Traveler tip! I’m backtracking to share a piece of advice, should it prove useful: How to suspend your Verizon contract for a significant period of time.
I had a refreshingly pleasant encounter with Verizon customer service a week before I came to London. I had called to cancel my two-year contract, which I’m a year into. Contract termination costs $175, less $5 for each month of the contract I’d already fulfilled.* All told, that’s $115 (175 – 5 x 12 = 115). The other option was to suspend my account, which I could do for up to six months. But since I would still have to pay the fees for the remaining six months, that would be way too pricey at about $50 per month, or $300 over six months.
When the rep asked me why I’m canceling, I explained that I’m a longtime customer who is admittedly sad to lose my contract, my phone number and my contacts, but I’m going abroad for a year so I have no choice.
He replied, “Well, in that case… we could probably suspend your account for a year.”
I asked, “Just to confirm – by probably, do you mean actually?”
“Yes. Since you can’t really help that you’ll be away for a year, we can make a special exception.”
The suspension has to be renewed every 90 days, and it costs $15 every time. You were wondering why I did all that math above? Cost-benefit analysis right here: win-win. At $60, a year-long suspension costs less than canceling the account, AND I can easily activate my phone with all my contacts and my contract when (or should I say, if??) I return to the States.**
Of course there’s fine print:
*The fee is $175 for non-data plans. I have a basic plan of minutes and texting only; the termination fee for data plans is higher, at around $300, with a larger per-month deduction. You can find this info on the Verizon website.
**The terms of the contract get pushed back until the account is reactivated. In other words, when I reactivate it next year, I still have a year remaining on the contract. Which is fine by me.