Is it ever possible to get out of a cell phone contract?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Belle5, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Belle5

    Belle5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 10, 1999
    We got a new cell phone plan for 4 of us last month and we all got new camera phones at a great bargain price. Of course, somehow we missed that there is a $10 per phone surcharge (each month I assume) for the camera usage. Our phone bill, obviously, is through the roof. I know the first month is always really bad so it shouldn't be this bad from now on but I kind of wish we could get non-camera phones. If we bought new non-camera phones would Verizon take the camera charge off of any new bills? I am freaked out right now and if I knew I could get out of this for the next two years I would. One of my sons "didn't get it" and had fun going way over the minutes and had some nice ring tones and wallpaper added. Ugh! Our bill was $545. HELP!
  2. elliemae1192

    elliemae1192 Mouseketeer<br><font color="pink">Asked for sympat

    Feb 12, 2004
    Exactly how long have you had the phones? I was told that you had 30 days with any cell phone company to change your mind about phones or service. Not sure if that's true of every company but I know it's true at Alltel. I bought a phone last year that I wasn't happy with and returned it after a couple of weeks and switched to a different one with no penalties. If they let you switch to non-camera phones I would imagine they'd have to take off the camera charge.

    Good luck.
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  4. mommagoof

    mommagoof Mouseketeer

    Sep 2, 2003
    You should be able to change your plan so that you can not send the pictures to anyone, so you can still take pics with the camera but they will just stay in your gallery.

    Edited to say that I noticed you have verizon they are easy to work with we have never had any problems changing the plans. Just give them a call and ask that part of the service be turned off, theres no need to get different phones. Also with verizon you can log in and check each indiviual(sp?) phones usage. It will be able to help you keep track of how many minutes your sons are using.
  5. Lhk1617

    Lhk1617 Earning My Ears

    Aug 1, 2006
    I think the 10$ would be for the actual picture messaging plans and not for the phones themselves. So the plans probally have a MMS (Multimedia messaging service) plan with the actual airtime plan. Call verizon and take off the MMS features on all of the plans. Ask also if they can explain your first bill to you, that might help with future bills and then you will be able to notice and mistakes on Verizons part. For the phone overages see what verizon offers for plans for kids who might go over their minutes. Also ask if you can not allow the kids to buy ring tones and other things using the phones.

    EDIT: Also i just realized the subject of the post. It would be a lot harder (and a lot more expensive) to get out of a cell phone contract. 4 phones equals 4 contracts and i have seen ETF (Early Termination Fee's) go very very high such as 250-300 and higher. It would be easier to keep the cell phones and then adjust the plans on all the phones according to your needs and who is using the phones. Most likely what happened is the rep that helped you gave you a deal with the plans that made him get a better standing.
  6. plummer925

    plummer925 DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2002

    Whew - with that fee, it's cheaper to pay the early termination fee and just get rid of it!!

    You can contact them and tell them that the cell phone doesn't work at your home (no signal) - I did this with US Cellular a few years back (It was true - I live in a valley) - I told them since my cell was for me to use at HOME that it did me no good - they let me out of the contract with no fee.

    If you wanted to...stretch the could say you're moving and make sure that the WHERE has no Verizon coverage (like most of Maine! - Downeast or up north in particular.)....this is said kind of tongue in cheek, but it would probably work.

    I'm sure they will downgrade you at no fee - most of them will in the fear of losing a customer.

    As for your dear son - how about a pay as you go phone (like tracfone) that you will put so much on and he would be responsible for the rest?

    Good luck!
  7. Skatermom23

    Skatermom23 DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2004
    You can have the added feature removed from your plan at any time. You don't have to buy new phones or anything. My kids have the camera phones but only use them to take pictures of stuff. You are not charged for doing this. They know they are not allowed to send the photos or receive them, because then you are charged. I would also sign onto their website and monitor their phone minutes. It gives you a break down of each phone and how many minutes they are using. I warn the kids when I think they are starting to use too many. We have 700 minutes and each child is allowed 200 each of the chargeable minutes. They know how to check to see if their friends are IN and that way the minutes don't count. I would die if I had a bill as high as yours!!!!
  8. safetymom

    safetymom Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2001
    My son had a AT&T cell phone in NC. It was sold to SunCom when AT&T became Cingular. When I called to switch the number to FL. was told they didn't offer service in FL. We had to keep the phone or pay the early termination fee. Service was terrible here in FL. I got them to lower the monthly rate to the bare minimum. When I went to finally cancel I had to give them 30 days notice.
  9. spiceycat

    spiceycat dvc-blt

    Oct 26, 2000
    you should have written the FCC.

    I got out of my contract with Nextel - but Nextel did not do what they promised - they promised to switch my number.

    after paying both nextel and cingular for 5 months - I finally realized that Nextel was never changing my number. this was a number I had for 10 years and I really wanted to kept it.

    I got mad and cancelled them both.

    when nextel refused to cancel me without charge. Since it was THEIR fault. I asked the FCC to step in.

    now I am still being bothered - but I just send another letter to the FCC reach and every time it happens... and it stops....

    very happy so far with Tracfone.

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