Dropkick the Cellphone Contract

There’s a “Roaming Hack” article which posits a way to get out of your cell phone contract without paying a termination fee. Basically, make it unprofitable for the cell phone company to keep you as a customer. To do this, use up hundreds of minutes in a roaming area. Many carriers cover roaming costs and so they will end up losing big chunks of money over time under this system, the blog alleges.

Seems like a good idea, in spirit. In practice, a complete waste of time.

Here’s some other ideas.

Tell your provider you’re moving overseas, to say, Madagascar. They can’t force you to stay in contract if they can’t provide service.

If subterfuge isn’t your thing, check out Celltradeusa.com. They match up people who want to exit their cell phone agreement with people who want to get in at a reduced rate.

Put your cellphone through a Pentagon strength shredder. It won’t actually wean you from the cellular teat but you’ll feel better and the fine powder can be used for all the arts and crafts projects you’ll have time for in debtor’s prison.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Josh says:

    If you are moving they require a copy of your utility bill to avoid ETF.

  2. kerry says:

    Regarding Celltrade USA:
    I used them to both acquire a contract and find someone to give my old contract too. Here’s the catch: you can’t keep your number when you give up your contract. The new customer needs to take it, or else they can’t transfer it. Celltrade USA makes it sound like this is easy, and you will have no trouble keeping your number. Cingular actually worked very hard to make this happen, since it’s in their best interest to keep a contract alive even if it means switching customers. It simply didn’t work, though.
    That said, if you don’t mind having to get a new number with your new carrier, Celltrade’s a pretty good use of $20 to get rid of your old carrier. The site’s free if you’re just looking to take over someone else’s contract.

  3. x23 says:

    i read on another gawker blog… (possibly lifehacker?) that you can get out by simply pretending to be in the armed forces and that you are moving overseas. *sometimes* they ask for proof… sometimes you can get away with talking your way through it.

    used BDUs at Value Village are cheaper than a termination fee… just sayin’.

  4. AcidReign says:

    …..At work, I’m required to carry a (company paid for) cellphone. At home, I WILL NOT! They’ll never get me onto one of those dreadful cellular contracts!

    …..On the other hand, Bellsouth’s landline bills are probably just as Byzantine…