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How to cancel a mobile contract

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Roams Post updated on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

There are a couple of different ways to cancel your mobile contract, depending on your mobile network. Keep reading to find out what you need to do to cancel your contract (without fees)!

Ways to get out depending on your situation

If you want to cancel your UK phone contract, the good news is you don't have to phone your network provider and listen to the hard sell before leaving.

Instead, you cancel phone contracts with a free text message.

Here’s the numbers to text from the major providers to cancel your contract

Provider Number
Three 0333 338 1001
O2 0344 809 0202
EE 0800 956 6000
Vodafone 0333 304 0191

Pay-monthly contracts typically last between 12 and 24 months, while SIM-only deals usually last 30 days or 12 months. If you are on pay-as-you-go (PAYG) you won’t be locked into a contract.

The annoying thing is each provider has a slightly different process: for example, Vodafone asks you to text the word 'PAC' plus your PIN to cancel, while Virgin Media wants 'PAC' plus your date of birth.

It can be confusing so it's often best to simply text the word 'PAC', which will kick start the process (although it might require you to provide some extra info).

So, what number do you text to cancel your mobile phone contract? That depends on what you want to do with your existing number.

Text the number that best describes what you want from the three scenarios below.

  • If you want to cancel and keep your number, you should text 'PAC' to 65075 to begin the process.
  • If you're keen on changing your mobile phone number, you should text 'STAC' to 75075 to kick things off.
  • If you're unsure of your current contract situation and want to know about any fees you might face, text INFO to 85075 and make a decision from there.

First 14 days

According to the Consumer Credit Act, you have a 14 day cooling off period from the date the contract started. You do not have to give any reason for cancelling, but bear in mind you may have to pay for the cost of returning any items to the business. If you cancel the service, the business has to refund you within 14 days by law.

Changes on the pricing

Through the Ofcom regulations, if your mobile phone provider makes increases to your fixed monthly price by more than the Retail Price Index (RPI), you should be able to exit the contract if you’re still within your minimum term without incurring a penalty fee.

Time left before your contract ends

Sometimes there are penalty charges if you leave your contract early. However, if you have legitimate reasons to leave, in other words, the service is not as described, unusable or the network has failed to solve a problem, you are within your rights to question any early termination fees and file a formal complaint via Ofcom or with Resolver. This process is detailed further down in the article.

PAYG contracts

Pay-monthly contracts typically last between 12 and 24 months, while SIM-only deals usually last 30 days or 12 months. If you are on pay-as-you-go (PAYG) you won’t be locked into a contract.


Problems with the service

If you have legitimate problems with your service or your handset, you are within your rights to make a complaint, get a replacement or cancel a contract, under consumer law. If a phone develops a problem or fault within six months of purchase, there is a presumption that the fault existed at the time of purchase. It is up to the business to prove that the fault was not there at the time of purchase, for example, that the consumer damaged it in some way.


Set up a complaint

You can make a complaint officially via Resolver for minor issues, or for more serious matters you can go through Ofcom.

Resolver is a completely free, independent issue resolution service. They will handle the process for you from start to finish if you choose to go with them.

The process for this is the following regarding a mobile contract:

Contact your provider's customer services team and explain your problem.

  • If this doesn't resolve it, make a formal complaint to the company.
    • You should find details of how to do this on the back of your bill, on their website or ask their customer services.
  • If your provider is unable to resolve your complaint, ask for a deadlock letter.
    • This will allow you to take your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme with Ofcom.

They will examine the case from both sides and reach a decision they think fair. If eight weeks have passed since you first formally complained, you can contact the ADR scheme directly.

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