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Cancelling your contract - An updated guide

by on ‎27-06-2019 12:11 - last edited on ‎11-09-2020 11:27 by Community Manager (122,714 Views)

With some new rules coming into force on Monday 1st July 2019 making it easier than ever to cancel your contract and switch networks it’s probably time to update the old guide on cancellation to use the new improved process




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I want to cancel my contract and transfer my mobile number to another network


To do this you need a PAC code. The easiest way to get a PAC code is to text PAC to 65075


You will then receive a text message containing your PAC code (or depending on the network a message asking for security information). Your PAC code will consist of 3 letters which identify the network followed by 6 numbers


You should also be able to request a PAC code online using your online account


You then give the PAC code and the number you want to bring across to your new network and it should transfer the following working day (if submitted before 17:30 on a working day) or within 2 working days if submitted after the cut off or at the weekend. You can also select a day of your choosing for the transfer to complete.


Under the new process your old supplier can no longer charge you a notice period for leaving and your old service will terminate automatically on the date arranged with your new network


I want to cancel my contract. I have already signed up to a new network but I do not want to transfer my number


This has just got a LOT easier with the addition of STAC codes. To obtain a STAC code text STAC to 75075


You should then receive a text with your STAC (or depending on the network you may get a follow up text asking for security information). A STAC code consists of 6 numbers followed by three letters which identify the old network.


You should also be able to request a STAC code from your online account


Give the STAC code and the number you want to close to your new network and the old number should close down the following working day (if the code is given before 17:30 on a weekday) or within two working days if the code is given after the cut off or at a weekend. You can also choose for the old service to terminate on a date of your choosing


Under the new process your old supplier can no longer charge you a notice period for leaving and your old service will terminate automatically on the date arranged with the new network


I want to terminate my contract but am not signing up to a new mobile network


Two options here. You can follow the original guide linked above or you can get a PAYG sim for any network that is different to the one you are leaving and give them a STAC code to close down your old account


How much will I be charged for leaving?


You can no longer be charged for a 30 day notice period under the new system which is designed to prevent people from paying twice for a mobile service unnecessarily as was common under the old system


However if there is longer to go on your contract than 30 days you may be charged an early termination charge. You should be provided with information on this with your PAC/STAC or you can text INFO to 85075 to get details on any early termination fees that may be payable. If you are on O2 Refresh/O2 Custom Plan and there are payments to go on your credit agreement these will become due if you leave


Is there a difference between a PAC code and a STAC code?




PAC codes take the format ABC123456 where ABC is 3 letters to determine the losing network and 123456 is a unique code linked to your old mobile number. PAC codes are only used if you want to keep your number and transfer it to a new network


STAC codes take the format 123456ABC and are only used if you don’t want to keep your number


The two code types are not interchangeable and you must get the correct code depending on if you want to keep your number or not. It is possible to be issued with both types of code if you aren’t sure of your intentions and they remain valid for 30 days however you must give the correct code to your new network depending on if you want to keep your number or not


Once you use a STAC your number is lost so you must be sure this is what you want before giving a STAC to your new network


What happens if I request a PAC code or STAC code but don’t use it. Will my line terminate after 30 days?


Put simply, and this was an often source of confusion with the old system, if you generate either code but do not use them nothing will happen! Your service will continue on your old line. Requesting a code does not terminate your service. Using either code and giving them to a new network are the only things that will terminate your service


I have a multi line account. How do I get a PAC/STAC/Switching Info?


Unfortunately for some bizarre reason if you have more than one line on your account you cannot use the text service even though it should be blindingly obvious which number is making the request when you send the text or the text service could have asked which number the request relates to rather than just plain refusing the request


You can however still obtain a PAC/STAC/Switching info from your online account

on ‎26-02-2021 15:10

You're welcome

on ‎24-03-2021 21:58

Why is it so hard to cancel, yet to buy a sim it takes about 5 mins? Useless company

on ‎24-03-2021 22:36

It's not that hard @vodafonebetter . You send a text message to a number and give the PAC/STAC code to someone else. Job done!

on ‎29-05-2021 16:26

I currently have an 24-month O2 contract which finishes on 11th July. I've seen an offer from a third party website of a 24-month O2 contract for an IPhone 11 - much less than direcvt from O2.
How does it work if I stay with same supplier but switch contract but keep my mobile number, and to avoid charges on the old contract when should I cancel/switch.
Thank you

on ‎29-05-2021 17:28

I've done this off and on over the years, no issue - you even keep your O2 online billing, @Rannoch.

Sometimes the third party will send you a new SIM, if the phone you're moving from has an older or larger SIM - again, the guide for SIM swap is here: Guide: Sim Swap: a mini guide 2017 update 

This is the Upgrade guide, for ref:

Guide: Upgrading Your O2 Phone 

There will always be a bit of overlap when moving to a new contract, as you pay up-front a month in advance for the O2 service, but if you renew in the month in which your old contract expires, there will be no Device Plan component.

Any up-front charge for the new phone is usually paid on the day you take out the new contract, if applicable.

Your 2nd bill after upgrade will be at the rates signed up for because of this.

Take care also, some resellers put you on a Business tariff, which is often (but should not be!) quoted without the VAT (20%).

Your new contract will also go up the April after taking it out, due to O2's RPI increase - this is usually only a few 10s of pence, and will be spelled out in your new contract.

Good luck, @Rannoch.

‎29-05-2021 18:31 - edited ‎29-05-2021 19:07


Congrats on finding the UPGRADE GUIDE  which I had completely forgotten about! A bit stupid as I made a lot of comments when it was originally done way back in 2015 yahoo

on ‎30-05-2021 09:46

Very much appreciated

Thank you @pgn 


on ‎16-06-2021 15:22

Arranged a new o2 contract via a third party and everything was straight forward and very quick. I ordered the new phone/contract and later that day the new number/contract was in my o2 account.

Next day I contacted o2 and arranged to migrate my existing mobile number to the new contract - the transfer took all of 5 minutes.

I also unlocked my old iphone - again very straight forward.

o2 customer service was excellent.

Thanks @pgn for your advise.


on ‎16-06-2021 23:37

You're welcome, @Rannoch - my experience has been very similar to your own, over most of my upgrades on O2 in the last few years.

And I'll tag in one of the Forum Managers to make sure your praise for O2 Customer Service gets back to that team - @Martin-O2.

on ‎06-07-2021 17:11
Hi, I checked the guide and read clear instructions on how to message for pac code to 65075 and that it is free to do so. I sent it and got message failed. I tried a day later. Same. I would like to talk to someone onlive chat but my account when signed in does not show option.
on ‎06-07-2021 17:49


Get your PAC in your MyO2 Guide: How to get your PAC 2019 Update