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How to cancel your O2 mobile contract

Richard Murphy
Friday, February 9th 2018

So you’re done with O2. Maybe the coverage isn’t good enough where you live, or perhaps those cat adverts just pushed you over the edge. Or maybe you just fancy a change.

Whatever your reason for leaving O2, there a few things to think about. These few simple steps will guide you through cancelling your contract and moving on.

1. Cancel near the end of your contract

If you cancel your O2 contract early, you will be charged cancellation fees, which is a total of allthe outstanding payment left on your contract. You can find out when your contract ends by looking your paper bill, checking your My O2 account online, or by calling O2 customer services on 0344 8090202.

Allow 30 days notice to cancel your contract

If you’re on an O2 Refresh contract, your bill is split into a device payment and an airtime payment. When your contract ends, the device payment will stop and you’ll automatically be moved to a rolling monthly contract. If you don’t want this to happen, you need to cancel 30 days before that renewal date.

You can cancel for free any time if the cost goes up unexpectedly

If you set up your mobile contract after 23rd January 2014 and O2 raises its prices, you can cancel your contract for free within 30 days. This ruling was put in place by industry regulator Ofcom to protect consumers against unfair mid-contract price hikes, but excludes annual price rises that are in line with the retail price index.

If you have only just joined and want to cancel, O2 offers a 14-day ‘Change of Mind’ period, which lets you cancel without penalty and doesn’t require any reason. The period starts from when you signed up or when you received your SIM or handset, whichever happens last.

2. Decide on a new provider

There may be any number of reasons why you want to cancel your O2 contract, but whatever they are, make sure you plan ahead. Knowing which provider you want to move to makes things much easier. Just make sure you check out the coverage of your chosen provider before you commit.

Other providers that use the O2 network

If you’re leaving O2 because you’re receiving a poor signal, you should look for a provider that uses another network, such as EE or Vodafone. Giffgaff, Lycamobile. Sky Mobile and Tesco Mobile all use the O2 network so make sure you avoid them as coverage will be the same.

Compare all SIM-only Deals

3. Contact O2 to cancel

If you’re certain you want to leave O2, then it’s time to get in touch and deliver the bad news. You can’t do this online; you have to call or write.

You can contact O2 by calling its customer service number on 0344 8090202 from a landline, or 202 from your O2 mobile. You can also visit an O2 store or write to:

Telefónica UK Limited
Correspondence Department
PO Box 202
Houghton Regis

You’ll probably be offered incentives to stay

O2 will be likely to tempt you to stay when you try to leave, by offering cheaper deals or extras. If you’ve made up your mind and you’re sure you want to leave, just be firm and tell them so.

4. Keep your number: get a PAC

A porting authorisation code (PAC) is used to transfer your existing mobile number from O2 to your new provider. O2 should provide you with a PAC free of charge, but might not offer it so don’t forget to ask.

O2 will send you your PAC in a text message and it remains valid for 30 days. If you’ve not found a new provider in that time you can request a new code.

5. Unlock your handset

If you’re planning to continue using the same phone as you used with O2 it will probably be locked to O2, and it will need to be unlocked before you put in your new SIM.

You can call O2 to find out if your phone is locked and, depending on the handset, O2 will unlock your phone for free at any point in the contract.

O2 Pay & Go customers have to pay for unlocking

Pay & Go customers have to wait 12 months before their phones can be unlocked. There is also a £15 charge to pay, which will be deducted from your airtime balance. This policy differs between handset, so check with O2 before you move ahead.

6. Contact your new provider

You’ve got your PAC, you’ve unlocked your handset and you know which mobile provider is best for you. Happy days – you’re ready to switch. You can use a comparison site (like this one) to compare mobile phone deals, so you’re certain you’re getting the best deal for your needs.

When you’ve found the best package, you can get in contact with your new provider either through its website (our mobile comparison page has shortcut links to individual packages), by phone or by visiting in store.

7. Pay any outstanding O2 bills

If you’re a pay monthly customer, then O2 will take the final payment via direct debit as per usual. If you’ve cancelled your direct debit before O2 can take the final payment, you’ll need to get in contact and pay. You can do this through the online My O2 service or using O2’s automated payment line, which is 0844 847 1424.

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