Verizon Increases Device-Upgrade Intervals to 24 Months

Verizon Increases Device-Upgrade Intervals to 24 MonthsVerizon Wireless has prolonged the interval for upgrading to a new device from 20 to 24 months — in a move that doesn’t seem to bode well for consumers looking to scoop up the latest smartphone before their two-year contracts are up.
The adjustment of four months may not seem like much to the nation’s largest wireless carrier, but coming just a few weeks after T-Mobile became the first of the top four providers to dump two-year contracts — Verizon’s decision makes even less sense.
“This change aligns the upgrade date with the contract end date and is consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today,” Verizon said in its announcement Friday.
Customers whose contracts expire in January 2014 are the first to be affected by this change.
“As always, customers may purchase a new phone at the full retail price at any time,” Verizon added, but that’s not likely — since there is less incentive to do so in subsidized plans that provide the newest devices at a big discount.
T-Mobile’s new no-contract plans include no-interest payment plans for the latest devices.
As of April 15, Verizon won’t let you transfer an upgrade from a hotspot, tablet or other non-phone device. Moreover, Verizon is not letting customers use expired credits from its discontinued “New Every Two” program.
In recent years, AT&T and Sprint have also tightened their upgrade policies, or added fees for customers seeking the newest subsidized phone.
AT&T said it still lets customers upgrade after 20 months.

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