Verizon Makes Customers Wait Longer for Upgrades
U.S. carrier Verizon has changed its phone upgrade policies, making customers wait longer between upgrades. Until now, customers with a two-year agreement could upgrade at 20 months.
Now, customers will only be able to upgrade at 24 months, when their contract is up. The first customers impacted by this change are those whose contracts expire in January 2014.
In alignment with the terms of the contract, customers on a two-year agreement will be eligible for an upgrade at 24 months vs. today's early upgrade eligibility at 20 months. This change aligns the upgrade date with the contract end date and is consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today. The first customers impacted by this change are customers whose contracts expire in January 2014. As always, customers may purchase a new phone at the full retail price at any time.
Verizon's main competitor, AT&T, allows customers to upgrade after 20 months, with an "early upgrade" allowed at an earlier time with a larger initial payment. Sprint offers upgrades after 20 months as well.
T-Mobile recently rolled out its new "uncarrier" plans, allowing customers to buy an iPhone 5 for $100 down plus 24 monthly payments of $20. Customers can buy a new phone at any time, but they will still be responsible for the monthly payments on prior phone purchases.