If you are stuck with AT&T because of a contract you signed, you now have a way to get out of the contract without paying any penalty or early termination fee (ETF), as they call it. Although we have proven how anyone could make money by quitting AT&T’s network here, this opportunity makes it a win-win for you. Even if you do not feel the need to do so it is usually good to get out of contract as it allows you to get into the contract again with a newer nicer phone at discounted price. Whatever is your reason, here is a way to get out of your contract with AT&T without paying the ETF.
Cancel your contract without ETF
In order to cancel your contract without the penalty (ETF) it is necessary that you prove to AT&T that the recent changes made by them affect you materially and hence you must be let out of your contract because of their actions.
To quote them
1.3 Can AT&T Change My Terms And Rates?
We may change any terms, conditions, rates, fees, expenses, or charges regarding your Services at any time. We will provide you with notice of material changes (other than changes to governmental fees, proportional charges for governmental mandates, roaming rates or administrative charges) either in your monthly bill or separately. You understand and agree that State and Federal Universal Service Fees and other governmentally imposed fees, whether or not assessed directly upon you, may be increased based upon the government’s or our calculations.
IF WE INCREASE THE PRICE OF ANY OF THE SERVICES TO WHICH YOU SUBSCRIBE, BEYOND THE LIMITS SET FORTH IN YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SUMMARY, OR IF WE MATERIALLY DECREASE THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA IN WHICH YOUR AIRTIME RATE APPLIES (OTHER THAN A TEMPORARY DECREASE FOR REPAIRS OR MAINTENANCE), WE’LL DISCLOSE THE CHANGE AT LEAST ONE BILLING CYCLE IN ADVANCE (EITHER THROUGH A NOTICE WITH YOUR BILL, A TEXT MESSAGE TO YOUR DEVICE, OR OTHERWISE), AND YOU MAY TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT PAYING AN EARLY TERMINATION FEE OR RETURNING OR PAYING FOR ANY PROMOTIONAL ITEMS, PROVIDED YOUR NOTICE OF TERMINATION IS DELIVERED TO US WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER THE FIRST BILL REFLECTING THE CHANGE.
Such a change has been made recently and a few of our readers were able to get out of their contract. It is your turn to follow suit.
1. Make a call to AT&T customer care. It is important that you do not bother with online chat support. They do not have the authority to waive the early termination fee. Your only bet is to go with phone support. You could reach their by dialing 611 from your AT&T phone. It is free.
2. Tell them that you heard about AT&T’s recent mobility administrative fee of $0.61 per month that is being introduced. Ask them if this fee is mandated by government or any government agency. They will say something around the question but they can’t say yes. Then state that it means AT&T is going to charge you more for its services.
3. Tell them you would like to cancel your account, you will most probably transferred to retentions. Ask for it if they don’t do that.
4. Keep stating the same thing if they continue to try to keep you, you might have to talk to the manager as well. However, in the end they will either offer you decent amount of credits to stay (ask for a nicer phone upgrade) or will let you go without the penalty.
What if they give you bull
If they simply refuse to give you the ability to move out of your contract, tell them that you want o enter the arbitration process and would like to seek details on how to do it. This will tell them how firm you are about your rights. If needed, you might have to go through arbitration but do not worry. AT&T will cover your costs and given that it costs them $125 as well as time and resources to enter the arbitration, they would want to settle the case earlier and outside the court. Let us know if you want to go through that and we will update this post with relevant details.
Please do not forget to post your experience/tele script/trick if you manage to get out of contract.
Note: Usually when such changes are made you will see an extra page or two with your bill. Keep an eye on it and whenever you see just use this script. Read our latest post on how to get free statement credit from AT&T.