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§ 3956. Termination of telephone service contracts

{Section 305a of the Act]

(a) Termination by servicemember

(1) Termination

A servicemember may terminate a contract described in subsection (b) at any time after the date the servicemember receives military orders to relocate for a period of not less than 90 days to a location that does not support the contract.

(2) Notice

In the case that a servicemember terminates a contract as described in paragraph (1), the service provider under the contract shall provide such servicemember with written or electronic notice of the servicemember's rights under such paragraph.

(3) Manner of termination

Termination of a contract under paragraph (1) shall be made by delivery of a written or electronic notice of such termination and a copy of the servicemember's military orders to the service provider, delivered in accordance with industry standards for notification of terminations, together with the date on which the service is to be terminated.

(b) Covered contracts

A contract described in this subsection is a contract for cellular telephone service or telephone exchange service entered into by the servicemember before receiving the military orders referred to in subsection (a)(1).

(c) Retention of telephone number

In the case of a contract terminated under subsection (a) by a servicemember whose period of relocation is for a period of three years or less, the service provider under the contract shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, allow the servicemember to keep the telephone number the servicemember has under the contract if the servicemember re-subscribes to the service during the 90-day period beginning on the last day of such period of relocation.

(d) Family plans

In the case of a contract for cellular telephone service entered into by any individual in which a servicemember is a designated beneficiary of the contract, the individual who entered into the contract may terminate the contract—

(1) with respect to the servicemember if the servicemember is eligible to terminate contracts pursuant to subsection (a); and

(2) with respect to all of the designated beneficiaries of such contract if all such beneficiaries accompany the servicemember during the servicemember's period of relocation.

(e) Other obligations and liabilities

For any contract terminated under this section, the service provider under the contract may not impose an early termination charge, but any tax or any other obligation or liability of the servicemember that, in accordance with the terms of the contract, is due and unpaid or unperformed at the time of termination of the contract shall be paid or performed by the servicemember. If the servicemember re-subscribes to the service provided under a covered contract during the 90-day period beginning on the last day of the servicemember's period of relocation, the service provider may not impose a charge for reinstating service, other than the usual and customary charges for the installation or acquisition of customer equipment imposed on any other subscriber.

(f) Return of advance payments

Not later than 60 days after the effective date of the termination of a contract under this section, the service provider under the contract shall refund to the servicemember any fee or other amount to the extent paid for a period extending until after such date, except for the remainder of the monthly or similar billing period in which the termination occurs.

(g) Definitions

For purposes of this section:

(1) The term "cellular telephone service" means commercial mobile service, as that term is defined in section 332(d) of title 47.

(2) The term "telephone exchange service" has the meaning given that term under section 153 of title 47.

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