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Understanding T-Mobile Early Termination Fees

Is T-Mobile charging you a bogus Early Termination Fee? FairShake can help.

"What you should know about early termination fees"

If you are signing up for a new contract or getting a new phone provider, you have probably faced an early termination fee when closing your account. These can be hundreds of dollars and catch people off guard especially when they are charged for every line you close. But what are they, and are they legal?

Why do phone companies have early termination fees?

An early termination fee is designed to help service providers recuperate any discounts that they gave you, especially on equipment like phones, so that they don’t lose money every time they get a new customer. It’s also there to prevent you from signing up based on a good deal, and then immediately turning around and signing up with another company because you found a better deal.

What is T-Mobile’s early termination fee?

While you should always read your own contract, according to T-Mobile it typically does not charge early termination fees. Be aware that they do is charge restocking fees and this is something you may have to pay if you return equipment and cancel your contract early. This fee ranges in cost depending on the value of the phone you have. Even though it’s not labeled as an early termination fee because you don’t have long-term contracts with T-Mobile, it is still a hidden cost. 

Are early termination fees legal?

Yes, if the language is clearly stated in the contract you sign—and doesn’t violate any other laws—then it’s legal. But what most people find out is the language is buried at the bottom of their terms and conditions, something a sales person pushes them to read over quickly and then sign. What happens more often is that people scam the terms and conditions and believe that sales staff give them all pertinent information regarding fees but this doesn’t always happen.

How do I know if my contract with T-Mobile has an early termination fee?

Check your individual contract and read the T-Mobile terms and conditions. There will be a section in your contract that refers to termination. This lays out the rules for how you have to cancel a contract with T-Mobile and under what circumstances you are allowed to do that. You can’t be forced to remain with T-Mobile so if you have to move or you just found a better deal, you always have the right to leave your contract.

T-Mobile also has the right to cancel your contract if, for example, you don’t pay for your services on time or at all. This is the same section where you will find information on what your early termination fees are, and when they get applied to your account.

How can I reduce or avoid T-Mobile’s early termination fee?

One of the ways you can reduce or avoid the early termination fee you with your provider like T-Mobile, is if you entered into a contract where the sales staff misled you in writing about the terms of the contract, things like the cancellation policy and the early termination fee, how much it would cost each month. Plenty of people have had to deal with issues where they faced a higher bill than expected because a salesperson misled them about a promotion or hidden costs. 

If this sounds like your situation, you may have to take your complaint to T-Mobile to make them hear you.

What if I get a contract buyout?

If you have some sort of early termination fee or other fees for canceling your service, these can add up particularly if you have multiple lines. One way you can avoid having to pay these fees is to work with a competitor. These are promotional deals where the competitor offers to cover the cost of closing out your account but the fine print usually has a financial limit. T-Mobile actually offers options to switch your lines and they will pay your current phone and service contracts up to a certain amount, but they will require you pay it out of pocket and then repay you in the form of a prepaid debit card.

I’m being charged an early termination fee by T-Mobile but I shouldn’t be, what can I do?

With FairShake, we walk you through the legal steps to get a refund when you are charged an early termination fee but shouldn’t be. We get real results for clients just like yourself. 

Start a claim today…





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