Cancelling Your French Mobile Plan: A Complete Guide
You've been subscribed to a French phone plan for a while, but for some reason it's time to put an end to it. Whether this is because you're moving away, aren't satisfied with your current plan or have found a better deal elsewhere, this guide is here to explain how to terminate your phone plan in France, and at what cost.
First off - can you cancel your plan?
The answer is more likely yes, even if you are tied to a contract. What may vary is the price you pay for terminating your plan.
Are you on a contract-free plan (forfait sans engagement)? If so, this is the easiest type of plan to resign, plus you won't be charged. You can opt-out at any date you want.
Are you on a 12 or 24 months contract (forfait sans engagement)? If so, you'll likely be charged a fine depending on how long you had left until the end of the contract, and what your monthly plan costs. The fine is known as frais de résiliation.
However, you may be exempt of paying this charge and will thus be able to leave your mobile phone plan without fines, as explained further down below.
What if I want to keep my phone number?
That's possible! In this case, all you have to do is to is get hold of what is known as yourRIO code (Relevé d’Identité Opérateur), which you'll need in order to carry on using your current number with another provider.
Your RIO code can be found for free, by ringing the automated line 3179 from your current mobile phone, 24/7. Simply take note of the number which will be read out to you, or refer to the SMS that should be sent to you right after.
Contacting your provider to cancel your phone plan
You generally have 3 options to notify your operator of your decision to quit:
- By registered post, by sending what is known as a lettre recommandée avec avis de réception.You can find an example of a cancellation letter in French in this article
- Over the phone - find the number relevant to your provider below
- Online, via your personal account or app
Upon cancellation, you'll generally be required to provide the following:
- Your name and contact details
- The phone number you wish to put a term to
- Your personal account number (numéro de client) which you can usually find on your contract or any documents sent by your operator
- Your desired cancellation date
Get your cancellation timing right!Generally speaking, there is on average 10 days between the moment you request a cancellation and the moment it is enacted by your provider - just something to keep in mind before starting the process.
I want to leave my plan without a fee
You can do so, but some conditions apply.
Cancelling your plan free of charge at the end of your contract
In France, the majority of cellphone plans come with either a 12 months or 24 month committment (24 being the legal maximum), which are known as forfaits avec engagement. While you can leave a contract-free plan (forfaits sans engagement) whenever you want, free of charge - 12 or 24-month contract plans incur cancellation fines (frais de résiliation) if you quit before your committment period is over.
With a 12-month plan, you'll have to pay the total amount you still owed your supplier up to the end of the 12 months (basically your monthly bill x months left). With a 24 month-plan, however, if you wait over 12 months to cancel, thanks to French law (known as the Loi Chatel) termination fees will be decreased to 25% of their original amount on the 13th month of the plan.
Terminating a plan free of charge by changing your provider
You'll find that French suppliers will oftentimes offers to pay off yourcancellation fees- up to €100 - if you switch to them instead. Make use of this incentive to get yourself a better deal!
Cancelling your phone plan free of charge: other ways
Finally, in France you can most likely avoid hefty cancellation fines if you offer your provider what is known as a "legitimate reason" (motif légitime) - for instance, if you are moving abroad, go bankrupt, etc. You'll be asked to give evidence to support your situation (pièces justificatives). Below are the cases in which the penalty exemptions apply:
|Reason for terminating your plan (motif légitime)||Required evidence (pièces justificatives)|
|You are leaving France long term||
Any of the applicable:
|You were made redundant||Letter from your former employer confirming your redundancy|
|You have debt or have gone bankrupt||Letter from the Banque de France confirming your situation.|
|You've been sentenced to jail||Incarceration certificate|
|You have an illness/handicap making using a phone impossible||Medical certificate stating your condition|
|Force majeure||Statement from the local authorities declaring the force majeure|
How to cancel a French phone plan: provider specificities
You can cancel a French phone plan in different ways. Find the right way according to your mobile operator.
Canceling your Orange Mobile contract
With Orange, you can cancel:
- By calling 3900
- Via your online account (espace client)
- Via mail, sending a registered post letter ("lettre recommandée avec avis de réception") to Orange Service Client Mobile - Résiliation, 33 734 Bordeaux Cedex 9
Terminating an SFR phone plan
To cancel an SFR plan,your options are:
- Via your SFR online account (espace client), - here you'll also be able to get an estimate of your final fine
- Via mail, sending a lettre recommandée avec avis de réception to Service Client SFR - Mobile, TSA 73917, 62978 Arras Cedex 9
How to Cancel Your Bouygues Mobile Phone Plan
Bouygues Telecom allows you to cancel:
- By calling 614 from a cellphone (or 1064 from a fixed line)
- On your Bouygues online account (espace client)
- By sending a lettre recommandée avec avis de réception to Service Clients Bouygues Telecom, 60436 Noailles Cedex
You can get an estimate of your cancellation fine on the Bouygues website, through its cancellation fee simulator.
Putting a term to a contract with Free Mobile
To cancel your Free mobile contract, you can:
- Send a letter by registered post to Free Résiliation, 75371 PARIS Cedex 08
- Via your online account (espace client)
Ending a Sosh Mobile phone contract
Since Sosh is an online-only provider, your sole way of cancelling a plan will be via your Sosh online account.
How to Cancel a RED by SFR plan
As with Sosh, to cancel a RED by SFR contract your only option is to do so online. Either log onto your online account, or speak to a Sosh advisor on the chat
Cancelling your contract-free plan
Good news: with a contract-free plan (forfait sans engagement) cancelling is easier - and free! Depending on your provider, you may be able to change or cancel your plan online, over the phone, or by recommended post.
Prepare to provider the following information to your provider upon cancelling:
- Your name and contact details
- The phone number you wish to cancel
- Your account number, which can be found on bills or your contract
- Your preffered cancellation date (make sure to give at least 10 days notice)
How to end a prepaid phone contract
Selectra can help you cancel your prepaid phone plan in France, free of charge!Find free cancellation letter templates and more in Selectra's cancellation service!
As for prepaid (also known as pay-as-you-go) plans, they are by far the simplest to cancel - just stop using your allowance and you'll find that your cellphone line and remaining credit will just get deactivated after a certain inactivity period (most often after 1 to 12 months).
If you wish to get reimbursed for the credit that remained on your phone, contact your provider by mail and they'll usually be able to issue you a refund.