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by: Kris Monteith, Acting Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Chief
July 6th, 2012
Celebrating the birth of our nation reminds us of the sacrifices our forefathers made for our liberty, and the sacrifices the men and women of our armed services continue to make today to ensure we remain free.
Here at the FCC, we remind U.S. service members of their rights regarding mobile/wireless calling plans under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
By law, service members deployed or transferred overseas can suspend or cancel long-term wireless/mobile phone contracts without penalties or extra fees when deployed for 90 days or longer or when permanently transferred if change of duty results in:
An inability to use the service
An inability to satisfy the terms of the contract
Additionally, service members deployed overseas for more than 90 days may suspend their contracts at no charge until the end of their deployment without being required to extend the length of the original contract term.
Service members who are unable to use or pay for their wireless/mobile service because of overseas deployment should read the new FCC Consumer Guide on Mobile Phone Service Cancellation for Military Service Members for more information on qualifications and how to take advantage of these benefits.
As the daughter of a career service member, making sure that we take care of U.S. service members and respect their rights is especially important to me. I hope they will find our FCC Consumer Guide and the links it provides helpful.