Wondering what it will cost you to cancel your Verizon wireless plan early? Let’s take a closer look at how Verizon calculates early termination fees so you know exactly what to expect if you need to break your contract.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Verizon charges $350 per line as an early termination fee for most devices, though fees can range from $175 to $1750 depending on your plan and device. The fee is prorated based on the number of months remaining in your contract.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline the key factors that go into Verizon’s early termination fee calculation. We’ll look at how your specific wireless plan, device payment plan, and time remaining in your contract impact your total termination fee.

Read on for the details you need to determine your potential Verizon ETF.

How Verizon Calculates ETFs

When it comes to calculating Early Termination Fees (ETFs), Verizon follows a specific formula based on various factors. These fees are charged to customers who terminate their contract before the agreed-upon period. Understanding how Verizon calculates ETFs can help you make an informed decision.

Fixed ETF fees

Verizon charges a fixed ETF fee for each line of service that is terminated early. This fee is determined by the length of your contract and the type of device you have. For example, if you have a two-year contract and decide to terminate it after 12 months, you may be charged a fixed ETF fee of $350.

Prorated ETF fees

In addition to fixed ETF fees, Verizon also applies prorated ETF fees based on the number of months remaining in your contract. This means that the longer you have been with Verizon, the lower the ETF fee will be.

For instance, if you have a two-year contract and decide to terminate it after 18 months, you may only be charged 50% of the original ETF fee.

ETF fees for advanced devices

Verizon may also charge higher ETF fees for advanced devices such as smartphones or tablets. These fees take into account the retail price of the device and the subsidy provided by Verizon at the time of purchase. The higher the retail price and subsidy, the higher the ETF fee may be.

It’s worth noting that Verizon’s ETF fees are subject to change and may vary based on individual circumstances. To get an accurate estimate of your ETF, it is recommended to contact Verizon directly or refer to their official website for the most up-to-date information.

Key Factors That Impact Your ETF

When it comes to calculating Verizon Early Termination Fees (ETF), there are several key factors that can impact the amount you have to pay. Understanding these factors will help you better estimate and plan for any potential fees. Here are the main factors to consider:

Your specific wireless plan

Your wireless plan is one of the primary factors that determine your ETF. Different plans have different terms and conditions regarding early termination. Some plans may have higher fees while others may have lower fees or even no fees at all.

It is important to carefully review the terms of your specific plan to understand how it impacts your ETF.

Device payment plan

If you are on a device payment plan, it can also affect your ETF. Verizon offers the option to pay for your device in monthly installments rather than paying for it upfront. If you decide to terminate your contract early, you may be required to pay off the remaining balance on your device.

This amount can add up and significantly impact your ETF.

Time remaining on your contract

The amount of time remaining on your contract is a crucial factor in calculating your ETF. Generally, the earlier you terminate your contract, the higher the fee will be. This is because the wireless carrier expects to recoup the cost of subsidizing your device over the duration of the contract.

The longer you stay with the carrier, the more they can spread out the cost, resulting in a lower ETF.

It is important to note that these factors can vary depending on the specific terms and conditions of your Verizon plan. To get an accurate estimate of your ETF, it is best to contact Verizon directly or refer to their official website for the most up-to-date information.

Strategies to Minimize or Avoid ETFs

Wait out your contract

If you’re looking to minimize or avoid Verizon Early Termination Fees (ETFs), one of the simplest strategies is to wait out your contract. Most contracts typically last for two years, and once you reach the end of your contract, you are no longer obligated to pay ETFs if you decide to switch carriers.

This gives you the freedom to explore other options without incurring any additional costs. However, it’s important to note that if you choose to cancel your contract before it ends, you may still be subject to ETFs.

Sell or trade in your phone

Another way to minimize or avoid ETFs is by selling or trading in your phone. If you’re considering switching carriers, you can often offset the cost of ETFs by selling your current phone. Many websites and retailers offer trade-in programs that allow you to exchange your old phone for credit towards a new one or for cash.

By doing so, you can put that money towards paying off any potential ETFs.

Change to a prepaid plan

If you’re looking to avoid ETFs altogether, you may want to consider changing to a prepaid plan. Prepaid plans typically do not require contracts, which means you won’t be subject to ETFs if you decide to switch carriers.

Instead, you pay for your service on a month-to-month basis, giving you the flexibility to change plans or carriers whenever you want. This can be a great option for those who want to avoid long-term commitments and potential termination fees.

Unlock your phone before switching carriers

Unlocking your phone before switching carriers is another strategy that can help you minimize or avoid ETFs. Many carriers have guidelines and processes in place for unlocking phones, allowing you to use your device with different providers.

By unlocking your phone, you can switch carriers without incurring any termination fees. However, it’s important to check with your current carrier to see if there are any requirements or fees associated with unlocking your phone.

Getting Your ETF Fee Waived

Verizon early termination fees (ETFs) can be a frustrating aspect of ending a contract before its agreed-upon duration. However, there are certain circumstances in which you may be eligible to have your ETF waived.

Verizon recognizes that life events can sometimes require a change in your service, and they have specific policies in place to accommodate these situations.

Meeting military deployment orders

Verizon understands the unique challenges faced by military personnel and their families. If you receive military deployment orders and need to terminate your contract, Verizon offers special considerations.

You may be able to have your ETF waived by providing the necessary documentation, such as a copy of your official deployment orders. This policy allows military personnel to focus on their duties without the burden of additional financial obligations.

Moving to an area with poor Verizon coverage

If you are moving to an area where Verizon’s coverage is inadequate, you may be eligible for an ETF waiver. Before terminating your contract, it’s important to check Verizon’s coverage map to ensure that your new location is indeed a low-coverage area.

You can then contact Verizon customer service and provide them with the relevant details, such as your new address and supporting evidence of the poor coverage. Verizon will review your case and determine if an ETF waiver is applicable.

Experiencing a serious medical condition

In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is facing a serious medical condition, Verizon understands the need for flexibility. They have policies in place that allow for ETF waivers in such circumstances.

To request an ETF waiver for medical reasons, you will need to provide appropriate documentation, such as a letter from your healthcare provider. Verizon will assess your situation and determine if your request qualifies for an ETF waiver.

It’s important to note that each of these situations is subject to Verizon’s review and discretion. It’s recommended to reach out to Verizon’s customer service directly to discuss your specific circumstances and inquire about the possibility of having your ETF waived.

Remember to have any necessary documentation ready to support your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon before my contract ends can I switch carriers without an ETF?

If you are under contract with Verizon, you may be subject to an Early Termination Fee (ETF) if you decide to switch carriers before your contract ends. The specific terms and conditions regarding ETFs can vary, so it is important to review your contract or contact Verizon directly for detailed information.

In general, most carriers require you to fulfill your contract obligations before switching without incurring any fees. However, some carriers may allow you to switch a few months before your contract ends without penalty.

It is always a good idea to check with your carrier to confirm the exact timeframe.

Can I negotiate with Verizon to lower my ETF?

While it is not guaranteed, it is possible to negotiate with Verizon to lower your Early Termination Fee. Verizon may be willing to work with you if you have a legitimate reason for wanting to terminate your contract early, such as moving to an area where Verizon service is not available.

It is recommended to contact Verizon’s customer service and explain your situation to see if they are open to negotiating. Remember to be polite and respectful during the conversation, as this may increase your chances of reaching a favorable resolution.

What happens if I just stop paying my Verizon bill?

If you stop paying your Verizon bill, it can have serious consequences. Verizon may report your non-payment to credit bureaus, which can negatively impact your credit score. Additionally, Verizon may take legal action to recover the unpaid amount, which can result in additional fees and expenses.

It is always best to communicate with your service provider if you are facing financial difficulties or are unable to pay your bill. They may be able to offer assistance or work out a payment plan to help you avoid these consequences.


We’ve covered the key details on how Verizon calculates early termination fees for wireless contracts. The main takeaways: Expect to pay $350 per line, prorated for the months left on your contract. Advanced devices can incur ETFs up to $1750.

Your specific plan and device payments also impact your total ETF.

While you may not be able to avoid the ETF completely, you do have some options to minimize fees like waiting out your contract or selling your device. Just be sure to carefully review your contract so you know what to expect before breaking your commitment to Verizon early.

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