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If you, or a loved one, are a member of the United States military, then you probably already know how the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) helps you get out of an apartment or car lease if you have a permanent change of station (PCS) order or deploy.
But did you know the same act protects you when you need to cancel your internet, TV or phone services?
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How to cancel your internet and TV service without penalty
Amendments to the SCRA in Public Law 115-407, the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, now allow military members to cancel their internet, TV or wireless and/or home phone services without penalty if you are deployed or relocated for at least 90 days to a new location where the same service isn’t provided.
To receive this benefit, contact your provider’s customer service department and let them know that you need to cancel your services without penalty under the SCRA. You may be required to provide copies of your deployment paperwork.
Customer service contact information
Previously, some states had protections in place for service members who cancel their internet, TV and/or phone services before their contract was up — but not all did. The new legislation has now made those protections available nationwide.
The act also protects against penalty fees or being taken to court for breaking your apartment or car lease.
Why this SCRA amendment matters
With these changes to the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, the law now provides some relief to military members and their families. Many TV and internet providers require one- or two-year contracts to set up services, and often the hidden fees related to breaking this contract aren’t clear and can add up to hundreds of dollars.
For instance, many providers have prorated cancellation fees (also referred to as early termination fees, or ETFs) based on the number of months you’ve had service. The closer you are to completing the contract, the lower your cancellation fees. Other internet and TV providers have set cancellation fees that can range from $120 to up to $400.
Cancellation policies for top internet and TV providers
Be aware that you may also have the option to suspend your service. Pausing your service can be a good choice if want to maintain your current plan or promotional offer. Whichever route you take, knowing your legal protections under the SCRA is key.