Cell Phone Cancellations under the SCRA
Under the SCRA, servicemembers may terminate cell phone service contracts in certain situations. In these situations, a servicemember may terminate a cell phone contract early without incurring an early termination fee.
The right to terminate a telephone service contract only applies to contracts that the servicemember entered into before receiving orders that would qualify for early termination. The cell phone service provider is obligated to provide the servicemember with written or electronic notice of the servicemember’s rights to terminate.
The telephone service contract can be terminated at any time after the date the servicemember receives military orders to relocate for a period of 90 days or more to a location that does not support the contract. To end the contract, the servicemember must deliver a written or electronic notice of his or her intent to terminate along with a copy of the military orders to the service provider. The notice must be delivered in accordance with service providers standards for notification of terminations. The notice should contain the date on which the service is to be terminated.
If the contract the servicemember wishes to terminate is a family plan, termination by the servicemember will also terminate the contract for the family members if they accompany him or her on the orders to a location without service. In addition, the servicemember has the right to retain her or his telephone number if the relocation is for not more than three (3) years and he or she re-subscribes to the service within 90 days of the three-year period. If the servicemember re-subscribes within the above period, the service provider cannot charge a fee to reconnect the service.
As noted above, the service provider cannot charge an early termination fee when the servicember exercises his or her rights under the SCRA. However, any tax or any other obligation or liability of the servicemember that is due and unpaid at the time of termination of the contract does have to be paid by the servicemember.
If a service provider does not follow the requirements of the SCRA, or charges you fees for doing so, contact the lawyers at Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel to discuss whether you have a claim. Under the SCRA, you can recover monetary damages, costs and attorney fees, and possibly obtain other relief if you bring an action to enforce your rights. In addition, small individual claims may be possible to bring with other servicemembers as a class action. This gives the servicemember the opportunity to vindicate his or her rights and to vindicate the rights of other military members that experience the same illegal treatment.
Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel offers confidential initial consultations regarding potential SCRA claims.