How to Cancel Telstra Contract Without Paying


Telstra’s is Australia’s top telco, offering a variety of services from mobile SIM plans to fixed broadband, home phone options, and more. The telco’s network covers 99.4 per cent of the population, the widest in the country ahead of Optus and Vodafone.

But regardless of how great a telco is, customers might still face issues that cause them to consider canceling their Telstra contract. All telcos allow this, but some require cancellation fees while others don’t.

In this post, we’ll show you how to cancel your Telstra contract, and if you can do so without paying. Read on to find out.

Why people cancel their Telstra contract

Telstra might be an Australian favorite, but they’re not perfect – no telco is. Customers might face challenges that aren’t resolved to their satisfaction, which could lead to moving to another telco. Other cancellation reasons exist as well, and some even have nothing to do with bad service. 

Here are some popular reasons why customers cancel telco contracts

  • Customer dissatisfaction 
    The fastest way to lose a telco customer is to leave their issues unresolved. If a customer isn’t satisfied with their contract or service in anyway, they may decide to cancel. For many telco customers, dissatisfaction is a result of unfairness – and a common cause for this is data overage charges on SIM and mobile broadband plans. When customers have incurred too much data overage charges by exceeding their plan data allowance, they may get frustrated at the inflated costs and this typically doesn’t get resolved when the customer complains.
  • Change service plans 
    Also, a customer might not be dissatisfied at all; in some cases, customers may simply find a better service plan elsewhere, whether from another telco or within Telstra’s other offers as well.
  • Relocation
    Customers also cancel contracts if they move out of Australia. Relocating to another country means a new service plan local to that country is the best idea.
  • Bereavement 
    If a telco customer passes away, canceling their contract is the normal move. 

Keep in mind that if you’re not satisfied with your Telstra service, threatening to cancel might encourage the telco to solve all of your issues quite fast. Telcos don’t want to lose customers, so they typically do whatever they can to keep you on board. Try to hear your telco out before making your final decision to cancel – they may have some great offers and upgrades to keep you on board. 

Plan termination/cancellation fees

If you do decide to cancel your Telstra service, you might incur some fees,  depending on which plan and devices you purchased and when. Here’s a quick look at when to expect fees from Telstra:

  • If you signed up for a mobile or tablet plan before 25 June 2019, then Telstra will charge early termination fees if you cancel or change your plan before that contract ends.
  • If you signed up after 25 June 2019, then you have to pay any Device Payment Contract (DPC) costs in full. For instance, if you purchase an iPhone 13 on a DPC with monthly installments, and then cancel early, you will have to pay the remaining monthly installments up front.
  • If you purchase a Telstra package and then cancel or switch plans before the minimum term, you will incur fees. If you cancel within the first 3 months, Telstra will also charge you $100 temporary connection fee. You will also have to pay up any remaining costs for devices up front.

To determine exactly how much it will cost to cancel any Telstra plan, review your device contract and your plan’s CIS (Critical Information Summary).

How to cancel Telstra postpaid plans for free

While Telstra may have some early cancellation fees for some services, customers on postpaid SIM only plans can cancel without paying.

Telstra has revamped their postpaid SIM only plans twice in the past couple of years. The latest revamp turned all Telstra postpaid plans into upfront plans, where customers are charged at the beginning of the billing cycle. 

Because Telstra postpaid plans are now month-to-month plans, there are no contracts involved. As a result, you can cancel your Telstra SIM Only plan without paying.

However, keep in mind that canceling your Telstra SIM plan before the end of the billing cycle won’t result in any refund. Also keep in mind that if you purchase a device on a monthly installment DPC along with your postpaid SIM plan, you will have to pay off the remaining amount for your device in full if you cancel that SIM plan.

That being said, here’s how to cancel your Telstra plan for free:

  • Call Telstra at 13 22 00 and request service cancellation. The Telstra representative will walk you through the process after making attempts to resolve your issues and keep you as a customer.
  • Chat with a Telstra representative through the My Telstra app or online, and request service cancellation.


ETFs or Early Termination fees are industry jargon for the payment you need to make to get out of your agreement with your phone company. Our own research in to the way Australians feel about their phone plans has revealed that people mostly get upset about the way the mobile data works – they simply don’t understand how their usage increases over time. Our advice on that subject to the phone companies has always been the same – give people the tools they need to manage their service properly and avoid overage charges. 

The point is, people just want to be treated fairly. When it comes to ETFs, mostly, people think they are fair. ETFs are simply the cost of the device you bought paid pro rata. 

In the last couple of years, all the phone companies have moved to provide their customers competitively priced devices and removed the need to contract to the phone company for a 2-year period in order to pay them off – with the price of the device ‘hidden’ in the phone plan. 

In essence, ETFs are seen as fair by Australian consumers. There’s still more to do but it seems the phone companies listened this time and did the right thing.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.