How to Cancel an iPhone Contract When Leaving the Country

Written by robert schrader
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As a "quad-band" device, Apple's iPhone -- -- and the AT&T and Verizon service plans -- can work in almost any country around the world. If you plan to go abroad for longer than a short holiday, however, charges you incur using the iPhone abroad can become unmanageable. Cancel your iPhone contract before moving abroad -- or travelling long-term -- to avoid exorbitant charges that dwarf any cancellation fee you may pay.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Dial "611" from your AT&T iPhone or "*611" from your Verizon iPhone. Wait for the automated voice to answer. If you use AT&T, press "7" to be placed in line for the next available operator; press "8" if you use Verizon.

  2. 2

    Inform the representative of your situation and provide him with the date when you want to cancel iPhone service. Be as specific as possible -- if you cancel the service too early, you won't be able to use your iPhone during those days; if you cancel it too late, you will pay for service you won't use.

  3. 3

    Ask the representative if his company has a provision that allows him to waive termination fees for people who move outside the wireless service area. If not, ask how much you owe for your termination fee and make arrangements to pay it.

  4. 4

    Request that the cell phone company send you written notice of contract termination for your records. If a computer glitch should happen to reactivate your account when you're away, a written notice of cancellation absolves you from any liability.

Tips and warnings

  • Unless you unlock your AT&T; iPhone -- a procedure Apple and AT&T; strongly discourage -- you can't use it overseas with another SIM card. Verizon iPhones use a type of cell phone technology that doesn't support unlocking, making it even more difficult to use the iPhone with another carrier. Inquire with cell phone providers in the foreign country about purchasing a new iPhone or other device from them.

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