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Are you stuck in a TV service contract and need to get out fast, but your provider won’t let you go unless you pay an early cancellation fee? Well, you’re not alone!

Maybe you found a better deal, maybe you are moving, or maybe you are just cutting the cord. Whatever your reason, canceling a TV service contract can be quite the ordeal. But, it is also a learning experience. It will help you understand how to negotiate your contract terms in the future and what things you must watch out for. Of course, one of those aspects is the early termination fee—mentioned in almost any service contract, and if you are not careful, it can be extremely heavy on your pocket.

If you want to cancel your cable TV service, but the fear of incurring an early cancellation fee terrifies you, here are some things you might want to know.

TV Packages & Early Termination Fees

Every cable or satellite TV subscriber has a love/hate relationship with contractual agreements. On the plus side, who doesn't love being able to enjoy discounted rates and additional perks that come with signing a contract? You just can’t swing that with a no-contract service agreement.

But the downside is no one enjoys being tied to a provider over the course of one or two years. What if another provider starts offering your dream channel lineup or what if you change your mind about the service quality—what if? Once you sign your name on the dotted line, there is little to nothing that you can do to avoid a price hike.

Breaking Up With Your TV Service Provider

No doubt breakups are tough, especially when the other side doesn't want to let you go. When you are trying to break free of your TV contract, the early cancellation fee may seem like the biggest obstacle, but for providers, it is a practical business measure for recouping costs. Charging you a cancellation fee helps recover providers’ upfront costs should you wish to get out of the contract before your time is up.

So, how do you get out of your contract without paying cancellation fees? Read on to learn some useful ways to be able to get out of your contract without paying cancellation fees.

1: Check for Money-Back Guarantee

If you are new to a provider and just subscribed to its TV service that you are unsure of, you will usually have at least 30 days to return it without penalty. Some cable TV services, such as DISH TV packages have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you are canceling because you are not satisfied with the service and can find a money-back guarantee in your contract to back up your claim, this could be your way out.

2: Plan your Cancellation

Not eligible to receive a refund for the 30-day money-back guarantee? Don’t worry!

Now that you have finally decided to cancel the contract with your TV provider, try to find out what penalties, if any, may come if you terminate service. Keep in mind early cancellation fees can run well over a hundred dollars depending on your specific provider and the number of months left on your contract. It is possible that sticking with your provider for a little while could save you some additional bucks.

In any case, it is better to be aware of these fees beforehand. So take time to carefully read your service agreement or reach out to your provider’s customer support agent to inquire about the details, terms, and conditions mentioned in the fine print. Don’t waste time explaining what your actual intentions are. Just ask what fees may come if you decide to end your contract early.

Here are some tips to perfectly plan your service cancellation:

·       Be Aware of Your Next Billing Cycle

In some cases, the provider may charge your next billing cycle in full if you decide to cancel the service. You would feel miserable paying for an entire month of service when you only use it for a couple of days.

·       Search for Contract Buy-Out Offers

The best way to save yourself from early cancellation fees is to look for providers that have a buyout offer. For example, when you order a qualifying deal from Spectrum or Optimum, both providers will buy out your existing contract for you for up to $500!

·       Negotiate a Better Deal With Your Current Provider

If you are canceling your service for a better channel lineup or cheaper rate, call your current provider to try to cut a deal to upgrade your TV package or lower your monthly bill. See if things work in your favor and you end up negotiating a better deal than the one you would be switching to.

3 Keep A Track of Contractual Changes

When you want to cancel your TV service contract, always keep an eye out for valid changes in your contract that could allow you to cancel it without incurring any early termination fee. Providers are constantly changing the fine print in their contracts, and subscribers are practically forced to accept the new terms.

But when this happens, providers must give you a period of time to review the changes. Most providers give subscribers about 30 days to read through the new terms. If you are able to detect any major change—try your luck with minor too—in the terms and it's still within this grace period, you could cancel your service without penalty. All you need to do is keep abreast of the latest changes in your contract as most providers don't typically advertise them.

Some legitimate reasons that may work in your favor are:

    4: Transfer Your Contract

    If nothing works, the last resort is to transfer your contract to someone else. The good thing is most providers will also let you do so. In fact, there are multiple websites that help you find people with similar interests, so you can transfer your contract to them. However, you may have to pay a nominal fee for this, but it is way cheaper than early cancellation fees.

    If you are wondering why anyone would take over your contract, that’s because most people don’t want to pay an activation fee or they are looking for a short-term contract—definitely not up for grabs on the market!

    Popular TV Providers & Early Termination Fee

    Before signing up for a one or two year-long term agreement with your favorite provider, take a look at the early termination fees associated with each:


    Cancellation Fee


    $20 per each month remaining on your contract

    Dish Tv

    $20 per each month remaining on your contract

    Mediacom TV

    $10 per each month remaining on your contract

    Xfinity TV

    $10 per each month remaining on your contract

    Cox TV

    $10 per each month remaining on your contract

    Spectrum TV

    No contract

    Suddenlink TV

    No contract

    Optimum TV

    No contract


    There You Are!

    Hopefully, you are now well-equipped with information to cancel your TV service without incurring a cancellation fee. You can not only save on the early termination fee but also get the independence to choose any service you like—and easily get rid of it if you don’t like it later. Just make sure to do your research.

    That said, if you want to find more information about the best cable TV providers delivering services to your address, enter your ZIP code here and take your pick from a list of available options.

    Or call 1-855-349-9328 and have experts check out the best TV options available at your address—they can also help you select a provider that does not bind you in a contract, like Spectrum. The experts will give you information about TV guides —like the DISH channel guide— to find a TV package you’ll love!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you avoid the early cancellation fee?

    With a little effort, you may be able to get out of your contract without paying cancellation fees. Make sure you carefully read the fine print and understand everything mentioned in your contract about early termination fees.

    Can you be forced to pay a cancellation fee?

    Yes! Cancellation fees are legal because you agreed to them when you signed your name on the dotted line.

    What is the Xfinity cancellation fee?

    Xfinity imposes an early termination fee of $10/month for the months left on your contract. For example, if you cancel your subscription with 4 months remaining, Xfinity will charge you a $40 cancellation fee.

    How much is DIRECTV’s early termination fee?

    If you cancel your DIRECTV TV service, get ready to pay a cancellation fee worth $20/month for each month remaining on your contract.