Cancelling Your Mobile Broadband Might Get You A Free Extension

For any ISP or telco, obtaining a customer is far more expensive than keeping an existing one. So that might mean some interesting deals get offered if you decide to cancel your mobile broadband contract, as Lifehacker reader Victor discovered.

Victor recounts his experience:

Today I rang my provider to cancel a (postpaid, no contract) mobile broadband service I didn’t need anymore – no complaints about the service or the price, just didn’t need it. Instead of cancelling it, they gave me three months of free access. Worth a shot at any time really – they’ll always try to talk you out of cancelling one way or another, so you can, at any point in the phone call, change your mind. Maybe I should have held out for more!

Obviously that’s not going to work all the time, but it’s a reminder that consumers who are willing to walk away from a deal have a lot of potential power. Had a similar experience to Victor? Tell us about it in the comments.


  • I’ve actually done this a few times.

    I was with one provider, who billed me too much one month, as I’d gone over my cap (was about $500 for 5gb over). I called to make a payment plan with them, and to disconnect the service as I was unprepared to deal with a company that would not shut off the access/throttle or provide any form of warning as to how much had been used.

    They wiped the bill down to the basic $15 charge.

    A few months later, a similar thing happened (maybe $40 for 400meg over). I called after paying it and told them to disconnect the service. They offered me $5 off a month (dropping to $10) for the rest of the contract (about 7 months) and an extra 3 months on the end at no charge.

    I’ve had numerous similar results from Foxtel (though not free, having free HD and Movies) as well, every 6 months, for an additional 6 months.

  • Yep its worked for me…

    Optus is great 🙂

    Iphone 4, bought in September, first bill $179 (the month and a half, plus insurance and extended warranty.

    second bill $74

    november, december, january and febuary have all been CREDITED to me as i have reception issues in my office (can’t have the phone in my pocket)
    instead of losing me, im not paying bills until this is sorted.

    also my internet at home (with optus again) last year 6 months of free access as the download speeds were under 160kb/s

    if you have an issue CALL THEM talk to them and see if they will help, if not, tell them you will leave. they will try to keep you

  • I did this with Vodafone because their network is so pants it wont even allow a 10kb webpage to come down after 10 minutes.
    They wanted to give me 3 months free – free what? I’m already paying for something that doesn’t work.
    Didn’t pay my bill for 4 months, told them I wanted off the network and they wiped all my unpaided bills and let me go with 18 months remaining. The ONLY thing they’ve done right!

  • My parents changed electricity providers. During the changeover process, they got a letter from their old provider saying wait, and call them, as they could probably do a better deal.

    My first thought was if you could do a better deal, why didn’t you do it before now?

    Ironically, the following day they got a standard form letter from the original company to inform them their base rate had risen. Guess who never made that call!

  • I get a discount on Foxtel, mobile & Internet. Foxtel first offered free premium package for 12 months, but since I have only have Foxtel for sport said no, so I have a 2-year 15% discount. Mobile & Internet both 10% discount on top of the regular bundle deal.

  • This works with most companies, with one exception: Telstra. For personal and business accounts, I’ve never had them adjust a bill, including a $7000 accidental-mobile-internet-use bill. Telstra will call your bluff.

    Of course, if you change companies, somebody from a different department will call you a few weeks later offering incentives to come back.

  • I’ve had some success with American express. have had their card free (saving of $300 per year) for 2 of the last 3 years by trying to cancel the card.

    it also depends on who u talk to. couple of times i rang up the person at the other end did not offer anything. I just said i will think about it and call back. the next person i talked to immediately offered to waive the bill.

  • I am with Vodafone for my mobile broadband & I rang them to cancel as I wasnt using the service anymore.
    I was paying $40 p/month for 5 gig of data.
    They offered to half the monthly cost & they also increased the data to 6 gig, so I stayed on & now use the sim for 3G surfing on my mobile.
    Yeeeaaaahhhhhhh !!!

  • Cancelled my Vodafone mobile broadband. 6 months free 1.5 GB, I took it after explaining how unusable it was. Almost three months later, it is still unusable (most of the time). The guy on the phone was insistent that poor coverage was a network feature, I didn’t buy that.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!