iPhone Cancellation and Return Policies Guide

For those of you who frequently test out new phones with the comfort of a 30-day return window, you might find the iPhone’s return policy a bit more stringent. According to Our Chris, some states like California even refund the activation fee. However, the flexibility with the iPhone is considerably less generous. Here’s an overview of what to expect with iPhone returns.

iPhone return policy. The window for returning an iPhone is only 14 days, not the usual 30.

Returns must be made to the original point of purchase. It is not possible to purchase from one store and return it to another. If the iPhone box has been opened, a 10% restocking fee will be applied. All components including the phone, accessories, and manuals must be returned.

Canceling the agreement. If you decide to cancel within 3 days of iPhone activation, you can get a refund of the $36 activation fee.

Canceling within 30 days allows you to end the service without a penalty. However, canceling after this period but before two years will incur a $175 early termination fee. Once the two-year agreement is completed, the service will continue on a month-to-month basis.

Rough Costs

Here’s a breakdown of potential costs associated with various return scenarios, based on the $499 4GB iPhone and the lowest plan at $60/month. This includes estimated fees and taxes such as the 911 Tax, Federal Telecom Relay Service Fee, Universal Service Fund, Cost Recovery Fees, etc., and a 5% sales tax on the device itself.

$50.00. Test the phone, cancel service, and return the unit within 3 days.

$86.00. Test the phone, cancel service, and return the unit within 14 days.

$561.00. Keep the phone, cancel service within 30 days.


Daniel is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing years of experience and a deep love for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Daniel covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the newest features in macOS and watchOS. His insightful articles and reviews help readers stay informed and make the most of their Apple products. When he’s not writing, Daniel enjoys exploring new apps and tinkering with his MacBook Pro.