In this brief guide we will look at if you can cancel your phone contract, what fee are involved if any and when you can cancel your phone contract.
Cancelling your mobile phone contract for free
You can cancel your mobile contract but you will typically need either of these two scenarios to apply
You are within your 14 day cooling off period
Your network provide raised the fees midway into your contract
14 day cooling off period
If you buy your phone online or over the telephone you will usually have a (statutory 14 day cooling off period](http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/made) for any agreements you have entered into. The only exception to this is if you have waived your rights in writing or you committed to the agreement during a door to door sales pitch by the network provider.
Network Fee rise
You can cancel your contract for free if your network provider raises its rates. This doesn't have to be midway through your agreement but can be at any time during the agreement. Ofcom](https://www.ofcom.org.uk/) rules allow you to cancel your contract for free within 30 days of your phone network provider notifying you of an increase to its rates. This increases do not include scenarios where you are on a discounted rate which was always going to rise and you were aware of this at the beginning of your contract.
Acceptable network guarantee
You might also be able to cancel your mobile phone contract for free if you have really bad signal due to a very bad network on an ongoing basis. Most phone contracts may contain a clause which states that you are able to leave your phone contract if the phone network provider does not stick to an “acceptable network guarantee”.
If any of the above don't apply you may still be able to cancel your contract but it will be at a cost. You should look at the terms of your agreement with your current network provider and figure out what the cancellation policy is as this will differ between phone network providers.
You will usually need to give a 30 days notice to your network provider before you cancel your phone contract.
In most cases the cost of cutting your contract short will be the total amount you would have paid if you had seen your contract out. In some cases you can negotiate this down with the phone network as they will rather have you pay it than it turning into a debt. They will also be more likely to negotiate a lower early cancellation fee if you are switching phones with them. This doesn't have to necessarily be a more expensive phone. In some cases they will simply let you upgrade and pay more for a better phone rather than having to cancel your contract.
Tip: whatever you do, do not just stop making payments on your phone contract as this data might be reported to the credit bureaus and will show on your credit file.
Unlocking your phone
Once you have cancelled your phone contract and paid your network provider whatever they demanded or was negotiated you can go on using your phone. You can even sell it.. If you haven't settled whatever your mobile phone network provider demanded in regards to a cancellation fee, they might restrict your account and you will be unable to use it.
If all is settled you might still have to unlock your phone if you wish to use it with another sim. To do this you should contact your previous network provider. They may do this for free or charge you a fee which might range between £5 to £20. The process could take minutes or up to 72 hours to come into effect.
Tip: Your mobile phone network provider can only charge you to unlock your phone in this case or if you are on a pay as you go. If they attempt to charge you to unlock your phone when your mobile,phone contract has expired you should consider reporting them to the ombudsman and at the very least inform they that they can do that and you will report them to the ombudsman. This should solve the issue fairly quickly.
If all fails you can always get your phone unlocked on the high street at used phone stores or electronic stores. They will usually charge a fee. There are some online providers but you should be wary of what data you hand over.
And then there is Giff Gaff with is resource which allows you to unlock most phones for free using unlock codes from its [guide.[(https://www.giffgaff.com/unlock/unlock-mobile-phone-free-online-code-faq)
Keeping your phone number
Once you have unlocked your phone you can then move on to keeping your number if you desire to do so. You have a legal right to keep your number and port it over to a new mobile network operator.
To do this you simply contact your old mobile phone network and request a PAC code. This is a 9 digit number. You give this to your new network and they will take care of the transfer for you. You will likely need to restart your phone to see if the update has taken place. It will usually take about 24 hours but if it has been more than 24 hours and you still haven't seen any changes then simply contact your current mobile phone network and inform them.