Contract Auto Renewals:
Most telecommunications providers have incorporated auto renewal clauses into their agreements in an effort to reduce the amount “churn” in their customer base. Carrier contracts will typically auto renew unless the customer provides written notification to the carrier of their intent to cancel service or revert to month to month billing within a specified period of time prior to the end of the contract (typically most carriers require 30 to 60 days written notice). Regularly customers will lose track of when their contracts are set to expire (due to change in management, etc.) and often miss their window of opportunity for canceling services before the contract automatically renews. Contracts can auto renew for the original term or for subsequent one-year intervals depending upon the carrier.
This business practice requires customers to proactively be aware of their contract status and to give notice of their intention to change providers within a specified period of time or face termination penalties for early cancelation. Termination penalties typically range from 50% to 100% of the remaining monthly recurring revenue through the end of the new term.
How do I keep my account from automatically renewing?
- Know your contract end date! Some contracts become effective on the date of signature, others become effective at the date of installation. Read your contract to verify when the contract is actually effective in order to determine the end date.
- The only way to be sure of the exact terms and conditions associated with your telecommunications contract is to review the actual contract that you signed. Carriers frequently change their terms and conditions so it is important to review the original agreement since the contract will be governed by the terms and condition associated with that particular agreement.
- Most contracts have specific language around early termination and auto renewals outlined in the term section of the agreement and often there is additional language in the termination section. Some carriers make mention of additional terms and reference their website; often times the terms that are presented to the customer at the time of signing an agreement are only a fraction of the terms that govern the agreement.
- Call your carrier. You might think this should be the first step but it is better to call the carrier once you have verified the contract information first if possible because carriers often make mistakes about the actual contract expiration date based on the accuracy of their records. This is the only way to verify your contract end date if you cannot locate your copy of the contract.
- If you’re unsure, feel free to call IQWired and we can help you work through the various steps to identify your contract end date and when your contract is likely to auto renew.
If I am in my window for canceling the contract how do I make sure that the carrier cancels the contract and doesn’t auto renew the agreement?
- Send a certified letter to the address listed on the contract typically located in the notices section advising of your intent to cancel, disconnect or have your contract revert to a month to month status.