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How to cancel your phone contract

Sometimes you need to cancel your mobile contract early, so here’s how to do it and what to watch out for.

woman with mobile phone looking at bill

Phone contracts are useful as they spread out high costs over 24 or 36 months, but problems can arise within this time. Perhaps your monthly payment has gone up due to inflation, or you’re unhappy with the quality of the customer service.

Perhaps you’re simply bored of your phone and want to find a new deal elsewhere. If you decide to cancel your phone contract, the first thing you need to do is contact your provider online or via phone.

Choose the cancellation option and follow the relevant steps, which can differ slightly for each provider. Once you’ve let your provider know that you want to cancel, they might try to convince you to stay. In this case, see if any of their incentives appeal to you. If not, continue with the steps to cancel your contract. As part of the cancellation process, you might be required to pay a cancellation fee.

The fee will differ according to how much of the contract is left. Providers will generally calculate your early termination charge by adding together any outstanding charges, then deducting VAT and 4% for early receipt of payment. Finally, they will add VAT back to get the final amount. If you can’t afford to pay the cancellation fee, it might be best to stick with your existing contract for now.

Can you cancel your contract early without charge?

In some circumstances you can cancel your mobile contract early without having to pay any fees:


30 days left of your contract

If you’ve got a month left on your contract, you can cancel it without charge as 30 days tends to be the usual notice period for ending a contract. Around this time, you should get an end-of-contract notification from your provider with some next steps.


First 14 days of your contract

The first two weeks of your contract are known as the ‘cooling-off period’. If you decide the contract isn’t right for you, you can cancel without any charges. But this cooling-off period only applies if you signed up for your contract online or over the phone, not in-store.


Network increases the price

Can I cancel my phone contract if the provider increases my price? The short answer - it depends. Annual inflation price increases mean that the cost of your phone contract can increase from your initial price. The network must give you 30 days notice to cancel the contract without charge if:
  • The terms and conditions of your contract do not include inflation-related price hikes
  • The increase exceeds that which was mentioned in the initial terms

Poor signal

Check to see if your contract contains an acceptable network coverage guarantee. If it does, you can cancel if you regularly find yourself without a signal. This guarantee isn’t offered by all network providers. If there’s nothing in your contract, speak to your provider to see how they can help you.


Do I have to give 30 days’ notice to cancel my phone contract?

Almost all providers require 30 days’ notice if you want to cancel your mobile phone contract. Always check your contract and terms and conditions to see your notice period.

How to cancel your contract with each provider?

The cancellation process is roughly the same for each provider. You contact them via phone, text, or online and let them know you want to cancel. Once you’ve done this, they might persuade you to stay, but if you’re sure you want to cancel, you’ll have to follow a few steps.



Call 202 from your O2 phone and give 30 days’ notice. Before you leave, you’ll need to pay any outstanding charges on your account. Your contract will end 30 days after O2 receives your request to leave. If you cancel before the 30-day notice period, you may need to pay charges.

If you’re on Pay As You Go and you have any credit or outstanding allowance, you can ask for a refund via bank transfer or cheque.



Call 150 from your EE phone or 07953 966 250 and give at least 30 days notice. You can also contact EE via your online account. If you’re not moving to another provider, your number will be terminated at the end of the 30 days and you’ll no longer be billed. 

You'll be charged for the service for the 30 days from the date of your cancellation request. This charge will show on your final bill as the Remaining Contract Charge. If you’re moving to a new provider and want to keep your phone number, you need to ask EE for your PAC code.



Call Three on 07953 966 250. You'll need to give 30 days' notice, and your number will be cancelled at the end.

If you want to switch to another network, you can do this through your My3 account or by calling Three. If you want to keep your number, you’ll need to ask Three for your PAC code.



Sign in to the ‘My Vodafone’ account and follow the relevant steps to cancel your contract. If you have more than one number on your account, call 191 free from your Vodafone mobile.

You’ll be charged up to the date that your service is disconnected. If you don’t have any other services with Vodafone, you’ll get your final bill within 30 days of the date you’re disconnected.


What happens to your account balance or any outstanding payments?

As part of the cancellation process, you’ll have to pay off the remainder of your contract. This can be quite costly, especially if you’re cancelling early in your contract and have a few months left. This is because you need to cover the cost of the mobile device itself.

Make sure you can afford to pay off the remainder before you cancel. To find out how much you’ll have to pay to cancel your contract, text INFO to 85075.

You’ll receive a text with the contract end date and the amount you need to pay. Check this carefully, as some providers split your payments into device and airtime payments. You will need to fully pay off your device payment.


Can I keep my current phone number if I switch providers?

Yes, you can keep your current phone number when you switch - you just need your PAC code. Contact your network provider by text or phone to get your PAC. Give it to your new network and your number will transfer across within 1 working day.


How to find a new deal?

Compare the best phone deals on Confused.com.

Whether you want a pay-monthly contract, pay-as-you-go deal, or SIM only deal, you’ll find what suits you.

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