There are a few reasons as to why someone would leave a mobile phone contract early – perhaps you have found a cheaper alternative somewhere else, you are not happy with the service you have received whilst being a customer of that network, your device is broken or you just feel there are better opportunities available at a different network (data roaming, unlimited minutes and texts, etc). However, cancelling a mobile phone contract before it comes to an end can sometimes be a slightly difficult process as a lot of people don’t even know where to begin.
EE was first established in 2010 as a 50:50 joint venture with Orange and T-Mobile. It is now the largest mobile phone network in the UK with some 30 million customers. They are well known for their great quality 4G and data roaming services as they reach 99% of the population. The term ‘EE’ stands for ‘Everything Everywhere’.
Changing Providers at the end of your Contract
Changing providers at the end of your contract is a little less complicated than getting out of a contract that is still running. Normally, your contract will continue to run and your phone will be upgraded (you will be alerted a couple of months before that your contract is ending and that you are due an upgrade). However, if it isn’t suitable, you are not obliged to continue your contract with this network and once your final bill has been paid, you can leave. This is pretty straightforward because everything has been paid off on your behalf and you do not owe anything to the company (you now own the phone as you have paid it off totally). However, EE will not offer an ‘automatic termination’ to their customers and if you do not get in touch with them then your contract will renew and continue to run for another two years. If your EE contract is coming to an end and you no longer wish for them to be your service provider then there are a few steps you must follow – do not assume that you will be let out of the contract automatically.
First things first, EE require 30 days notice when you are thinking of leaving them. This will usually be one month before your final bill. Once the 30 days notice has been given, you will either be charged until the end of your minimum term or you will be charged up until the end of the 30 days notice – whichever is the later date, so it is definitely worthwhile to make sure that you notify them at least 30 days before your contract is coming to an end, to avoid paying any additional charges. On the other hand, you can’t just notify EE part way through your contract as they do have a limit on how far in advance they can accept pre-date contract cancellations. The charge you receive after giving 30 days cancellation is known as the notice period charge – this can be avoided if you let EE know you are intending to cancel your account, 30 days in advance.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an online service that allows you to notify EE of your plans to cancel your contract. They recommend that in order to get in touch with them, you must either call them or write to them. Please note that if you are writing to EE with a cancellation request, the request will be put through on the day that EE receives the letter rather than the day you sent it. Please be sure to send your request in plenty of time if you are addressing a letter to the head office. Once your cancellation request has been processed, you will receive a text message to confirm that your contract will be ending.
If you have been considering leaving EE but are panicking because you are not sure when the end date of your contract is – it is easy to see how long is left by logging into your account online and selecting ‘mobile’
You will then be asked to enter your mobile number so that your contract can be brought up:
Once you have been redirected to your account, you will be able to view the details of your contract, such as how much you have paid, how much is left to pay and when it will come to an end. You will also be able to see your next bill date and how much you will owe for that bill – including any additional charges that you might owe.
Cancelling Before 14 Days
EE allow their customers 14 days to cancel their contracts free of charge. This is a 14 day ‘no strings’ period so that you can get a feel for the network. If you have taken out a contract with EE and decide within two weeks that you want to terminate that contract then there is a fairly straightforward way to do this and it can also be done online. Firstly, you will need to select where you signed up to said contract – whether it was over the phone, in an EE store or online. These options can be found on the EE help page:
It is important to select the correct one that applies to you because how you cancel depends on where and how you signed up for the contract. If you did sign up for the contract in store then, unfortunately, you will not be eligible to cancel the contract just because of a ‘change of mind’ but you will be able to get out of the contract if you are experiencing network troubles or if the fantastic coverage promised by EE does not meet your expectations. If you are allowed to cancel, then you must return your device to the store that you purchased it from in the exact condition it was in when you bought it, including any receipts that you were given at the time. The phone also has to be packed with any in-box accessories it came with when you bought it, for example, headphones or charger wires. The retail returns policy is available on the EE website if you are unsure how to take your phone back to store. Once you have brought the phone back, you can expect to take a few steps to cancelling – including having to pay a ‘final payments’ bill which will be from the day you bought the phone back right until the day you brought the phone back into the store (to cover any usage). As a result, the maximum amount you will be charged will be for 14 days minimum usage. You will then be issued with a returns receipt that will confirm the return of the product and the termination of your contract – please keep this safe for your records.
Online or over the phone 14-day cancellations work a little differently and the best way to cancel your contract is by email using the EE cancellation form that is available on their website. The cancellation form looks like this:
The form should be filled out and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will then be contacted with how to go about returning your device and anything else that came in the box. If you don’t want to email, you can print out the cancellation form and post it to the head office address. Once your cancellation request has been processed, you will receive a final bill which will be subject to the rules stated above. Because you will have handed your device back, your final bill will be sent to you in the post so please make sure that you arrange payment as soon as possible. If you are moving to a new contract, on a different network, you will need to get a PAC code to ensure that you keep the same number. All the information that you need to do this is on the EE website. Once you have received your PAC code it is valid for 30 days.
Cancelling Part Way through your Contract
If you are unhappy with the service you have received from EE and no longer wish to have them as your network provider then you might want to leave your contract part the way through (most contracts are two years long which is a fairly long time to be tied down to somewhere you are unhappy with) despite the repercussions. Cancelling the contract part-way through is definitely a little complicated because when you bought into the contract, you signed it, which means it is legally binding. The only way to leave a contract early is to buy the contracted phone outright and pay the remainder of your contract. This is not really advised unless you really need to leave the contract or your phone has been lost/stolen. Usually, the network will let you upgrade your phone around two months before your contract is due to end and so it is often worth holding out until then rather than exiting a contract early.
With all of that being said, if you did still want to go ahead and leave your contract, then you would follow the same steps as if you were coming to the end of your contract by contacting EE and then expecting to wait up to 30 days whilst the cancellation process takes place and before you can receive your final bill. Once you have paid your final bill and the account has been closed, you will then be entitled to cancel your direct debit – but not before this time. You will have a limited time to pay your final bill and if it is not paid by the date shown then a late payment fee will be charged to you and a late payment will be put onto your records. if your bill still remained unpaid, EE will seek third party help in recovering the payments that they are owed. If you are having genuine trouble paying your bill, please contact EE and they can put you in touch with the right advisers.
If you are ringing EE to cancel your contract (rather than contacting them online) then please make sure that you provide all of the relevant details at the end of the phone call to ensure that they can get back in contact with you easily. Details EE will need to ensure that they can keep in regular contact with you are your updated home address so that your final bill can be sent and also any information about any additional devices that are on your account and whether you want to cancel all or only some of them – it is important that this is stated clearly to avoid any confusion.
The only way you will be able to get out of an EE contract is by putting in a cancellation request (as explained above). Please note that only one cancellation request can be put into EE and if it is taking longer to process than you had hoped, you cannot submit another request. The only way that you can re-submit a cancellation request would be by cancelling the one that you currently have pending, and replacing it with a new one – and there is a risk that this might slow down the process even more. You may have other requests to EE that are pending or have been made on your account such as add-on bundles or a request for a new SIM. These will all need to be deleted before you go ahead and make your cancellation request. Your account will close within 30 days from when you contacted EE. If you have previously cancelled an account with EE but decide that you would like to now re-open an account with them, please don’t hesitate as a new contract and mobile device can be given to you as soon as possible. For the best deals on the EE network, it is always best to call the contact number and see what a member of the team can offer you. If you have previously been a customer at EE then you might be able to get a better deal for your loyalty, or if you have family members on EE you may also be eligible for a friends and family discount.