April 12, 2013
Verizon Updates Two-Year Contracts to Mean Two Years
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
First we saw the "New Every Two" credits from Verizon go away, now they're extending their two-year contracts to 24 months, instead of the early upgrade that started at 20 months.
In a statement on its website, Verizon defined the changes to two-year contracts. It said two-year contracts will now mean 24 months. Previously, the carrier allowed its subscribers to upgrade their handsets and devices after 20 months without penalty. Customers who end their contract or upgrade mid-contract are subject to a penalty. Customers are ineligible for the subsidized rates for handsets offered by Verizon when upgrading or replacing a handset mid-contract.
The update, which many subscribers will see as an extension of its lengthy two-year contract, "aligns the upgrade date with the contract end date and is consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today," the company statement said.
Those customers whose contracts expire in January of 2014 will be the first to feel the changes. New contracts at that point will be pushed to the full 24 months.
While existing subscribers will see the date of their contracts change on January 2014, those starting new contracts or renewing will begin their two-year, 24-month term as of April 21. "Once the 21st rolls around, anyone with an upgrade that is scheduled to arrive before September 1, 2013 (or essentially a contract that expires in January of 2014), will get to keep the same upgrade date. For those with upgrade dates later than 9/1/13, your next upgrade will be moved onto a new 24 month schedule or 'aligned to contract terms.' Yes, that means Verizon is moving to 24 month upgrade cycles," DroidLife reports.
"So from 4/21 forward, or if your upgrade date is set for some time after 9/1/13, your upgrade date will be set as 24 months out from when you first signed your 2-year contract. If your current upgrade date is set for before 9/1/13, you can keep your date, but then once you upgrade, will be moved onto a 24 month cycle," DroidLife explains on its site.
Verizon also let lapse an older update. That is the New Every Two program, which ended in January 2011. Any outstanding credits toward a new phone from this program will expire on April 15, 2013.
Accounts with multiple lines, such as a family share plan, can swap upgrades. That means if one family member can hold out, another family member or line holder can take that upgrade and replace a handset or device early. That is, as long as the upgrade is swapped with a device in the same category -- such as a smartphone. Previously it was possible to swap between categories. For example, one could use the upgrade eligibility of a Jetpack or tablet to get a new smartphone. This is going away and users will only be able to swap within categories.