Switching mobile carriers

It’s not my intent to trash any particular carrier, so I won’t name names.

I’m approaching the end of a 2-year contract with my current carrier, and it can’t come soon enough. The phone is crap, their coverage map is crap, and about 50% of calls made from my house get dropped.

I’ve decided who my new carrier is and what my next phone will be.

Can the new carrier help get me out early? If I do get out early, will I basically be paying double phone bills for the next 3 months, or is there a penalty on top of that?

(This is for the US. Other countries will be different).

It depends on your new carrier. Some, like T-Mobile or Credo (a MVNO that uses Sprint towers) will give you an account credit up to $350 or so, which should be enough to pay off most early termination fees. Most big carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) do NOT do this.

So it should go something like this:

Old carrier: You cancel, pay a pro-rated portion of the current month’s bills, and an ETF.
New carrier: Gives you an account credit for the ETF. Starts charging you for monthly service.

I’d start by calling your current carrier and asking them what the early termination fee is. With just three months left it might be something small like $50. OTOH, if it is several hundred dollars, it might just be easier to wait it out.