How to Cancel Your Verizon Cell Phone Account
Cancelling your Verizon account can be done, but it may cost you quite a bit. Here’s a quick overview of what is involved in cancelling your Verizon phone plan.
- Cancelling your Verizon phone plan can be done by calling 1-844-837-2262 during business hours, 8am to 6pm EST.
- Verizon contracts (except prepaid plans) are normally two years in length.
- Verizon charges an Early Termination Fee (ETF) of $350 through the first six months of service. The termination fee declines gradually over the course of the rest of the contract, including $10 per month for months 7-17; $20 per month for months 18-22, and $60 upon completion of the 23rd month. If you are moving out of the country due to military deployment, Verizon will waive your early termination fee. If you’re moving out of the country for any other reason, their policy is not to waive the fee.
- If you cancel your plan within 14 days of signing up and accepting the Verizon agreement, there is no Early Termination Fee. That period of time is essentially a “trial period”.
- If your plan included provided discounts on devices or other promotions, the value of those promotions will usually have to be paid back if you terminate your Verizon account early.
The goal of Prosperopedia.com is to help you make good, well-informed decisions about how to spend your money, including saving money in addition to making your money go further. This article about cancelling a Verizon cell phone plan is written with that intention, to help you decide whether to cancel your Verizon service and switch to another phone plan.
If you’re using Verizon and you’re not happy about your relationship with them, whether it is because of higher than expected bills, coverage issues, poor performance, a lack of customer service, or some other reason, it’s possible to cancel your phone plan and sign up with another provider. You could even disconnect from civilization altogether if you’re going off the grid or otherwise bucking the trend.
I’m going to share with you some information about how to cancel your Verizon cell phone account, including financial and other considerations you may want to make during the process.
My Own Verizon Story
Almost two years ago (2018), my wife and I set up an account with Verizon. We’d had issues getting a strong signal in the basement of our home in Utah, where I worked out of my home office. The word on the street was that Verizon had the strongest network in the country. With that understanding, we headed down to our local Verizon office and set up accounts for my wife and me, complete with two new Samsung S9 phones (valued at $800 a piece and designed with high-tech cameras that we felt would help us take great pictures of our family) that “came with the plan”, which really meant that if we paid a monthly fee for the phones and didn’t pay them off early, we would end up only paying $400 for them over the two-year contract period.
We also purchased and added three Verizon Gizmo Watch devices to our plan so that our children could stay connected with us. The cost quoted by the sales rep was $30 per phone line, $5 per month for each Gizmo device, and $35 per month going toward our Galaxy S9 devices, for a total of about $150-$160 per month.
Our plan prices included a discount that was given to us because we set up our account with Verizon as a business account. Verizon advertises that they give discounts (“at least 8% off” currently) to business customers along with other perks for having a business account with them.
Not long after we set up our plan with Verizon, we had some regrets. Although our Cricket lines (5 business lines that cost us $100/month total) were much cheaper, we didn’t see much of a difference at all in coverage. In fact, there were some parts of the city that we lived in (Lehi, Utah) where our Verizon phones did not get coverage where our Cricket phones had no problem.
In fact, many times when I went into the Smith’s grocery store in Lehi, my phone signal would become almost non-existent. I would often need to walk to the front of the store or even outside to call my wife (which is a common need for me when I’m shopping for food) or to contact anyone else.
Last summer we moved to Tennessee. The terrain in Tennessee is quite a bit different than Utah, lots of hills, trees, and meandering roads rather than mountain valleys. I had hoped when moving here that my Verizon phone plan would make it so that I had solid coverage wherever I went. I quickly found out after moving here that would not be the case.
There were particular spots where I spent a lot of time in the Brentwood area, including at the Brentwood Civitan baseball fields and at Lipscomb Elementary School close by that I could not get any signal whatsoever. It was frustrating.
In addition to the poor signal quality I experienced both in Utah and in Tennessee, there were also billing issues that made it impossible to pay our bill online. For business accounts, the online registration process for Verizon requires a few more steps to be taken and more information to be provided before you can access your bill pay dashboard and other account features.
We tried several times to get help from Verizon’s customer service team, but nobody seemed to know what needed to be done to pay our bill or even to set it up on autopay. Even though they had our credit card information on file, for some reason they couldn’t take the next step and set up autopay. The whole experience became extremely frustrating, besides having late fees and even re-connect fees.
Instead of being benefitted by having a Verizon business account, it was a really negative experience.
Verizon’s Customer Agreement
Large cell phone companies like Verizon are very good at the fine print. And they are masters of making sure that when you are meeting with the smiling sales people in their office who are reassuring you that you’re in good hands, there is a customer agreement coming your way that has some things in it that would likely make you cringe.
Here are a few of the important conditions in the Verizon customer agreement.
- Verizon can limit, suspend, or end your service without notice for lots of different reasons, including if you “steal from or lie to [them]” or if you threaten one of their customer service representatives; also, you’re not allowed to negatively affect their network or other customers.
- If you fail to pay your Verizon bill, you agree to allow them and any third-party collection agency they might use to contact you. Also, if your account is closed because of non-payment, Verizon will report that delinquency to the credit bureaus, which will negatively affect your credit score.
- Verizon includes charges on their customer’s bills that include Federal Universal Service, Regulatory and Administrative Charges and others related to government costs. Theses fees are not taxes, and are determined somewhat arbitrarily by Verizon. They can change based on Verizon’s discretion. Taxes are collected by Verizon on your monthly bill as imposed by government agencies that have jurisdiction over cell phone providers. Those taxes can also change unexpectedly. If you are wondering why your bill keeps changing, this detail may be the main cause.
Cancelling Your Verizon Plan
If you’ve decided that the cost of cancelling your plan is worth going through with it, and you’re ready to go ahead with the decision, you can cancel your plan by calling them at 1-844-837-2262 during business hours, 8am to 6pm EST. More information about the cancellation process is available from their customer support page about service cancellation.
As mentioned above, cancelling your Verizon plan early (before the 2-year contract is ended), will result in being required to pay an Early Termination Fee of anywhere from $60 to $350, depending upon how much time is left on your contract.
Having a Competitor Buy Out Your Contract
Many of Verizon’s competitors run promotionals (many of them ongoing) in which they offer to buy out whatever is left on your Verizon contract. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are usually willing to do something financially to free you from Verizon so that they can get you into a contract with them.
Cell phone providers that don’t require contracts, but instead have month-to-month plans with no long-term obligations don’t typically buyout Verizon contracts since they don’t have the confidence that they can recuperate the amount they spend buying out your previous plan without a contract in place.
Verizon Contract Cancellation Fees
If you cancel your Verizon service plan within the first 14 days, you won’t be required to pay any cancellation fees.
If after the first 14 days of service you decide to cancel, you’ll owe $350 as an Early Termination Fee, which is spelled out in your contract. That fee starts to be prorated after month six of your contract, and ultimately dissolves to zero by the end of the two-year period.
Is Verizon’s Network Better?
Verizon touts its network as the best among cell phone providers for calling, texting, and data delivery. Their claim is backed up by independent tests, including the most often referenced one done annually by RootMetrics, which announced in 2019 that Verizon is the leader in all major reliability categories, including overall performance, network reliability, network speed, data performance, call performance, and text performance.
While the network testers may have data that shows Verizon’s network is better throughout the country, it’s possible that you’ll get just as good or better service from one of their competitor in your local area. To find out with more confidence whether there is a difference, it’s a good idea to ask people in your local area who use the various providers about their experience. As I mentioned before, I’ve seen better results with Cricket (which runs on AT&T’s network) than with Verizon in certain places.
Alternatives to Verizon for Cell Phone Service
Typically people who are cancelling their Verizon phone service are fed up with customer service or simply want to lower how much they spend on cell phone use each month. As you may be aware, there are lots of alternatives to Verizon. I’ll review some of the most popular alternatives. If you’d like to dig deeper and do more research, I suggest you check out Clark Howard’s section on cell phone deals, which compares networks, carriers, and plans.
Other Carriers on Verizon’s Network
If you want to stay on Verizon’s network while switching carriers, you could go with Visible, Total Wireless, or Xfinity Mobile. All three of those use Verizon’s cell towers. Visible is owned by Verizon, but it offers a lower price on pretty much the same product you’re getting with Verizon. You can switch to Visible and bring your own phone, or you can purchase one of their phones to use with your plan.
AT&T’s overall nationwide network is reported to be not as reliable as Verizon’s (again, actual reliability is highly dependent upon where you normally use your phone), but it has consistently cheaper plans than Verizon.
T-Mobile and Sprint
T-Mobile and Sprint are known to have much more spotty coverage in rural areas, but they are also cheaper than Verizon. If you don’t plan on spending much time outside of metro areas, and if you don’t mind a dropped call or other reliability issues, it might make sense to take a look at plans from these two providers, who are now in the process of merging.
Porting Your Phone Number from Verizon
Transferring your phone number to another cell phone carrier is done by the new carrier when you switch from Verizon to that carrier. Timing is important on this. Your Verizon phone line should be active when our new carrier initiates the transfer.
Porting your phone number from Verizon doesn’t cause you to incur any fees directly from porting itself. However, fees for cancelling your Verizon service may apply as explained above.
Verizon answers some related questions about porting your phone number on their phone number transfer FAQ page.