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How to Cancel Your French Mobile Phone Plan for Free

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how to cancel your mobile phone plan in france

Whether you are leaving the country or want to switch plans, cancelling your mobile phone contract in France doesn't have to be complicated! Find out how to cancel your mobile phone plan quickly and without paying cancellation fees in our guide.


Cancelling a Mobile Phone Plan in France: The basics

Let Selectra Take Care of Cancelling For You!Find free cancellation letter templates and more in Selectra's cancellation service!

Cancelling a mobile phone plan in France generally isn't too complicated, nor is it usually expensive. If you are on a contract-free postpaid phone plan (a forfait sans engagement), you can leave your plan at any time without penalty. However, if you are on a plan with a contract (for 12 or 24 months) you may be subject to cancellation fees (frais de résiliation) if you leave your plan before it reaches its term.

With that said, it is still possible to leave your mobile phone plan without penalty, under certain conditions (see below).

Keeping Your French Mobile Phone Number

If you are on a postpaid plan (i.e. a forfait avec/sans engagement) and wish to keep your phone existing phone number, you will need to find out your RIO code (Relevé d’Identité Opérateur) before cancelling your existing plan and signing up for a new one. To find your RIO code, simply dial 3179 from your existing phone. This is an automated number that is free to call and available 24/7. Upon calling the number you will hear an automated message that describes your existing mobile phone plan and provider, and states your RIO code. You should also receive a text message summary of your account details and RIO code.

You will be asked for this RIO code when you sign up for a new mobile phone plan with a different provider.

How to Cancel Your Mobile Phone Plan: The basics

Depending on your provider and plan, you may have one or several of the following options for cancelling your French mobile phone plan: by registered post (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception), over the phone, or online. Regardless of the method, you will need to provide the same sorts of information to cancel your French mobile phone plan quickly and successfully:

  • Your full name
  • Your French telephone number
  • Your account number (numéro de client)
  • The date you wish to end your plan

Need to cancel your mobile phone plan? Find out more about the lettre de résiliation (cancellation letter), along with a free template in our guide!

A word on timing: for most providers, the cancellation of your mobile phone plan will take effect 10 days following the reception of your cancellation request. 

Glossary of French Terms
French Term English Translation French Term English Translation
Résilier To cancel Forfait Plan
Sans engagement Contract-free Relevé d'Identité Opérateur Mobile phone code
Pièces justificatives Accompanying documentation Motifs légitimes Legitimate reasons

How to Leave a French Mobile Phone Plan for Free

The maximum permitted length of a mobile phone contract in France is two years (24 months), and most mobile phone contracts are either for 12 months or 24 months. Orange, SFR, and Bouygues Telecom all offer plans that come with a contract as well as contract-free plans (forfaits sans engagement). While you can leave a contract-free plan at any time without penalty, plans that come with a 12 or 24 month engagement do come with cancellation fees (frais de résiliation) for early exits. With that said, there are a few things to keep in mind about cancelling your mobile phone plan that make it not as expensive as you think:

  • You can reduce or eliminate cancellation fees for your mobile phone by...
  • Waiting at least 12 months: French law (loi Chatel) requires that early termination fees be reduced to one-quarter their original amount on the 13th month of the plan
  • Switching suppliers: some suppliers will pay the early cancellation fees from your existing provider
  • Leaving the country, or another "motif légitime": most suppliers will allow you to leave your plan without penalty if you are leaving the country

Cancelling Your Plan for Free by Switching Suppliers

Some providers offer to pay the early cancellation fees charged by your former operator as an incentive to get you to switch. Most providers will pay for up to about 100€ total, and this generally means that you will be committing to another (fixed term) contract.

Other Ways to Leave Your French Mobile Phone Plan for Free

Most mobile phone providers will allow you to leave your mobile phone plan without penalty if you have a "legitimate reason" (motif légitime). You will need to provide supporting documentation (pièces justificatives) to prove your case. Commonly accepted reasons for breaking your mobile phone contract include:

 
Reason for Cancelling (motif légitime) Documentation Required (pièces justificatives)
You are moving out of the provider's service territory (i.e. out of the country) A copy of your new lease agreement or property ownership, a copy of your new work contract, a tax assessment, letter of acceptance for a school program, residence card, moving bill
You were fired from an indefinite contract (CDI) Your "attestation de licenciement" (letter confirming your being fired/layed off)
Debt/Bankruptcy A letter from the Bank of France accepting your declaration of bankruptcy and outlining a repayment schedule.
Incarceration Incarceration certificate
Illness or handicap making mobile phone service impossible Medical certificate
Death Death certificate
Force majeure Copy of the tribunal's decision recognizing the force majeure

Note that there may be some conditions placed on these reasons (e.g. if you wish to cancel because you are leaving the country, it must be for at least 6 months and you must have been a customer for at least 3 months). You may also be able to cancel your plan in the event that your provider was unable to provide acceptable service (e.g. extended service interruption), though keep in mind that you must prove the fault of the operator, and generally need to have followed the process for filing a complaint.

How to Cancel Your Orange Mobile Phone Plan

Orange logo

Orange recommends that you update your personal contact information before cancelling your plan, as you may need to access your account. You can cancel your mobile phone plan with Orange by the following means:

  • Over the phone: dial 1013
  • Online: in your personal space (espace client)
  • By registered post (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception) to: Orange Service Résiliation, 33734 Bordeaux Cedex 9

Cancelling Your SFR Mobile Phone Plan

SFR logo

You have the following options for cancelling your SFR mobile phone plan

  • Over the phone: dial 1023
  • Online: in your personal space (espace client)
  • By registered post (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 logo

Bouygues Telecom accepts the following methods of cancellation for mobile phone plans:

  • Over the phone: dial 614
  • Online: in your personal space (espace client)
  • By registered post (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception) to: Service Clients Bouygues Telecom, 60436 Noailles Cedex

Cancelling Your Forfait Sans Engagement

Leaving a mobile phone plan that is contract-free (sans engagement) is simpler than leaving a plan with a contract, because you don't have to worry about cancellation fees (frais de résiliation). Depending on your provider, you may be able to change or cancel your plan online, over the phone, or by recommended post. As is the case with contracted plans, your provider will cancel your plan 10 days after having received your cancellation request. You will have to provide the following information when making a cancellation request:

  • Your full name
  • Your French telephone number
  • Your account number (numéro de client)
  • The date you wish to end your plan (make sure to provide at least 10 days warning)

Cancelling Your Free Mobile Phone Plan

Free Mobile logo

You can cancel your Free mobile phone plan by:

  • By registered post (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception) to: Free Résiliation, 75371 PARIS Cedex 08

Cancelling a Mobile Phone Plan with Sosh

Sosh logo

As an online-based brand, your plan with Sosh can be cancelled online in your personal space (espace client). Sosh does not have telephone customer service.

Cancelling a B&You Mobile Phone Plan

Bouygues Telecom logo

You can cancel a B&You contract-free mobile phone plan by the following methods:

  • Online: in your personal space (espace client)
  • By registered post (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception) to: Service Clients Bouygues Telecom, 60436 Noailles Cedex

How to Cancel a Mobile Phone Plan from RED by SFR

RED by SFR logo

As an online-based brand, RED by SFR offers the following options for cancelling your mobile phone plan:

  • Online: in your personal space (espace client)
  • Online: speak to an advisor by chat

Ending a Prepaid Phone Plan

Let Selectra Take Care of Cancelling For You!Find free cancellation letter templates and more in Selectra's cancellation service!

Prepaid (or pay-as-you-go) mobile plans are the easiest type of plan to cancel: simply stop using the phone, and your phone number and any remaining credit will be deactivated after a certain period of inactivity. You can also send  a letter sent by registered post for cancellation (for reimbursement of remaining credit):

 
Provider Address Delay before Account Deactivated
Orange logo small Orange Service Résiliation, 33734 Bordeaux Cedex 9 Phone number deactivated 6 months following remaining credit's expiration
SFR Service Client SFR - Mobile, TSA 73917, 62978 Arras Cedex 9 Phone number deactivated 6 months following expiration of remaining credit
Bouygues Telecom Service Clients Bouygues Telecom, 60436 Noailles Cedex Phone number stays active for 12 months following the last credit top-up
La Poste Mobile LA POSTE MOBILE, Service Client - TSA 16759, 95905 Cergy Pontoise Cedex 9 Phone number deactivated 3 months following expiration of last top-up credit
Lebara mobile Lebara Mobile Service Client, 90, Boulevard National, 92250 La Garenne Colombes Phone number remains active for 3 months following expiration of remaining credit
Lycamobile Lycamobile SARL, 23/25 rue de Berri 75008 Paris Phone number deactivated 30 days after credit expires
NRJ Mobile NRJ Mobile - Service Consommateurs, TSA 42002, 75087 PARIS CEDEX 02 Phone number deactivated 3 months following expiration of remaining credit