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I Transferred My Cell Phone Contract For Free

by Ryan Guina

Transfer Your Cell Phone ContractSeveral years ago I wanted a new cell phone contract. Luckily, I was able to transfer my cell phone plan to a coworker. It was a win-win situation. He wanted to get onto the Verizon network, and I wanted to avoid paying early termination fees for breaking my contract. That saved me from paying a $175 Early Termination Fee (ETF), and he got a free phone! Most cell phone providers charge an ETF in the $150 – $200 range, but you can avoid paying early termination fees by transferring your service to another person or finding other ways to get out of your contract.

Transferring my cell phone without paying early termination fees

Sometimes it can be difficult to cancel or transfer your cell phone without paying any fees. However, if you can find someone willing to take over your contract, you can transfer your phone and 100% liability with an Assumption of Liability transfer. This assumption of liability transfer legally transfers the terms of the contract to another person’s name. The entire process takes about 20 minutes.

My friend needed a new cell phone carrier, so luckily I had someone who could take the contract over for me. If you need help finding someone to take you contract over, there are two companies willing to help you out for a $20 fee – Cell Swapper and Cell Trade USA. Trade My Cellular also provides this service free of charge.

The deal was great for both of us – I needed out of a contract, and he needed a new carrier. Ironically, he had Sprint, which was the company I wanted to go to. But got awful reception in his apartment. He also wanted a new cell provider because his girlfriend had service with Verizon and they were not able to take advantage of free mobile to mobile minutes. As a result, it was costing both of them more money every month because they were charged the regular rate for their calls. (I assume they talk a lot!)

My coworker was able to assume my contract, which had roughly a year left and I gave him my Motorolla Razr free. His old contract with Sprint had just ended so he did not have to pay an early termination fee to cancel his old service. He was also able to port his old number over with no problems. Even though I tried my best, I was not able to transfer my old number without canceling my old service and paying the early termination fees. Some services will allow you to keep your phone number, even if you let someone else take over your plan through an Assumption of Liability transfer. However, not all cell phone providers allow this, so check with your provider.

In the end, this was a win-win deal for both of us. He gets better cell phone reception, free mobile to mobile minutes with his girlfriend, a free phone, and he doesn’t have to lock himself into a long term contract. He even got some free ring tones! As for me, I saved a lot of time and money trying to get out of my cell phone contract. I will also save a few dollars per month on my cell phone bill and get a better package, including unlimited data usage! Can you tell I am excited!?!

Can’t Find Someone to Transfer Your Contract to?

Here are some more was you can cancel a cell phone contract without paying fees. You can also try going to a new service provider. Some companies are even offering to pay your Early Termination Fee if you take your business to them. T-Mobile, for example, currently has such an offer.
T-Mobile has the best current offer for getting out of your contract. Use this offer link, trade-in your current phone, and T-Mobile will pay your Early Termination Fee (ETF) with a Visa® Prepaid card. And they won’t even make you sign an annual service contract. You can do this for up to $350 per line, for up to 10 lines on one contract.

Here’s how it works:

  • Visit this offer link.
  • Transfer your current phone number to T-Mobile
  • Process your trade-in within 14 days of your new phone purchase (T-Mobile will offer you credit based on the market value for your eligible device).
  • After entering your order number and T-Mobile phone number, print the postage paid shipping label and send in your device.
  • Submit your final bill. When you receive your current carrier’s final bill with your Early Termination Fees (ETFs), submit the bill to T-Mbile electronically within 2 calendar months of your number transfer to T-Mobile for reimbursement (up to 10 lines).
  • Get up to $350 per line based on the Early Termination Fees (ETFs) on your carrier’s final bill.
  • Eligible device trade-in, device purchase, qualifying plan and port-in required.

Check out these great cell phone deals! T-Mobile is currently offering some great deals on their individual and family cell phone plans, and here are special AT&T Wireless offers. Want to avoid contracts? StraightTalk offers great pay as you go plans.


Published or updated January 6, 2015.
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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 plonkee

I just wouldn’t be able to handle changing my mobile number. I’ve had it for nearly 10 years, and for much of that time it was my only phone number. There would just be too many people to update.

I’m not a fan of my mobile phone provider (T-Mobile), but I’ve only got 6 months to go until I can switch back to Orange if they’ve got a good deal on. And can port my number.

But well done for getting out of it free.

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2 Ryan

Plonkee, I understand what you mean. I only had that line for just over a year or so; it wasn’t too big of a problem for me. I will have to call all of my friends and family this week, but that’s not so bad of a problem, is it? :)

The thing I am not looking forward to though, is changing my contact info in all the accounts I have . :(

But, I will be saving money and I have a better plan with more options, so I see no reason to change any time soon. :)

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3 CiaranFromChance

Thanks Ryan,

As I’ve shared with you from the post on the 7th and via email, I plan on following your advice to change my cell phone situation.

I will start by registering with the contract swap websites you mentioned. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sell my TREO 750 or include it in the swap deal.

From there I will look into my options with Verizon. As I mentioned before, I really like their Verizon Wireless enV by LG because of typing ease, hopefully for emails and (fingers crossed) short blog posts maybe.

I’m going to try and use the cell switch as a starting point to switching everything I use in my apartment to Verizon, including cable, internet and digital phone. If all works out I’ll detail all in a post next week.

At the same time, I will look at the Sprint SERO, as that deal you mentioned is very appealing. I’ve got a lot of work to do but for the first time I’m kind of excited about fixing a problem that (I now realize) has been bugging the s*** out of me for some time now.

Hopefully I can port my cell number which I have had for over 8 years now. If not, I’ll be in the same boat as you Ryan.

Will report back on all, hopefully a post to follow middle of next week. Thanks again,

Ciaran

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4 Ryan

Ciaran,

The SERO plan is just so good, I don’t see how anyone can beat it. However, I also like the idea of running everything on one plan to simplify. Good luck transferring your plan! :)

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5 Money Blue Book

The Sero plan is very good price-wise, but as a former long time Sprint PCS customer, I can attest that the service was terrible in the Washington DC area. Verizon Wireless is much better and has reception in the underground subway stations, something most carriers don’t have.

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6 Ryan

MBB, I have discovered that there are services that work well for some people in some locations and don’t work well for other people where they are. I had Cingular for several years and I loved them. But when I moved to my new house I dropped calls and had very poor reception. Since I do not have a land line, that was unacceptable for me. I got Verizon and I didn’t drop any calls at my house. (I live in the suburbs of a medium sized city wher e dropped calls shouldn’t happen from any service). I changed to Spring and so far the service is just as good for me. I think it is all based on location.

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7 CiaranFromChance

Verizon’s service in areas where most others don’t work is another added bonus, I guess those commercials are on the money.

My current provider Cingular worked well in Queens/LI but as soon as I went to certain isolated areas, including girlfriends apartment I had no reception, same with her. I would go a day sometimes w/o cell service, like being back in 1990. She switched to Verizon and it worked perfectly in her apartment.

i think the general consensus is Verizon seems a lot more reliable in areas where other networks stall out.

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8 Chad Bernier

Verizon is generally the best network. However, they rip you off in data service. I want some data service so I can do some web browsing and stuff on my phone. Verizon would charge about $90 for a few minutes, data service, and a few texts. sprint sero is $30. I can’t afford verizon if I add on data.

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9 Jarhead

I just signed up for the SERO plan and I am going to be able to keep the number that I have had with Cingular for the past 5 years it looks like

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10 Ted

It’s pretty much science that ALL phone companies are lame at this point.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=y-7XwboOx98

like i said, it’s science.

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11 David

I’m looking to take over someones contract for $30 SERO plan. If anyone wants to get rid of theirs please let me know!

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12 Ryan

David: I recommend looking at Cell Swapper, Cell Trade USA, or Trade My Cellular to see if anyone is looking at shedding their contract. If you don’t mind the 2 year commitment, you could just sign up yourself.

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13 Stevo

Even better try http://CellEscape.com. CellEscape is FREE to everybody and is becoming the the most popular place to exchange your mobile phone and contact. I have used the ones you mentioned above but Cell Escape is by far the best.

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14 aaron

Does anyone know what site offers wireless high speed internet contracts that people want to get out of as I just bought a laptop and don’t want a two year contract. Verizon would be best for me.

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