How military members can avoid cancellation fees when terminating internet and TV services

Lisa Iscrupe

Apr 15, 2024 — 3 min read

No one wants to deal with hidden internet and TV fees, especially not during PCS or deployment. Luckily, military members are now protected.

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?

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.

What about moving?

If you are a military member moving due to PCS or deployment for at least 90 days and your provider doesn’t offer service at your new location, you’ll be able to get out of your early cancellation fees from internet, TV or mobile providers.

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.

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Can I get discounts as a member of the military?

Yes, you can get discounts on your internet, TV or phone services if you are a member of the U.S. military. Discounts vary based on your state, service and provider.

Explore military discounts in our military discount guide.


How do I avoid cancellation fees if I’m in the military?

Under federal law, you can avoid early termination fees if you’re in the military and are deployed for relocated for at least 90 days where your current service isn’t available. Contact your provider’s customer service and let them know you need to cancel your service without penalty under this law.

Early Termination Fees (ETFs) are fees charged by your service provider if you cancel your service before your contract is ended. Fees vary based on the provider’s cancellation policy, but are usually more expensive the earlier you cancel and go down the longer you maintain service.

No, not all providers charge ETFs. There are providers who do not require you to sign a contract, meaning you can cancel free of charge.

Lisa Iscrupe

Written by:

Lisa Iscrupe

Writer, Broadband & Data Content

Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. … Read more