Your life can easily change in two short years -- the average length of time many of us dedicate to a cell-phone plan.
You may find out you actually hate your service, suddenly have to move or desperately need to change your number because your ex won't stop calling.
While most cell-phone contracts require a $150-$200 early-cancellation fee, there are some solutions to ditching your plan and avoiding a penalty. Here are some tips:
Make a Virtual Match
A number of third-party Web sites play matchmaker between unhappy cell-phone customers and those seeking a less-expensive, low-duration cell plan:
CelltradeUSA.com provide listings and facilitate exchanges online.
"It's kind of a win-win," says Eric Wurtenberg, who started CelltradeUSA.com, which charges a one-time user fee of $19.99. "The person getting in gets a cheaper contract. The person getting out is happy they've been relieved of their contract, and the cell-phone company retains a customer."
Phone a Buddy
Remember to ask friends or relatives if they'd like to take over your contract as well. Cell-phone providers can help make the switch for you.
Earlier this year,
offered some of its customers a rare window of opportunity: Quit your cell plan and pay no cancellation fee. This was because Verizon raised its text-message rate.
Similarly, if your cell-phone provider changes the terms after you signed a contract, you may get free bail.
But keep a close eye out, because the notice may only come by snail mail.
To view Farnoosh Torabi's video take of today's segment, click here.
Farnoosh Torabi joined TheStreet.com TV in July 2006 as the site's first official video correspondent. Previously, Farnoosh was a business producer and on-air reporter for NY1 News, Time Warner's 24-hour news channel in New York City. Farnoosh is a regular columnist for AM New York and has written for Money, Time, New York Daily News and Newsday. Farnoosh is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, with a degree in Finance and International Business and holds a M.A. from the Columbia School of Journalism.