For What Reasons May You Decide to Cancel Lifeline Service?
Lifeline is a highly convenient government assistance program that helps make communications services more affordable for low-income households. The government-funded aid program provides discounts on monthly cell phone, wireless, and internet services. Some extra generous participating providers also offer eligible customers free smartphones or other mobile devices. As the program offers so many great benefits, you may not be able to imagine ever having a good reason to cancel the Lifeline service. Nevertheless, there are some situations that may require you do so, including:
- In case your Lifeline phone has been stolen or misplaced. This situation may require you to cancel your subscription, otherwise, another person who finds the device may use it and add additional expenses. Make sure to contact your Lifeline provider as soon as possible and ask them to cancel your account immediately.
- In case you are no longer eligible to receive the Lifeline benefits. If you no longer meet the Lifeline eligibility criteria, you must inform your provider within 30 days, otherwise, you may lose the benefit for good. This may happen if you improve your annual income or cancel/lose your subscription to a qualifying government assistance program.
- In case you are planning to move. If you are planning to move outside of the U.S., you will no longer be eligible for Lifeline, therefore, you must cancel it. If, on the other hand, you are only planning to move to another U.S. state, you can easily switch to another Lifeline provider – one that offers services in your new area or provides better network coverage.
- In case you are no longer satisfied with your current Lifeline provider or simply find a better provider elsewhere. In this case, you don’t have to cancel your Lifeline subscription completely. Instead, you can simply switch to another provider. You are free to switch your Lifeline provider at any time, as long as you only receive the benefits from one provider at a time.
Before Canceling Lifeline Service, What Exactly Do You Need to Do?
If you have any reasons to cancel your Lifeline subscription (listed above or others), you should take certain considerations into account and perform certain steps before you actually cancel your Lifeline service. These actions include:
- Before canceling your current Lifeline service, make sure to create a backup of your data. Nevertheless, if you brought your own phone to your current provider, you won’t be required to hand it in, as such, you can skip this step.
- Make sure to pay off all old debts that you may have to your Lifeline provider and to finish any unfinished business, as otherwise, you won’t be able to cancel your service.
- Consider whether or not you wish to keep your phone number before you cancel the subscription, as you will have to provide this information during the cancellation process. Once your account is terminated, you may no longer be able to retrieve your number.
- Unless you are planning to move to a foreign country, you will probably want to subscribe to another Lifeline or general wireless service provider after you cancel your service with your old one. If so, it’s best to find the provider that best fits your needs in advance.
- To make sure the transition to another provider is as fast and smooth as possible, prepare the necessary documentation. If you are planning to apply to another Lifeline provider, you may need identity verification, age verification, address verification, and proof of eligibility (low income or a qualifying government assistance program participation).
How to Cancel Lifeline Service
Now, that you are prepared to cancel your Lifeline service, you can actually do so. Luckily, the process is quick and easy and it requires no fees. There are various ways how to cancel Lifeline service, depending on your provider. Choose the one that best fits your needs and follow the steps below.
How to Cancel Lifeline Service by Phone
All Lifeline providers have a customer support service that can be contacted by phone. Visit your provider’s official website and find its customer service phone number. Also, check out the company’s operating hours (some providers offer customer service all days of the week, while some only operate Monday to Friday or Saturday). Call the number, choose to speak to a representative, and ask the agent to terminate your service. Explain why you wish to terminate your service and for how long. In case you wish to keep your number, make sure to emphasize that in advance. The agent will guide you through the process and do most of the steps him/herself. You will have to provide certain personal information.
How to Cancel Lifeline Service Online
Another convenient way to cancel your Lifeline service is online. Again, visit your provider’s website. You can find the company’s online contact form or email and ask them to terminate your service there. Alternatively, you can log in to your account, and there, you will probably see the option to cancel your service. Choose the option and follow the on-screen prompts to do so.
How to Cancel Lifeline Service In-Store
Not all Lifeline providers have their own physical stores, however, if your provider does, you can also visit one of their stores. Find a store near you online. By visiting a store and asking an agent to cancel your service for you, you will be able to avoid doing anything yourself.
How to Cancel Lifeline Service Automatically
Now, this is not an option you should consider if you wish to intentionally terminate your Lifeline service, as it can disable you from ever subscribing to any Lifeline program again.
Still, you should be aware that your Lifeline provider reserves the right to terminate your service if you violate its terms and conditions. Your Lifeline subscription may be automatically terminated if:
- Your phone was flagged as lost or stolen.
- You are no longer Lifeline-eligible or you fail to recertify once a year.
- Your account was inactive for 30 to 45 days.
- You have violated any other terms or conditions.
How Long Does It Take to Cancel Lifeline Service?
How long it will take to cancel your Lifeline service depends on several factors, including:
- The provider
- The way you decide to terminate it
- Why did you decide to terminate it
As such, it is hard to guess. However, your service can sometimes be terminated in a matter of minutes. Once your service gets terminated, your old provider’s SIM card will stop functioning.
In case you also need information How Can I Get A Lifeline Free Phone
What Exactly Happens When You Cancel Lifeline Service?
As soon as your service gets canceled, you will:
- Lose access to your account
- Not be able to make phone calls
- Not be able to send text messages
- Not be able to use the monthly data
- If you did not emphasize that you wish to keep your phone number, you will lose it and your voicemail messages as well
In case you have decided to cancel your Lifeline service due to the fact that your phone was lost or stolen, you can easily reapply if you find your device or switch to another device within 30 days of the account cancellation. Even if your service got canceled automatically (perhaps due to inactivity), eligible customers can always reapply.
However, keep in mind that certain reasons for service termination (such as violation of policies) will not allow you to reactivate your account.
How to Cancel Lifeline Service Permanently?
If you wish to permanently cancel your Lifeline services, it’s best to call your provider’s customer support service and simply tell the agent that you wish to terminate your account for good. Make sure to use another phone, as your service may be terminated immediately.
If you violate your provider’s policies your service may also become permanently deactivated automatically. In this case, it will be difficult to reapply.
Can Lifeline Itself Cancel My Wireless Service at Any Time?
The provider reserves the right to cancel your wireless service at any time if you violate any of the terms and conditions listed above (the device is flagged lost or stolen, you are no longer eligible, your account was inactive for too long, or you violate the policies in any other way).
Do I Have to Pay Any Charges to Cancel Lifeline Service?
Most Lifeline providers do not charge any termination or cancellation fees, however, it depends on the provider. Generally, you can cancel Lifeline service at any time without having to pay a dime.
Can I Keep My Phone After Canceling Lifeline Service?
Whether or not you can keep your Lifeline phone after canceling your service depends on your provider. Some may device to collect the device. However, if you brought your own mobile device to Lifeline, the provider will not be able to claim it, as the device is fully yours.
If your provider allows you to keep your free phone, make sure to unlock it, as only unlocked devices can later be used with other Lifeline providers and on other networks.
How to Transfer My Lifeline Benefit?
You cannot transfer your benefit to another household or person, however, you can transfer it to another provider. To do so, contact the new provider and ask them to transfer your Lifeline benefit to them. You may be required to reapply through the National Verifier. You may also be required to verify your personal information (including name, date of birth, address, phone number, and SSN or Tribal ID) and prove your eligibility. You will also have to provide consent acknowledging that you will lose your Lifeline benefit with the previous provider and that you realize that you are not allowed to have more than one Lifeline benefit per household.