T-Mobile Changes Early Termination Policy

Last week, T-Mobile modified its Early Termination Fees (ETF) policy. Customers will no longer be able to cancel service without an ETF when moving out of a T-Mobile coverage area or overseas. This policy went into effect February 8th and will not affect customers who cancelled service (without paying the ETF) before February 8th.

Additionally, this new policy change does not apply to customers moving overseas due to military deployment.

What do you think of this new policy change? Good, bad, don’t care? Let us know in the comments!

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  • alan johnson

    i don’t think it’s fair at all.  i’ve been with t-mobile for almost 15 years and would actually hate to look back to see just how much money i’ve paid to this company.  now they won’t let me out of a contract that i have with me and my wife’s phone?  400 bucks is a lot of money to us, we have 2 kids… for all the time i’ve been with T-Mobile they have never ever cut me any slack, NEVER.

    • nic

      At Alan Johnson: I am just curious… Do you think that any other cellular carrier would let you out of a contract scott free? 

      I think $400 is a lot to many people these days, myself included. I have a teen at home and two in college, it’s not easy making ends meet these days. T-Mobile has never cut me any slack either, I guess, but they have, in the days before I had unlimited services, several times given me more minutes as token gestures. And they still do offer free phones with upgrades (just that those models tend to be the models a lot of us don’t want).

      You didn’t mention why you want to be released from your contract, and it sounds like you and your wife have newly acquired contracts; hence the $400 ($200 per line). If you have fallen on hard times, you might talk to customer service about your new situation. Here is a link that I googled about tmobiles terms and services. >>> http://www.t-mobile.com/Templates/Popup.aspx?PAsset=Ftr_Ftr_TermsAndConditions&print=true

      By the way; there is a person who posts on this complaints board that they despise my commenting on here and accuses me of working for tmobile just becasue I have actively commented these past couple of weeks.. It’s like some people don’t want to think. I don’t get that type of mentality, I am just trying to be helpful. I see no rules stating the amount of times one can post. And just because I receive updates, which allows me to see new comments, doesn’t mean that I work for tmobile. Gawd, some people act out so stupidly. I am a grandparent type person and I like to help. I see many posts where people just get on here and whine about things without making any type of sense. This board should end, in my opinion. It’s gone too far. It was originally about customer service going downhill, but has taken a turn toward everything and anything else.

      Best wishes to you and your wife.

    • Mad

      I don’t think it is fair also.  I have been with t-moblie for a little over 15yrs and they trick us
      about up grade of phones which we never got.  I have talke with C/S since last July about
      this and no luck.  Bye-Bye T-Mobile and I am telling everyone about the way they trick long
      time customers to make MONEY…….. on  Early Termination Fees

      • nic

        Mad; T-Mobile doesn’t trick customers. What they do is offer varying plans to their customers toward the end of their contracts which are supposed to save the customer money. They’ve also offered those deals to customers on a month to month rate. Those so-called deals extend one’s plan another 2 years (matching whatever you already have, perhaps) and without a new handset/upgrade phone/s. I was offered a chance to save money on my family plan by agreeing to one of those deals but turned it down after they confirmed it would extend my contract obligating me to additional 2-year contract with no new phones (or start me on another contract the time when I was month to month and received that type of offer). I have been both a month to month subscriber and contracted, so am familiar with what they do.

        I notice that so many people here state how long they have been with T-Mobile as if they expect it means something special. It doesn’t. A long-term customer gets nothing anymore special than a thank-you for being a loyal customer at the end of any phone conversation with customer service. Or maybe one could get the benefit of the doubt over something gone wrong, but don’t expect anything more. And it’s the same with many of the major carriers.

        As for the early termination fees, expect to pay them if you quit early. And then know that billing is a month behind and you’ll wind up owing more than your regular monthly bill when the final bill tallies up. Unless you can get a new contract somewhere else and pay considerably less than what you are paying monthly now, you’ll only wind up with overlapping ginormous cell phone bills from the old and the new carrier. And don’t forget about the costs of new handsets and all of the activations fees with any new carrier. Then it takes 2 more billing cycles with a new carrier before you see a normal bill. The first 2 cycles will be higher due to the numerous start-up fees. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Just don’t renew with T-Mobile when your time is up. But also realize that the carriers are all pretty much alike.

  • sangmin lee

    Today I tried to close my t-mobile account because I thought my 2 years contract is terminated but the guy said I have to pay ETF. So I checked my online t- mobile account and I realized they renewal the contract without my permission. I have no idea what’s going on and Im so pissed off. What should I do?

    • ni

      Sangmin lee, I’ve never heard of any carrier renewing your contract without your consent, so am curious if you had upgraded your phone to a newer one before this renewal happened? If so, that would mean an automatic renewal of your contract. Read the Terms and Conditions, Here is that linkL http://www.t-mobile.com/Templates/Popup.aspx?PAsset=Ftr_Ftr_TermsAndConditions&print=true

      • Gret321

        I’m in the same situation, they somehow renewed my contract by initiating a rate change that I agreed to (but was unaware this was extending my contract!).

        • CathyL2

          Me too! I’m considering dropping them and making them take me to court for the blasted fee. A couple of years ago Verizon lost a big class action lawsuit over early termination fees. Maybe T-Mobile should be next.

      • Guest

        You’re wrong.  They did it to me.  Changed one line on my family account to a 2GB data plan (down from 5GB) and they changed my rate plan from 700min to the new 1000min without even telling me because it was the same price and I guess thought he was being helpful?

        IN any case, when I called about it the Hispanic woman who had terrible English told me to email or write to some address to dispute it.  She was quite rude about it, as well.  After cussing her out a few minutes, I called back and got someone to change ALL of my contract dates back.  They literally set all my contract dates back 14 months – ALL THREE phones.

        I’m getting ready to ETF all 3 lines and leave to AT&T, though.  I get great coverage here, but their 3G is EDGE speeds (averaging about 235 kpbs download speeds).  I cannot accept that.

        • Kkarch22

          Stay away from AT&T I have had nothing but issues since I moved to them.. They told me the 2g would be 20.00 I just found out it is now 25.00..so much for having a contract they raise yourbillqnytime they want..they suck

    • Mecorr

      Ask them to replay the audio recording of you changing your plan.  Then if they can not product it then your off the hook.

  • pick a name

    Ok. Here’s the deal. I have T-Maybe and they suck ass in this area. In town I get good reception. Outside of tow it sucks massive balls. I’m just lucky the phone isn’t laughing at me. I live in a mountainous area. I guess T-Maybe is still learning about cell tower technology. At least Verizon has learned that lesson. They seem to be everywhere. I have four months left on this contract and will make sure i know the exact day that my contract is over so that I can switch over with no problems from these idiots. At least I hope that I don’t have problems. Knowing my luck with this band of fucktards it will get screwed up somehow. I’ll probably get someone on the phone who English is a second language too and end up selling my soul to the devil in the process. 

    As for their early termination policy, it too sucks ass. I FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT ALL CELL COMPANIES HAVE THIS POLICY. I don’t need to be reminded. Hence, the reason that I am finishing up my term with T-Maybe. I think you should have the option of paying the early termination fee as part of your monthly bill spread out over the two year contract if you don’t think you will stay for that whole time. If not, then suck if up and move on when they nail you in the ass on your way out the door. There are circumstances when the company is in the wrong, and that should be addressed, but don’t freak out when all of a sudden you’re checking account is getting sodomized by someone for trying to back out of a contract. 

    For all those who have been unfairly fucked by T-Maybe, I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do to get your money back. For those of you who are just crying about this, drink yourself a nice big cup of man the fuck up and get over it. Enough said.

    Also, ya’ll get the hell off of poor Nic. He just seems to be about the only damn person who has read a stupid ass contract before signing it. ;-)

  • Shan_30ish

    Here’s what bothers me: I have no problem paying an early termination fee if I choose to leave, however I do have a problem with being a loyal customer for 8 years who always pays her bill on time, yet when my financial situation actually changes for the better and I can afford to upgrade to a smart phone t-mobile won’t give me a deal of any type on the phone I want, meanwhile some new customer joe schmo off the street who has no credit history and has never had a phone bill before in their life can just walk into one of their stores and get the phone that I want for less than half the price that I could get it for.  Radio Shack has a deal on the phone I want thru a different carrier and I am considering changing carriers because of it.  Hmmmmm, stay with t-mobile and pay $450 for the phone I want, or change carriers, get the phone I want and pay the $200 early termination fee and still get the phone I want for $250….. 

    • Guest

      I could have written this post.  The guy today tried to get me to pay over $400 for one of their phones and I told him I’d rather pay $200 to leave and then $200 to get the phone I actually want!  Guess 8 years of service doesn’t mean much!

  • ssmith

    Absolutely disgusting and shows another form of big business screwing the little guy!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YYPYB3J32YG4UP22FT3KJ5MDBQ Eyan

    T-mobile extended my contract without telling me and whithout me ever getting a new phone…. I got a new plan with verizon due to the lack of coverage and contacted t mobile to let them know and it turns out i have another year and a half more on my contract! These weasels got me the bump up to a more expensive plan not to long ago whithout telling me that it would make me stay with them for 2 more years! $200 is well worth parting ways



    • Not right

      T-mobile also extended my contract without telling me and I did not receive a new phone.  I am fighting this fee, it’s ridiculous and borderline criminal!!!

    • Millie

      I just found out Tmobile extended my contract too. I called ten days ago to go back from family plan to an individual one, because my parents left tmobile and there was no reason for me to stay on family plan. At the time I discussed my options with representatives and they assured me 3-4 times that my contract date WOULD NOT CHANGE after this rate change. I knew that every time you change rate plan, you extend contract, thats why I asked them a few times if that would be the case. They assured me it would not extend the date and they said they would put a note on my acct stating that my date would stay the same. I just figured its because I am loyal customer. I have been with them for over 6 years. Loyalty doesn’t mean anything to them I guess. I just talked to them and they said on my account there is a note that said I WAS ADVISED MY CONTRACT DATE WOULD CHANGE!!!!!!!!!! SPEECHLESS!!!!! After a long conversation with the representative, I asked her to get me a supervisor. I talked to him and requested investigation and review of the tape from the date I called, so they can hear the whole conversation and to see I was told different from whats on that note on my account! I will update you on what they investigated and what is the outcome of this. He said it should take 24-48 hours so we will see! I am terminating my contract regardless of the end result, because this was just awful and not a way to treat customers!!!! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YYPYB3J32YG4UP22FT3KJ5MDBQ Eyan

    but its also a bunch of bull because i should be done for free! im broke and i have to give these people 200 bucks because their word is stronger then mine? I really wish there was just one person that was t mobile so i could flip him off!

  • Kepola1

    T-mobile coverage changed once we got a smart phone.  We wrote them and thier reply was they would not let us out of the contract because we moved out of coverage.  We never moved, not sure where they got that, maybe it is just away to keep us in contract.  We sent the letter certified so they had to reply.  If there reps can’t even read and respond properly, how can thier net work properly?


    They have absolutely terrible coverage, none within a 2 mile radius of my new house.  Why shouldn’t I be able to drop a defective carrier for free?

  • Heathslaughter

    How does Tmo compute when a contract begins? I purchased 3 phones at the same time, but Tmo’s customer service states that I am 36 months into one line, 23 months on another and 13 months on the third. I’m not too sure how they came up with their numbers.

    FYI – I’ve been with Tmo since 2002 and I personally love the company. Never had a major signal issue and my data is very fast (good enough to tether to my laptop and stream video). I see that a lot of people claim to have been double-crossed, but I have nothing bad to say about the company.

    • Susan

      Even though you may start lines at the same time, each individual line has their own contract. So if you’re upgrading different lines at different times, it renews the two year contract, so they all end at different times.

      I ran into this with my family plan, as well. It gets really frustrating because it makes it harder for you to cancel all the lines at once. I suppose the only real convenience is having them all on one bill. :P
      Hope this helps!

  • Duncan33

    I’ve been with Tmobile for 10+ years. I’m the owner of a family plan with 4 lines and we want to switch to Verizon due to coverage issues. I heard that loyal customers have it easier when trying to leave. Can anyone confirm this? I cannot pay $800 to leave this carrier when I barely get signal outside the house.

    • Disgrunted TMobile user

       No, it is not true.  I just went in the phone with them, escalate this to a supervisor/manager, and nothing happened.  They simply refused.  The only “alternative” they gave me was to transfer the service (and pay the transfer fee) or…
      I am moving to England, but they don’t care they are not capable of providing service there.  Similarly in the US, if they choose to discontinue their coverage on a particular area, YOU are liable.  I have been with them since 2006, and my contract expires in November (6 months from now).  I have a family plan, but it makes no difference for these guys.
      I am glad to say that once I come back, I will not be using their service.

    • Nunee03

      I have been with them for 5 years, and we just moved to new area a month ago. In my house we have no reception, so when we called and  told them what our issue was. The rep told me to get antenna booster which is extra( I don’t know  how much it was, and didn’t care to get one why would I , plus I don’t even know if that thing even going to work!) Anyhow, he said either get that booster or I pay ETF. I asked him if I could talk to his supervisor ,he said the supervisor would said the  same thing and last thing I can do it to write them a letter and complain. My contact will be up 6 months  from now, and for sure I won’t be using their service.   

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3BK6ZYI25DUQMIMJRRA7YNJK6E Kara

    I was always a loyal tmobile customer (6 years)  and recently switched to Verizon. (got bitten by the iphone bug)  really though I never had any signal at my home, had to go down the street, couldn’t get a signal at work, and my son who moved to quincy had no signal in his apartment. Seriously, switched to verizon and have a strong signal in all of those locations. I am amazed and thrilled. We unfortunately has one line on our family plan that was not on the same end of contract date as the other 3 lines. We don;t know how that happened. Anyway it is worth it to pay the ETF on that one phone for the convenience of great coverage. 

  • Nyoike

    If I terminate my contract with T-Mobile and pay the $200 ETF, do I have to return the phone or do I get to keep it?

    • Michael S.

      you keep it of course. 

  • David

    T-Mobile’s policy states that military members who PCS or deploy are not liable for paying the early termination fee. This has proven to be false. T-Mobile will fight for every penny without regard for special circumstances. They will also disregard the fact that they cannot provide the service that was paid for in your area.

  • Lairelen24

    This is horrible. They supposedly have great service where I live yet I lose reception at least twice/week and now that I am moving to an area with little to no coverage, I am screwed over. I am now going to have to pay over $200 because their coverage sucks! Great, thanks for taking my money t-mobile. It’s not like I need it or anything…

  • Allison

    I have a question. If I terminate early, how does tmobile get their money? Do they bill me or do they take it out of my bank account?