Besides incurring an early termination penalty, cancellations in the middle of a monthly billing cycle typically take effect on the last day of the cycle – meaning you'll be paying for the whole month.
Ask your carrier if they pro-rate their early termination fees. Some companies do this, so if you drop out farther into the contract, you will incur less of a penalty than at the beginning of the contract.
You can avoid early termination fees altogether by purchasing a phone at the retail price and getting month-to-month service – with no contract and no penalties for leaving.
- The ABC News Fixer