Verizon announced a few notable changes this week, possibly in response to T-Mobile’s new ‘Uncarrier’ pricing structure.
The first change enforces 24-month contracts and restricts subsidized upgrades during that period. Customers will no longer enjoy ‘early upgrades’ after 20-months, as was previously the policy.
While the change may disappoint customers who enjoyed upgrading their devices more frequently, Verizon told The Verge that a new “Device Payment Plan” will be accompany the policy changes.
The new payment plan allows customers to upgrade their smartphone annually by paying the upgrade fee at the register and dividing the rest of the full-retail price over 12 months. This payment plan will include a $2/month finance charge through the duration of the year.
For people like us who update annually, this option is a more pragmatic approach, especially when vendors like Gazelle (as well as others) typically pay more than the subsidized cost of a new smartphone for last year’s smartphone.
Finally, Verizon announced a more affordable, prepaid plan for dumb phones. Verizon has you covered if you are still not sold on the idea of a smartphone (and the monthly bill it comes with) or just want to have one as backup. The new $35/month plan gives you 500 Anytime Minutes (sans mobile-to-mobile) and unlimited text and data. Just keep in mind what data meant before we had the iPhone.