There are three ways to cancel your contract with O2. Find out how to cancel your O2 contract, including exit fees, notice periods and keeping your O2 number.
If you've decided you want to end your O2 contract, there are three different ways you can cancel your contract with them. The best way to cancel your O2 plan depends on whether you're planning to join another network. It also depends on whether you'd like to keep your O2 phone number, or whether you'd like to start afresh with a new one on your next mobile network.
In this article, we'll discuss the three different ways to cancel your contract with O2. We'll discuss the O2 PAC Code process, the O2 STAC Code process and O2's standard cancellation process. We'll also discuss any early exit fees and notice periods that might apply when ending your contract through each of the three methods. Finally, we'll share a couple of tips on how you might be able to avoid paying these extra charges.
Cancelling Your O2 Contract
There are three ways to cancel your contract with O2. Please select the option that best applies to you:
- I'm joining another network and would like to keep my O2 phone number
Follow the PAC Code process to cancel your O2 contract and to take your phone number elsewhere.
- I'm joining another network and would like to start afresh with a new phone number
Use the STAC Code process to cancel your O2 contract.
- I'm not moving to another mobile network
Follow O2's standard cancellation process (a 30-day notice period will apply).
How To Cancel Your O2 Contract: The Three Different Ways
The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the three ways to cancel your O2 contract:
|O2 Cancellation Process||Joining New Network?||Cancellation Method||Notice Period & Charges*|
|PAC Code||✔ Yes (with number)||Online, SMS or phone||Not required|
|STAC Code||✔ Yes (without number)||Online, SMS or phone||Not required|
|Standard Cancellation||✘ No||Phone||30 days' notice is required|
Read on to find out more about each cancellation process, including all the steps you'll need to take to cancel your contract with O2.
PAC Code Cancellation
You can get a PAC Code from O2 in one of the following three ways:
- Online: You can get a PAC Code from O2 by logging in to the My O2 website. Once you've logged in, go to My details > Thinking of switching from O2?.
- By Text Message: You can get an O2 PAC Code sent to you via SMS text message. Text PAC to 65075 to receive a PAC Code from O2.
- By Phone: You can get a PAC Code by calling O2. To do this, call them on:
- For O2 Pay Monthly, dial 202 (or 0344 8090202 from any other phone)
- For O2 Pay As You Go, dial 4445 (or 0344 8090222 from any other phone)
For step-by-step instructions on following the PAC Code process, please select the mobile network that you’re planning to join:
The PAC Code process is closely regulated by Ofcom (the UK's telecommunications regulator). You can therefore get a PAC Code from O2 in three different ways: either online, by text message or phone call.
There's no need to give 30 days' notice to end your contract with a PAC Code. Providing you're outside the minimum term of your contract, O2 can only charge you up until the date when your PAC Code is used. If you're inside the minimum term of your contract, early exit fees may still apply.
STAC Code Cancellation
O2's STAC Code cancellation process (Service Termination Authorisation Code) is also used when you're moving to another mobile network. However, with an O2 STAC Code, you'll start afresh with a different phone number on your new mobile network.
For step-by-step instructions on how to follow the O2 STAC Code process, please select the mobile network that you're planning to join:
Like the PAC Code cancellation process, the STAC Code process is also closely regulated by Ofcom. Compared to O2's standard cancellation process, the advantage of using an O2 STAC Code when you're outside the minimum term of your contract is that O2 will only be able to charge you up until the date your STAC Code is used (a 30-day notice period does not apply). If you're within the minimum term of your contract, an early exit fee may still apply.
O2 Standard Cancellation
O2's standard cancellation process should only be used when you're not joining another mobile network. With the standard cancellation process, you'll need to call O2 to tell them you want to end your contract. A 30 day notice period will then apply, over which you'll need to continue paying your normal monthly line rental.
Because the standard cancellation process involves a lot more hassle (including a phone call to O2 customer services) and because it requires you to give 30 days' notice, we'd always recommend using the PAC Code or STAC Code process to cancel your contract where possible. In fact, you can simply order a free Pay As You Go SIM card from any mobile network (you'll then be able to follow the PAC Code or STAC Code process).
You can request a standard cancellation by calling O2 customer services on 202. This is available from Monday-Friday 8am-9pm, Saturday 8am-8pm, Sunday 8am-6pm.
If you're cancelling your contract within the first 14 days, you may still be within O2's cooling off period. In this case, early termination charges might not apply.
Early Exit Fees on O2
If you're inside the minimum term of your contract with O2, you'll need to pay something called an "early termination charge" (ETC) or "early exit fee". This will essentially pay off the remainder of your contract.
If you’re a customer on O2 Refresh, you can leave at any time by paying off the remaining balance on your Device Plan. There are no early termination fees applying to your Airtime Plan.
If you’re on a non-O2 Refresh contract (which will probably be the case if you joined O2 through a third-party retailer like the Carphone Warehouse), you’ll need to pay an early termination charge which is 83.3% of the remaining monthly payments over your minimum initial term. This is because O2 removes VAT on the early termination charge.
The following example calculation is given on the O2 website:
You’re on a 12 month contract costing £21 a month (incl. VAT) and decide to disconnect after six months. This means you’ll pay an early termination charge covering the last six months of your contract.
Your early termination charge is calculated as 6 x £17.50 (VAT removed at 20% from the £21 contract), which gives an early termination charge of £105.00.
You can find out the early termination charge that applies to your contract by texting INFO to 85075.
An early exit fee will apply regardless of whichever cancellation process you follow. If it's likely you'll need to pay an early cancellation charge, consider the alternatives here that will allow you to side-step those charges (e.g. upgrading your mobile phone outside of the existing contract with O2, or using apps and accessories to improve the coverage at home).
If you're stuck within the minimum term of your O2 contract, there may be alternatives to cancelling it (e.g. perhaps changing your handset outside of the O2 contract or finding other ways to improve your coverage from O2).
If you'd like to reduce the size of your O2 mobile phone bill, there may also be some alternative networks that will offer you a cheaper deal but with the same level of coverage as O2.
Changing Your Handset
If you're wanting to upgrade to a newer smartphone, you can follow the PAC Code or STAC Code cancellation process when moving to another mobile network.
If you're stuck within the minimum term of your O2 contract, it's likely this would trigger an early termination charge. To avoid this, consider keeping your existing O2 contract but changing your handset outside of it.
You can buy an unlocked SIM-free smartphone from retailers like Amazon, John Lewis and Argos. Your existing SIM card will slot inside the new handset, allowing you to use the remaining months on your contract. When your existing O2 contract finally comes to an end, you can then switch to a lower-cost SIM-only deal.
Poor O2 Coverage
If you'd like to cancel your contract due to poor mobile coverage from O2, it's likely that an early termination charge would still apply if you're inside the minimum term of your contract.
To avoid paying an unnecessary early termination fee, look to see if you're able to improve the coverage from O2. For instance, it might be possible to use a feature like Wi-Fi Calling for better indoor coverage on O2.
In addition, it's worth contacting O2 customer services to see if anything else can be done to improve the coverage where you live. You can reach them by calling 202 from your O2 mobile phone. For instance, there might be upcoming work scheduled in your area to improve the strength of the signal. Alternatively, O2 might be able to provide you with apps or accessories to improve the coverage where you live.
Alternatives to O2
If you're happy with the coverage you receive on O2 but would like to find a way to reduce your monthly phone bill, consider getting a SIM-only deal that piggybacks on O2 coverage. You'll normally be able to get more data and at a lower price than your O2 plan. This will help to save you money whilst giving you the same coverage you currently get on O2.
You can get the same coverage as O2 on giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Tesco Mobile. You can use the following the interactive search tool to find an alternative to O2:
Showing 44 of 44 price plans that match your criteria
For more information, see our full guide to mobile networks that use O2 coverage.
For more information, read our in-depth guide to early exit fees and how to transfer your phone number to another network. You can also see the O2 website for information about cancelling your contract.