Exiting Cellphone Contracts Is Never Fun

The Washington Post confirms a fact of life about cellphones that most of us already knew: it’s a royal pain to exit a contract with a carrier, not to mention a rip-off.

In order to sign up for a cellphone in the US, carriers force customers to sign a 2-year agreement. In return, the carrier gives the consumer a discount on a new cellphone.

Unfortunately, the discount, while substantial, could be worthless if it turns out the carrier doesn’t have good coverage where the consumer lives or travels to. Or the customer might want to buy a certain phone later on that the carrier doesn’t offer. If so, the consumer is socked with a cancellation fee that can be as high as $250.

Despite recent legislation ruling that consumers can “unlock” their phones and move them from carrier to carrier, it’s a complicated process. And the carriers conspire to fight it every step of the way for reasons too numerous to mention here. Check out the WP article though; it’s a good read.

Cellphone Contracts: Hard to Get off the Hook [WP]