So, the time has come for you to finally cut the cord with Spectrum. Surprisingly, more than a few people run into issues when trying to cancel Spectrum internet.
The representative isn’t going to want to let you go, and even after canceling, customers report being repeatedly bothered by phone calls from Spectrum agents trying to get them to sign up again.
Is it possible to cut ties with Spectrum cleanly with no mess, no fees, and no callbacks?
Let’s get into it.
Why Cancel Spectrum?
Charter Spectrum, the internet service provider (ISP) that acquired Time Warner Cable in 2016, has a reputation that follows them all over the web.
They jack their prices up year after year to sometimes absurd rates.
Many customers express frustration that they signed up to an internet-only package that was originally priced at $44.99 per month only to see it increased year after year to $65, $90, or even more.
While most customers in Spectrum’s serviced areas seem satisfied with the speeds and reliability of the service, there are cases where customers report unreliable service and speeds that don’t match up to what was advertised and end up canceling their service.
So, to summarize, here is a short list of reasons why someone would want to cancel their service with Spectrum:
- To save money with a different ISP
- To find a more reliable internet company
- The speeds weren’t as advertised
Before You Cancel
It’s worth being open to negotiating with Spectrum. We’ve seen people lower their rate, armed with the information about the latest Spectrum deals. But if you’ve absolutely had it, read on for our 4-step process to cancel Spectrum.
4 Simple Steps to Cancel Spectrum Internet
To cancel your service with Spectrum, you will need to wade through a robot menu and input account information. The process isn’t fun.
Even after getting to the right department and requesting to cancel your service, you’ll likely be hit with some questions, bargaining, and feet-dragging from the agent on the phone.
Some unfortunate experiences include a long list of customers who had to cancel internet for a family member who had passed away only to be confronted with lines like “are you sure they aren’t going to need internet anymore?”
Obviously, the “retention specialist” doesn’t want to make this easy on you.
Thankfully, we’re here to help!
Step 1: Reach The Spectrum Retention Department
The first step in the process is to get through the robot menu and reach the retention department. This is the department in charge of any downgrades or cancellations.
They are Spectrum’s last line of defense between you and the door to freedom.
Here is the number for cancellations: (833) 267-6094
After calling, you will be asked to provide the phone number associated with your account or the full account number. You will then listen to all of the options and choose the option for downgrading or cancellation.
Special note: avoid the other options on the menu such as billing as this may get you transferred to an overseas call center. If you accidentally press the wrong number, hang up and try again.
To finalize this step, you should ask the connected customer service agent to confirm that you have reached the retention department. If not, you can ask to be transferred there with a “warm transfer” so your call won’t accidentally be dropped.
Step 2: Prepare a Solid Excuse
Without a fail-safe excuse, you can expect that the Spectrum agent will relentlessly try to keep you from canceling your service. If you simply say that you’re moving, they will ask “to what address?” Then, they will check to see if they offer services at that address and continue trying to sell you services or keep you from canceling.
If they aren’t satisfied with your excuse, they will probably be calling you back later in the week or month to try and get you back.
What you need to do is come up with an excuse that they won’t try to navigate around.
If you want to avoid the elongated attempts to keep you, try one of these reliable excuses to cancel your Spectrum internet service:
“I’m changing jobs, and my new employer is paying for all of my services”
“I’m moving in with my friend/significant other, and they already have [provider]”
“I just got a job teaching English in China and will be moving there”
“I’m moving back in with my parents, and they already have [provider]”
These excuses are just examples, but the point is that you need to make it clear to them that it would be futile to try to get you to stay.
These types of excuses will keep them from calling you back over and over again. They can also cut a potentially long and drawn out conversation down in size.
Step 3: Be Firm Yet Friendly
Sometimes, even with the best excuse, the agent may be required by company policy to insist that you stay. In this case, simply be friendly and firm that you are unable to stay with them and that they need to cancel your service and account.
You should remain friendly because customer service reps are only as helpful as they want to be. Ensure that your agent is as helpful as possible by remaining friendly. You may have to listen to various attempts to keep you; this includes discounts, promotions, among other sly tactics.
Simply stand your ground in a friendly way.
Step 4: Confirm Your Spectrum Cancellation
As mentioned above, this step is important. You don’t want to spend 30+ minutes on the phone only to realize that your service was never canceled and that you have to call back and do it all over again.
Avoid this by asking the representative to confirm that your account is completely canceled. Alternatively, if you asked for it to be canceled on a certain date, confirm that they have the correct cancellation date.
You should also confirm with the rep whether or not you need to return any Spectrum equipment. The best way to return equipment is to drop it off at one of their stores.
How to Avoid Paying Cancellation Fees With Spectrum
Thankfully, Spectrum has no contract, and therefore has no cancellation or early termination fee. However, there are a couple of other fees that you might incur if you’re not careful.
Unreturned equipment fee
Spectrum’s terms and conditions state that it is your responsibility to return their equipment. They won’t remind you to return the equipment. Instead, they will just add a hefty fee to your bill. They’d much rather charge you the full amount than have to deal with your used equipment.
Payment for unused services
Without due diligence on your part, you may be accidentally charged for services that you never used. To explain, ISPs typically send a bill for the whole month; however, if you only used the service for two weeks of that month, then you shouldn’t be charged for the entire billing period. You can avoid this by having your service canceled on the day before the new billing period ends. For example, if a new bill typically generates on the 5th of the month, simply ask for your service to be canceled on the 4th.
If you are unjustly charged for unused services or unreturned equipment, you will have to call them back and explain your situation to rectify it and receive compensation.
What if Spectrum is The Only ISP in Your Area?
If Spectrum is the only internet service provider in your area, cutting all ties with them might not be possible. However, we’ve heard of one customer going as far as using only his cell phone data hotspot to avoid having to keep his service with Spectrum; so it’s possible.
If you don’t want to resort to the drastic measure of cutting off all wifi in your home, there are still other ways you can reduce your cost with Spectrum.
“Cutting The Cord” With Cable
Cord-cutting is a failsafe way to reduce your monthly expenses. After all, what do you need cable for, anyway? Countless internet services like Netflix, YouTube TV, and Hulu can easily provide enough entertainment for your whole family, and you can share the account across multiple households!
Negotiate A Lower Price With Spectrum
If your internet-only price has been increased unreasonably, you still have the opportunity to get your bill as low as the “new customer” rate of $44.99 by hopping on the phone and trying to negotiate with Spectrum.
Call the retention department and firmly request that you receive a better rate — and don’t settle until you get them down to the new customer rate.
If Spectrum is the only ISP in your area, you can’t threaten to cancel, because they won’t take you seriously. They know if you live in an area serviced by other companies. Otherwise, threatening to cancel is usually very effective.
If negotiation isn’t your style, there is another easy way to get the new customer rate: cancel your service and restart it in another person’s name.
This is technically against Spectrum’s terms and could get you permanently banned — which isn’t good if they are the only ISP around — but we haven’t heard of any cases where that actually happened. Most people are even able to able to tell the rep that they are just going to cancel and put the service in their girlfriend’s name, and it all turned out fine. However, this can land you in strife, so tread carefully.
Successfully Ending Your Relationship With Spectrum Internet
Cutting your internet service with Spectrum can come easier than you think. Follow the simple steps outlined in this article, and the past can be behind you in no time. Of course, if a lower price is all you need, it might still be possible with Spectrum!
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Patrick Ward is the Consulting Editor for High Speed Experts, a broadband connectivity search engine and IT industry education platform. A writer featured in Forbes and Ad Age, he has worked extensively across the insurance, real estate, finance, travel, and tech industries, with notable clients including Allianz, Cathay Pacific, and Fiji Airways.