Can I cancel a cell phone contract because of bad service?

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Can I cancel a cell phone contract because of bad service?

I signed a contract cell phone service in ME around 05/10 while on a job there. I told the salesman I was there only a short time and would return to LA my home state. I returned in July and I have had problems with the phones ever since. Half the time people cannot call as they are told the phone is out of service. The service on the phone is usable less then half the time as they say they are searching for a connection and/or for emergency calls only. I have complained starting in July about the service. I was sent new chips for the phones and am told since July they are checking.

Asked on August 30, 2010 under General Practice, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Possibly. A contract binds both parties, and a "material" breach  by one party--i.e. they are not performing in a significant way--may often provide grounds for the other party to terminate. The questions would be:

1) Whether the extent of the service problem is significant enough; from what you write, it may be;

2) Whether you've given the provider a fair change to correct--it's not clear that from July to August is enough yet.

3) Whether the problem is because of something outside the provider's responsibility--such as you being in an area that has bad coverage for  their network, which they'd only be responsible for if they misrepresented their coverage to you.

So the answer is, you *may* have grounds to terminate, but it's not 100% clear at this point, from what you write. One thing to do: review your agreement carefully, to see what it says about termination.


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