What you need to know if you’re thinking of cancelling your contract early

You may want to cancel your phone contract early for many reasons. Maybe you’re tempted by the latest model of iPhone, Samsung or Google; maybe your phone is broken or not working as well as it used to and you’d like to replace it; or perhaps the increase in the cost of living is making your contract unaffordable. Whatever your reason, you needn’t worry! We’ve put together some useful advice to help you minimise costs and make the right decision that works for you.

Minimising the cost of cancelling your contract

When you cancel your phone contract before the end of the agreed term, there will be a balance to pay to your provider. This isn’t unexpected, but there are ways you can reduce this cost.

Trade in your phone

You could sell your current handset to help towards the costs of cancelling your contract. Many Telcos like telstra or Optus will offer a trade-in upgrade, but some will only give you airtime credit and not as much cash Value as Mazuma will pay you for your old phone. Taking the cash means you can apply the value from your old phone to your new phone now, and any cash left over can be used to pay any bill, not just your phone bill.

You can trade in your phone with Greener Mobile today, and you could get enough money to pay off the balance within a week!

Buy a second-hand phone

You could use the money you get from selling your old phone to buy a cheaper second-hand phone, allowing you to upgrade without incurring cancellation costs. At Mazuma, we have lots of like-new refurbished phones for sale at a fraction of the price of large retailers. With a second-hand phone you could also choose to take a cheap sim-only contract, with no contract tie-in and future cancellation fees. Food for thought.

Talk to your provider

By speaking to your current provider, if your current phone is fine, they may allow you to extend your contract to reduce the monthly cost.

Being able to move your contract to a ‘SIM ONLY’ Contract Plan or Pay As You GO (PAYG) service is another option. It will mean you can meet your contract obligations against the airtime contract, keep your number and then with or without their knowing, put the sim in another phone purchased outright.

Or if you’re looking to upgrade your phone, they may allow you to upgrade to a more expensive handset without additional cost.

Be aware – cancelling a phone contract through the bank will lead to it being passed to debt collectors, which can impact your credit score.

Could your broken phone be fixed?

You may think your phone is unfixable, but it may not be as bad as you think and can be fixed after all. We’re used to seeing handsets in varying degrees of condition and are experts in making them as good as new, so you might be surprised! Look for a good local repair shop or contact your provider for a recommendation.

Is it just a matter of poor signal?

Poor signal could be resolved by, again, talking to your provider. They might be able to find a local issue that could be rectified, for example.

The Australian mobile market is covered by three main network providers Vodafone, Telstra, and Optus, these three also sell airtime on a wholesale basis to create over 50 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) such as Amaysim, Aldi, Coles, Woolworths and Kogan mobile, to name just a few. If you are struggling with signal, your current carrier may be able to check for any local issues or raise one for maintenance. Or you may be offered a discount for any problems they find. Using Wi-Fi where possible is often cheaper too and won’t increase your mobile data allowance so quickly. It may enable you to change your plan to a cheaper plan with less mobile data.

Going Overseas?

If you are planning to go on holiday or move longer term, you could consider a cheap dual sim phone, allowing you to keep your contract whilst accessing an international pay-as-you-go sim. Your provider may also be able to supply an add-on, saving you the cost of cancellation.

Two-part contracts

Your contract may be a two-part contract, that is, they are two separate contracts bundled together. Talk to your provider and if this is the case, when you cancel you may be able to keep your phone and data plan, reducing the cancellation fees.

How to cancel your contract

If you still decide the only answer is to cancel your contract, then you will need to talk to your provider. They may offer you a solution, in which case you may decide to stay with them. But also be prepared to say ‘no’ if they try to convince you to stay – perhaps have your plan written down to remind yourself of the reasons you need to cancel your contract.

Keeping your number

Not being able to keep your number is probably one of the biggest inconveniences of cancelling your phone contract. This can easily be avoided by asking for the PAC number from your current provider and giving it to your new provider. It is valid for 30 days and will allow you to transfer your old number to your new phone… saving you a lot of hassle!

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