for $41.00 + taxes). The first lady was very “friendly” but told me that if I canceled now she would charge me the ETF, I called 2 hours after and then the second one was so freaking dumb/rude/stupid she even hung up on me in the middle of the conversation. The third try was the best, he put me on hold for about 20 minutes and canceled. Please make sure you tell them exactly as the Consumerist Ben Popken puts it “T-mobile is raising its text message rates August 29th to 20 cents per message. This counts as what is known as a materially adverse change of contract. Under standard contract law” and add “I can not accept those charges so please cancel may account without EFT as this is clearly an MATERIALLY ADVERSE CHANGE OF MY CONTRACT” Yes you have to keep repeating this especially if you get a really awful C.S.R. Good luck! And make sure you talk nice to them even if you get the rude ones.

  55. marzman says:

    To answer a few questions raised here:
    1. Yes- T-mobile is introducing various message blocking and control features in July. You can block all messages that would charge you, and you can select controls – like blocking instant messaging if you so choose, or messaging on just one line.
    2. Yes, you can cancel the contract over the Text messaging hike. It is official. You will get an insert in your bill soon and will be able to cancel within 30 days of that – or now if you insist on cancelling.
    (Tip- wait to get to the “saves/customer loyalty/account specialist” department until you contest the ETF. – Also, if you have been with T-Mobile longer than 10 months you should be transferred there as soon as you mention you want to cance- don’t hint at it, say :”I want to cancel the account” and save some time.)
    3. No, you can’t just re-up on another plan for a discount. You have to wait 91 days to get a new account or you will just restart your old account – contract and all.
    4. If you have unlimited messaging on your plan it may be difficult to cancel without the ETF. With unlimited messaging the change does not change your contract and does not penalize you.
    5. I have no information as to going to month-to-month and keeping service but if you can talk them into it, go for it.

  56. mxx says:

    @marzman: re #2
    I just got that insert in my bill.
    It has the following:

    See http://www.my.t-mobile.com/messagerates for more information on the rate chance and Section 3-5 of T-Mobile’s Terms and Conditions, available at T-Mobile.com, for additional information on your rights(which may include early service cancellation) as a T-Mobile customer.

    It also states that this change does not apply to those who have “Take Control” or “KidConnect” Plans..whatever those are.

  57. yattering says:

    Actually, even if you have unlimited text messaging, this change DOES affect you. The unlimited plan actually gets bumped to $19.95/mo (from $9.95/mo) so regardless of whether you are unlimited or on a metered plan, you should be all good.

    ([my.t-mobile.com])

  58. yattering says:

    So… yeah… I’m wrong. Looks like they grandfather all existing unlimited plans and the $19.95 only counts for NEW plans. Alas…

  59. neokusama says:

    ::HOW TO WIN::
    ————–

    Here’s my story. I called a total of 3 times and got the runaround, but in the end, I won!

    Cancelled both my lines without the ETF. Here’s how it went down (shortened of course):

    Call 1: Me and Susan (aggressive)

    ME: I’d like to cancel because of the txt message increase.
    SUSAN: Sorry to hear that. Let me check. Ok. You can cancel for $200 etf.
    ME: Ummm… In your Terms and Conditions it says if there’s a chance that increases your monthly charges, like the txt increase, I can cancel without an ETF.
    SUSAN: Ok. Let me talk to my supervisor.
    (3 Minutes and one bad song later)
    SUSAN: Ok, we’ve checked your account and since you had a txt plan in May and didn’t go over, you don’t quailfy for the “waiver” because you haven’t gone 3 months without an

    overage or without a txt plan.
    ME: So… I would qualify next month?
    SUSAN: No. Because we’ve “made a note of this”
    (HANG-UP)

    Call 2: Me and Jeff (polite)

    (Requested cancel b/c of txt increase)
    Jeff: Sorry about that. I understand what with the gas prices these days. Ok, we can cancel your account with a $200 ETF.
    ME: According to your Terms & Conditions this change would be, “Materially Adverse” to me and I qualify for the ETF to be waived.
    JEFF: Ok, let me look into this.
    (SEVERAL songs later)
    JEFF: Thanks for waiting. When did you recieve notification?
    ME: I recieved notification on http://www.tmobile.com, it’s on the main page.
    JEFF: You didn’t get the notification in the mail?
    ME: No. I recieved notification on your website and the Terms & Conditions don’t say it has to be a physical notification.
    JEFF: I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be difficult, it’s just our policy.
    (HANG-UP)

    Call 3: Me, Eric, and Antwon (both apathetic)

    ME: (Request cancellation b/c of txt msg increase)
    ERIC: I’ll forward you to our “cancellation department”
    ANTWON: I heard you want to cancel.
    ME: Yes b/c of the txt msg increase.
    ANTWON: Ok we’ll cancel the two numbers today and the numbers will be available for 60 days.
    ME: So… I qualify for the ETF to be waived according the the Terms & Conditions
    since it’s “Materially Adverse” to me.
    ANTWON: I know, I applied the waiver.
    ME: Thanks!
    (HANG-UP)

    In the end I called 3 times (4 different people) and although I was a nervous wreck, I eventually got someone that wasn’t trying to yank my chain, and cancelled my account without the ETF!

    THE BEST ADVICE: Just keep calling, quote the Terms & Conditions, and tell them the change is “Materially Adverse” to you.

  60. neokusama says:

    ::HOW TO WIN::
    ————–

    Here’s my story. I called a total of 3 times and got the runaround, but in the end, I won! Cancelled both my lines without the ETF. Here’s how it went down (shortened of course):

    Call 1: Me and Susan (aggressive)

    ME: I’d like to cancel because of the txt message increase.
    SUSAN: Sorry to hear that. Let me check. Ok. You can cancel for $200 etf.
    ME: Ummm… In your Terms and Conditions it says if there’s a chance that increases your monthly charges, like the txt increase, I can cancel without an ETF.
    SUSAN: Ok. Let me talk to my supervisor.
    (3 Minutes and one bad song later)
    SUSAN: Ok, we’ve checked your account and since you had a txt plan in May and didn’t go over, you don’t quailfy for the “waiver” because you haven’t gone 3 months without an overage or without a txt plan.
    ME: So… I would qualify next month?
    SUSAN: No. Because we’ve “made a note of this”
    (HANG-UP)

    Call 2: Me and Jeff (polite)

    (Requested cancel b/c of txt increase)
    Jeff: Sorry about that. I understand what with the gas prices these days. Ok, we can cancel your account with a $200 ETF.
    ME: According to your Terms & Conditions this change would be, “Materially Adverse” to me and I qualify for the ETF to be waived.
    JEFF: Ok, let me look into this.
    (SEVERAL songs later)
    JEFF: Thanks for waiting. When did you recieve notification?
    ME: I recieved notification on http://www.tmobile.com, it’s on the main page.
    JEFF: You didn’t get the notification in the mail?
    ME: No. I recieved notification on your website and the Terms & Conditions don’t say it has to be a physical notification.
    JEFF: I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be difficult, it’s just our policy.
    (HANG-UP)

    Call 3: Me, Eric, and Antwon (both apathetic)

    ME: (Request cancellation b/c of txt msg increase)
    ERIC: I’ll forward you to our “cancellation department”
    ANTWON: I heard you want to cancel.
    ME: Yes b/c of the txt msg increase.
    ANTWON: Ok we’ll cancel the two numbers today and the numbers will be available for 60 days.
    ME: So… I qualify for the ETF to be waived according the the Terms & Conditions since it’s “Materially Adverse” to me.
    ANTWON: I know, I applied the waiver.
    ME: Thanks!
    (HANG-UP)

    In the end I called 3 times (4 different people) and although I was a nervous wreck, I eventually got someone that wasn’t trying to yank my chain, and cancelled my account without the ETF!

    THE BEST ADVICE: Just keep calling, quote the Terms & Conditions, and tell them the change is “Materially Adverse” to you.

  61. xorzero says:

    wow im really amazed that i stumbled across this right now.

    Here it goes. I am under a family plan with 4 other lines. I am looking to get the new iphone and switch to AT&T. Using this method of canceling the plan without ETF how can i guarantee that they will only disconnect my line and not the rest of my family members ? and on average how long is it taking to get out of the contract. Thanks for all the help!

  62. suburbanxcore says:

    Worked like a charm. I called and was tranferred to a super helpful girl who was very friendly. I kept making small talk and explained that because of the text increase I wanted to cancel. She asked if there were any other reasons and I said that my girlfriend and I were going to “become more serious and get a family plan” (which is true). She went off about how her and her boyfriend just got a puppy and were so excited to take these steps etc. Really nice girl.

    So, she asked me if I wanted to switch to month to month so that way I could port my number to any carrier. “You’ve had this number for so long you should be able to keep it!” I asked if this would give me the ETF and she actually seemed shocked that I would even think that. She said of course not and there’s no way she would charge me that.

    I made sure to thank her a lot and tell her that she was the most helpful T-mobile rep I’ve ever dealt with (which is also true). I said that I expected it to be a much more laborious process and she said that she knows I have “important things to do and don’t want to take up your whole morning.” She wished me good luck with everything with my girlfriend and I wished her luck with her dog. Done, less than 5 minutes.

  63. AbigailPandora says:

    No problems at all. Got a very nice rep on the first call. She was so
    nice I actually felt a little guilty :-( Of course, that’s how they’re
    supposed to make you feel, but she was good. Didn’t have to press to
    waive the fee at all, she just offered to do it.

  64. Jimmy M says:

    No problems here – very nice rep.

    Said I needed to cancel/port my number because of the increase in rate.

    She told me I needed to call new carrier.

    I said I will, but wanted to make sure it’s noted the ETF should be waived because of the text message increase.

    She said no problem, let me make the notes in here, and to make sure that I do it before 8/22 because if not it’s considered agreeing to the increase.

    Took about 3 minutes.

    Note: to get to this person, I said ‘Customer Service’ then when asked to get more specific i said ‘Cancellation’.

    Also – I use an iPhone on TMo with 1000 txt/mo plan, Total Internet, and 1000min/month. My contract is also up in November so they have less incentive to keep me maybe.

  65. sleepydumbdude says:

    Dang sidekick unlimited plan. The problem was is that I was waiting on a newer blackberry. Had a curve with ATT and wanted something new so didn’t get a curve with tmobile. Got a sidekick instead and had unlimited text. Only use it for aol IM which i can download programs that run that through data on the blackberry so I won’t get text message. Thing is they never came out with it and now I am stuck in this crappy contract for another 18 months because I planned on sending just a few text a month and getting a blackberry when it came out.

  66. speedbump22 says:

    Just called 5 minutes ago and said “I want to cancel my account because of the messaging increase.”

    The t-mo reo said: “Ok, let me check a few things…let me check one more thing…ok and one last thing. Is this the only reason you are cancelling?”

    And I said “yes”. That was it, I asked to make sure there was no ETF and she said “yes and we should have your account cancelled in the next 10 minutes.”

    Perfect timing, I just lost my Blackberry and want to get an iPhone ;)

  67. VeredCalidus says:

    I tried this and they said no problem the won’t charge me but when I got the bill they charged me $400 cancelation fee and only credited $200. They said it was b/c I transfered my #, but that makes no sense since I told them I would be transfering my # after canceling and told it wasn’t going to be a problem. The customer rep and her manager told me there was nothing I can do. So I just sent the following email to the executive response email and I will see what happens. Hopefully I will hear back soon. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated. Pretty much the customer rep was of no help and just said oh well.

    Thanks…

    Letter to Executive Support:

    I am writing in regards to an issue with being mistakenly charged the ETF when I was told I would not be.

    My name is XXX and I have been with T-Mobile since 2001, my mobile number is XXX and account number XXX.

    Let
    me explain the situation. I have been a longstanding T-Mobile customer
    and happy with the service but due to the increase in recent billing -
    the increase in the text messaging fee, I have decided to switch
    providers in the mean time to help reduce costs. I called on July 14th
    to inquire about canceling my service and having the ETF waived due to
    the text messaging increase. I spoke to an agent named Jerome who spoke
    with me and a supervisor to confirm the issue. I explained that to save
    money due to tough economic times I wanted to cancel my service due to
    the rise in the text messaging fee I was going to be transferring my
    number to my husband’s service provider. I was told that this wouldn’t
    be a problem that they will note it in my account and when I want to
    transfer the service to just call in. I called the next day and
    informed them I would be moving my number and they told me it wouldn’t
    be a problem.

    Now a few weeks later I get my last bill and I see the following charges:

    - Contract Termination Fee $400
    and
    – Talk or Walk ETF: – $200

    So
    I am still being charged a termination fee of $200, I don’t know why
    the fee is $400 to terminate a contract if the ETF is only $200. I have
    no idea why I was told I could transfer my number without a problem or
    fee on one day and then still charged a fee when the bill comes. If I
    knew I was going to be charged an ETF at the end I would have found a
    different solution.

    I called and attempted to resolve the issue
    but the customer service representative could not help me and could
    just explain that because I transfered my service I am going to be
    charged and ETF. Even though previously before I even canceled I was
    told that no ETF would be charged and it would be waived due to the
    change in contract. No where in the terms and conditions for raising
    the text message fee does it say that if I transfer the number that I
    will be charged an ETF. The waiving of the ETF is due to Tmobile
    changing the terms of the contract and it is my understanding and I was
    told that it would not be a problem to cancel my service and move my
    number to another provider.

    At that point I really feel
    deceived. I have always been happy with TMobile and have been a long
    time loyal customer and was planning to return to Tmobile in the future
    because I believe you have both superior service and customer support.
    This final issue has left me with a very bitter taste, I feel like I
    have been deceived and no one has tried to help me resolve this issue.

    I appreciate your help and hopefully we can get this resolved.
    Thank you,

  68. rootfindr says:

    I called 10 or so times to try to get the ETF waived and spoke to several T-Mobile peeps, including a couple of supervisors. And no deal – looks like they have had so many people call quoting the “Materially Adverse” part of the T&Cs that they got their lawyers to look over it. Now they have some “policies” in effect that basically make it impossible for them to waive the ETF if you have:

    a) an unlimited texting plan or
    b) if you have a texting package and have NOT gone over your allotted messages in the last 90 days.

    I had the 400 messages a month and didn’t go over that in the last 90 days – so they all said I didn’t qualify.

    This happened for my account and also for my wife’s. So they are trying their best to prevent any more money lost through this “loophole”.

    Maybe I could get someone to do it if I keep calling, but I’m exhausted.

    Looks like I’ll just have to wait on getting an iPhone.

    Drat!

  69. Jean-paul Ventura says:

    hey guys, ive done some minor reading on all this but i have a curious question if anybody can answer… is this method viable even if i’m under a Flex pay account?