How to cancel your phone contract

8 February 2022

Cancel your phone contract

Contents list

  1. Things to check before cancelling.
  2. The easy way to cancel your phone contract.
  3. Alternative methods for cancelling.
  4. Main 5G mobile operators.
  5. Other 5G mobile operators.
  6. Frequently asked questions.

Cancelling your phone contract is something almost everyone will want to do at least occasionally, and fortunately it’s very easy to do.

No longer is there any requirement to call up your network and deal with a sales pitch while they try to change your mind. Instead, you can just text an automated number. That’s by far the quickest and easiest way to cancel, and we’ll talk you through that exact process below, but we’ve also detailed the other options for cancellation.

So whether you’ve found a better price elsewhere, a network you’re happier with, or just fancy a change, here’s all the information you need to make the switch.

Things to check before cancelling

While cancelling your phone contract is simple, there are a few things that it’s worth checking before you do so.

The most important thing is to make sure you’re not currently locked into a contract. If you are, you can still cancel, but in most cases you’ll have to pay a hefty chunk of money to do so – often clearing the balance of the contract. So for example if you’re in month six of a 24-month contract then you may find you have to pay off the remaining 18 months.

If you’re not sure whether you’re still tied into a contract or not (or how long you have left on your contract), then text the word ‘INFO’ to 85075 using the phone that you want to cancel the contract for.

You’ll get a reply telling you whether you’re in contract, how many months are left, and what if anything there will be to pay if you cancel now. On some networks you might instead get a reply saying they need more information first (typically your date of birth), but if so, just follow the instructions.

A more minor consideration is whether or not your phone is unlocked. If it’s not and you plan to use it on another network, then you’ll need to get it unlocked first. However, most phones are now sold unlocked, and if yours is locked then you should be able to get it unlocked by your network either for free or for a low price.

It’s worth checking this though so you’re ready to go as soon as you’ve changed network. If you have a SIM card for another network to hand you could try putting it in and see if you get a signal to check, though be aware that if your phone is locked it would be locked to EE, Three, Vodafone or O2, as all the UK’s other networks use their infrastructure.

That means a phone locked to O2 for example would work with every other network that uses its infrastructure (such as Tesco Mobile or Sky Mobile). So make sure you’re checking it with a SIM card for a truly different network.

The easy way to cancel your phone contract

By far the easiest way to cancel your contract is just to text the word ‘PAC’ to 65075, or the word ‘STAC’ to 75075. In either case you should do this from the number tied to the contract that you want to cancel, using the first of those if you want to keep your number and take it to a new network, and the second if you want to cancel the number too and then get a new one.

In either case, you’ll then be texted a code that you can give to your new network when you sign up. They’ll then use this to close your old account for you, and in the case of a PAC code to transfer your number as well.

This code can sometimes be supplied while placing an order for a new phone or SIM card, but it doesn’t have to be – it’s valid for 30 days and can be provided to your new network once your account is up and running.

If you don’t use it within 30 days then it will expire and you’ll have to request a new code, which you can do using the same method again. So if you don’t give this code to your new network then your old contract will remain active.

Note also that when texting one of the numbers above, you may be asked for additional details, such as your date of birth. The specifics depend on which network you’re on. But if so, just follow the instructions and then you’ll get the relevant code.

Alternative methods for cancelling your phone contract

Texting is in almost all cases the quickest, easiest, and best way to cancel your phone contract, and the texting method is essentially the same for every network, so it’s simple too. But it’s not the only way to cancel – you can often call your network or cancel online.

The former is worth considering if you’re open to staying with your network on more favourable terms, as they might make you an offer.

In any case, we’ve detailed the various alternate methods for each network below. If you do use any of these though, make sure you request a PAC code if you want to keep your number, or a STAC code (or simply a termination) if you don’t.

Main 5G mobile operators

EE

To cancel an EE contract, you can log into your My EE account and find the ‘Leave EE’ option under ‘Account settings.’

Vodafone

Vodafone gives you a few options for cancelling. You can dial 191 from your Vodafone handset, use web chat, or head to your online account and then Settings > Plan settings > View > Switch to another network > Switch my network.

Three

To cancel a Three contract you can dial 333 from your Three phone, or 0344 809 0202 from any other phone. You can also cancel online.

O2

To cancel an O2 contract you can call 202 from your O2 phone or 0344 809 0202 from any other phone. It’s also possible to cancel online from your My O2 account.

Other 5G mobile operators

Asda Mobile

Asda Mobile doesn’t do contracts, but you can close your account by calling 2732 from your Asda phone.

BT Mobile

To cancel a BT Mobile contract, you can either dial 0800 800 150, or log into My BT and head to Manage Your Products > Manage Mobile > Settings > Switch to another provider > I’d like a switching code.

CMLink

CMLink doesn’t sell contracts, but you can close your account by contacting customer service, either using web chat, or by emailing id@cmlink.com.

Giffgaff

To close your Giffgaff account, just go to its website and either request a PAC (to keep your number) or request a STAC (to leave your number).

iD Mobile

You can cancel your iD Mobile contract by selecting the ‘Thinking of Leaving’ option on your online iD Mobile account. You can also find this option in the iD Mobile app, or cancel through iD Mobile’s live chat service.

Lebara

Lebara has a handy form you can fill in to cancel. If you don’t want to keep your number, then click the ‘STAC’ option at the top.

Lyca Mobile

Get in touch with Lyca Mobile by dialling 322 from your Lyca Mobile number, or 0207 132 0322 from any phone, to cancel.

Sky Mobile

Head to sky.com/leavesky, or call Sky Mobile on 03300 412 524 to cancel your plan.

Smarty

To cancel your Smarty plan, just head to your Account settings then find the 'Leave Smarty' section on the 'Manage plan' page and follow the instructions.

Tesco Mobile

You can cancel Tesco Mobile using web chat, or by selecting the ‘Leaving Tesco Mobile?’ option in your online account, or by calling 4455 from your Tesco phone or 0345 301 4455 from another phone.

Virgin Mobile

Just select ‘Switching’ from your online account to start the cancellation process on Virgin Mobile.

VOXI

If you're on VOXI, select ‘Leave VOXI’ from your online account or call 08080 057449.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the easiest way to cancel a phone contract?

The easiest way to cancel a phone contract is to text ‘PAC’ to 65075. If you don’t want to keep your number, then text ‘STAC’ to 75075 instead.

Does it cost money to cancel my phone contract?

That depends on whether you’re still in the minimum term of your contract. If not then you’re free to cancel at any time with no charge, but if you want to cancel early then you’ll probably have to pay off the remainder of the balance.

What if I’m still in the minimum term of my contract?

If you’re still in the minimum term of your phone contract then you’ll still be able to cancel, but you’ll probably have to pay some money to do so. Generally this will be most or all of the remaining balance of the contract, so the earlier into the contract you are, the more expensive it’s likely to be.

Do I need to provide notice when cancelling?

If you’re out of contract, then no notice is needed – you can just cancel at any time. If you’re still in the minimum term of your contract though then notice might be required, but usually only 30 days.

James Rogerson
About James Rogerson

Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies ( 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk) and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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Kevin Thomas
About Kevin Thomas

Company director for our 4 websites as follows: 

  • 3G.co.uk 
  • 4G.co.uk
  • 5G.co.uk 
  • SIMOnly.co.uk

Kevin Thomas has worked for companies AT&T and BT with 15 years practical experience in the world of telecoms. He has a HND in telecommunications.

Kevin has also  worked in the world of Telecom reporting for 18 years. He has joint responsibility for 3G.co.uk and SIMOnly.co.uk and is lead Director for 5G.co.uk.

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