Optimum by Altice makes it really difficult to cancel your cable, internet, or phone service. If you’re moving or just want to know how to cancel Optimum, your first instinct might be to look on their website. Here’s all they have to say

“To disconnect your Optimum Services please call your local service representative.”

Not a very helpful guide for how to cancel Optimum. Don’t worry—it doesn’t have to be scary to disconnect Optimum service. Here’s how to cancel Optimum in three easy steps.

1. Plan Your Optimum Cancellation Date

2. Call Optimum to Cancel

3. Return Your Optimum Equipment

Easy, right? Let’s get your Optimum cancelled.

1. Plan Your Optimum Cancellation Date

The good news is Optimum doesn’t have contracts or early termination fees, so you’re free to cancel anytime. However, there is a problem:

When Altice bought Optimum in 2016, they made a really shady change to their cancellation policy. When you cancel Optimum service, you still have to pay for the full billing cycle, not just the days you actually used. Even if you cancel Optimum just one day into the new month, you owe for the rest of the month—even if that’s hundreds of dollars. The process is so scummy that there is a lawsuit against Optimum, Cablevision, and Altice for unfair billing practices.

To avoid overcharges, you want to schedule your cancellation for just before the end of your billing cycle. Your billing cycle begins on the first date under “Billing Period” on your Optimum bill. Ideally, you want to cancel the exact day before the new period starts. However, it’s often a good idea to give yourself a couple of days so you have time to confirm the cancellation and return your equipment.

Look for the first date of your Billing Period in the top right of your Optimum bill. Schedule your cancellation before that day next month.You want the billing period, not the Due Date.

Of course, often it’s not practical to cancel Optimum service on exactly the right day. If you’re moving in the middle of your billing cycle, you’ll need internet before you move. When that’s the case, you can try calling the month before the move to request Optimum adjust your billing cycle to end the day before you move. It’s possible they’ll be willing to help with this, but not necessarily. Either way, once you know when you want to cancel, it’s time to call.

Tip: Negotiate Instead of Cancelling

If you’re leaving Optimum because of pricing, consider negotiating your bill instead. You can have a experts from a bill negotiation service like BillFixers lower your Optimum bill without having to lose services or switch providers.

2. Call Optimum to Cancel

The best method for how to cancel Optimum is to call their retention department on the phone. They don’t offer the option to cancel online. You can also only call during certain hours. To make things more dfficult for you, Optimum / Altice has broken out their customer service numbers by region. Here’s the info you need:

Optimum Phone Numbers

New York (Bronx, Brooklyn, Westchester): 718-860-3514

New York (Long Island): 631-393-0636

New Jersey: 973-230-6048

Connecticut: 203-870-2583

Business: 888-276-5255

Optimum Retention Hours

Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM-7:45 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: Closed  

From there, you want to navigate straight past customer service to the Optimum retention department. Fortunately, that’s pretty straightforward. Tell the Optimum phone system you want to cancel or disconnect service. If there’s a hold time, you can use GetHuman to have Optimum call you back and skip waiting. Their phone tree changes, but here’s what it is (as of 2019)

Optimum Phone Tree

  1. Press 1
  2. Enter phone or account Number
  3. Press 1 to confirm
  4. Say “cancel service”
  5. Answer “Yes” – are you calling to cancel service?
  6. Say “Yes” – are you calling to remove internet or phone service?
  7. Say “Yes” – are you cancelling service because you are moving?

Once you get to a human, tell them you need to cancel Optimum service. We recommend saying you’re moving service to outside Optimum’s service area. That’s the easiest way how to cancel Optimum without them trying to convince you to stay. Optimum’s retention department’s job is to offer you promotions to get you to keep service. If you want to save money, it’s a great option. But if you want to cancel, it’s a waste of time. Because Optimum only operates in the Tri-State area, they can’t try to convince you to stay if you’re moving out of that service area.

To be safe, it’s easiest to say you’re moving somewhere like Minnesota or Florida without Suddenlink. Altice is planning to consolidate under one Altice brand. You want somewhere Altice doesn’t offer service under the Suddenlink brand either. Of course, if you’re not moving, you can be honest about the reason for cancelling. Optimum will still let you disconnect. It will just require getting through their retention department trying to convince you to stay.

Tip: Stay firm, but be friendly.

It never helps to yell at a retention rep. For one thing, it’s not nice and they have a hard job. It’s also very common for them to “make a mistake” and leave your account open or apply additional charges. If you are friendly and ask about their day, they’re more likely to make sure they do everything right.

Of course, that doesn’t mean being a pushover. Don’t let them talk you into staying if you don’t want to. A simple “No, thank you, I just need to cancel the service” goes a long way.

They’ll try to talk you into staying, but continue telling them you want to cancel service. Eventually, they’ll put through a disconnect order. Make sure they schedule it before your billing date. Ask them for a confirmation number and write it down. Before you hang up, confirm that the account is set to disconnect and the disconnect date. Then, you’re done with the hard part! Awesome work! You cancelled Optimum. But if you have any Optimum equipment, you’ve just got one step left.

When it comes time to pack up the equipment, it’s easy to forget things like remotes or power cables. Try to think back to everything you’ve gotten from Optimum and return it all.

3. Return your Optimum Equipment

The best method for how to cancel Optimum is to call their retention department on the phone. They don’t offer the option to cancel online. You can also only call during certain hours. To make things more dfficult for you, Optimum / Altice has broken out their customer service numbers by region. Here’s the info you need:
How to Return Optimum Equipment Via Shipping

1. Get a box and put your equipment in it. Don’t forget to include things like power cords or remotes that they’ll charge you for if you keep. You also need to let them know who you are—the best way is to make a copy of a bill and include it. If you can’t do that, just write your name, address, and account number on it. The account number is on your bill.

2. Print a free FedEx shipping Label. You can request and print one here. Then, print it out and tape it to the outside of the box.

3. Drop off the box. Optimum recommends dropping the box off at a FedEx office or authorized FedEx location, including Walgreens. When you drop it off, get a confirmation receipt. Taking a picture is also a good idea. It’s not uncommon for equipment to be lost in shipping and you’ll need to prove that you actually dropped the equipment off.

How to Return Optimum Equipment to the Optimum Store

1. Locate your nearest store. Here’s a link to the Optimum store map.

2. Drop off all your equipment. Anything you got from Optimum you have to return, like modems or cable boxes. Don’t forget things like remotes or cables.

3. Get a receipt and take a picture. Again, Optimum might lose your equipment or the store employee might not put it in the system. Make sure you have proof you dropped it off or Altice will charge you.

Once it’s returned, you’re done! If you want to be safe, call back Optimum after your new billing date and confirm that they cancelled the account and marked the equipment returned. It’s not likely you’ll receive a confirmation letter about the cancellation, so it’s up to you to double check. If you’re at the same address or have mail forwarding at your new address, you should receive a final bill. Then, that’s it! You figured out how to cancel Optimum service!

Can you cancel Optimum Online?

In general, no. Optimum and Altice don’t offer the option to cancel Optimum online.

Optimum’s website doesn’t have a button in your account to let you cancel at all.

Optimum Live Chat will let you message with an Optimum agent. Unfortunately, their chat agents don’t have the ability to cancel service. By default, an automated chat will tell you to contact their customer loyalty team. Even if you push through to an Optimum live chat agent, they’ll tell you they don’t have those permissions.

@OptimumHelp on Twitter can talk to you about your account. It’s possible they could help with a disconnect request, but they’ll tell you to call retention first. It would require extraordinary circumstances like a disability for them to cancel online. If you want to try this, tweet them first and then DM. Please report back in the comments below if it works!

Can you cancel Optimum Business Online?

Fortunately, cancelling Optimum Business by Altice is really similar to the methods above. Optimum Business doesn’t have contracts or early termination fees, so you can cancel any time.

Contact Optimum Business support via phone at (855) 276-5255 or (866) 209-1099 to cancel. Optimum Business support is open 24/7. In some cases, you may have to speak directly to an account manager.

Make double sure to return all equipment when you disconnect Optimum Business or Altice Business services. The fees for unreturned equipment can be very steep.

If you’re only cancelling because the cost of Optimum is too high, consider negotiating your rate instead. We have a team of experts who can negotiate with Optimum Business to save you money. You can learn more about saving money on Optimum Business here.

What if my Optimum price is too high but I don’t want to cancel?

Cancelling isn’t your only option! You can also negotiate with Optimum to get the lowest rate available rate. Here’s our guide to negotiating your own bill, but we can also have an expert negotiate on your behalf to save you money! The process is really easy and we charge by splitting the savings with you, so if you don’t save, it’s free.

If you’re interested in saving money on Optimum, you can get started by signing up in under five minutes.

Editorial Policy: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not legal, tax, or debt advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal, tax, or debt professional regarding any such issues. Please understand that BillFixers™ policies change over time. Posts reflect BillFixers™ policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current  BillFixers™ policy.

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication and are updated as provided by our partners. Some of the offers on this page may not be available through our website.

Results will vary. Savings are not guaranteed, not all bills are eligible, and some consumers may not experience any savings.

Ben Kurland is one of the Co-Founders of BillFixers.