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Verizon Changing Upgrade Policy, Say Bye Bye to 1-year Upgrades

And we have bad news just before we take off for Las Vegas.  According to new Verizon training slides, the 1-year upgrade option that many of us have enjoyed for years is going away starting January 16th.  Customers on 2-year contracts will now have to wait until the 20th month of their deal to even begin to think about upgrading.  Talk about depressing.  We live in a time when phones become almost obsolete just months after they are released and having to wait at least 20 months for the option to upgrade is a giant step in the wrong direction.

It should be noted that 1-year contracts are not affected, so that becomes option number 1 for those of us addicted to new technology.  When your current contract is up, you might want to consider going with a 1 year plan and forking out the extra $50-100 on the phone or you’ll be stuck for 2 years.  [Insert sad face]

The good news is, we’ll be at CES all week and will have plenty of opportunities to drill VZW reps on this subject.

Via:  Android Central

  • Anonymous

    I would hope that when this information becomes public that verizon allows thier customers to switch thier current plan to a 1 year plan without any kind of early termination fee because I forsee alot of people going to a yearly contract over this, myself included since i just got my X in October and am already looking forward to the dual core phones later this year

    • NKTizzle

      This doesn’t affect you upgrading early. Only new activations and renewals.

  • Wow…very surprising.

    I upgraded from Storm to X in early Aug. 2010, but it was with a 2-year contract. Had a known this new upgrade policy was going in effect early ’11, I would have signed up for a 1-year contract, instead.

    Well…it’s just the way the world turns I guess. I only have what…15 months until I can upgrade again. Wow…thanks a lot, Verizon!

    • NKTizzle

      No, you are still eligible for the early upgrade. This only affects new activations and renewals.

      This is no change to your existing contract which contains NE2 and the early upgrade.

  • Zach

    I would have thought they would have wanted people to upgrade to LTE phones asap guess I won’t be til mid 2012.

  • SeaLittle

    If I am reading the slide correctly, they are ending New Every 2 as well. Once you get your next upgrade, there will be no more under NE2.

    • NKTizzle

      Correct. All existing customers that are eligible for NE2 will get it. When they renew, the NE2 promotion gets removed from their account.

  • arirang

    with an ongoing unpredictable refresh cycle, it seems Verizon and the android phone makers WANT me to get an iPhone. at least with it, i know the latest gen will be updated and maintained for 2yrs–just in time to exercise my contract upgrade. sadly, no android phone maker has established a road-map. i thought Motorola would do it with droid1, but then they blurred droid2.

  • SharpeMTBR

    Hi Verizon. What’s that? You want me to bend over and pull my pants down? … okay… 🙁

  • Mcrutchf

    When did Verizon have a 1 year upgrade plan?

    • Reginald Owens

      They have had this for several years. The requirements were that you had to be on a plan that cost $60 or more (almost all family plans are and most individual plans are nowadays). Once you reached 1-year, you could walk into any VZW store (or call) and pick up any phone they had for whatever the new customer price was (so if a new customer paid $199, that is what you paid) plus a $10-20 early upgrade fee.

      NE2 is actually slightly different. Once you got to month 20, you were eligible for NE2. This means that you paid less than what a new customer would pay for the phone. So, if a new customer paid $199 for the phone, you actually paid $149.

      With the new changes, at month 20, you now get what you used to get at month 12. NE2, which gave you the discount on top of that, is being removed altogether.

    • SeaLittle

      One year upgrades were not available to everyone. You had to be a “high value costomer.”

  • Is this a retroactive changing of contract? I’ve already been told I can upgrade next December, is that (unlawfully?) recinded?

    • NKTizzle

      No, this change is only for new activations and renewals.

  • Hawaiianbrowneyez

    awe this some bull. i was gonna use this on the 27th, way to kick me while im down verizon

    • NKTizzle

      You will still be able to use it. It’s only for new activations and renewals that this takes affect. It won’t change your existing contract.

      So you’d get your NE2 this time, but upon renewing it goes away for next time.

  • Jim_Bob_Pooter

    I wounder if this effects current customers in current 2yr contracts, or if it takes effect when you sign a new contract.

    • NKTizzle

      Only when you renew.

  • scribbles

    Verizon is soooo greedy

  • NKTizzle

    This is only for new activations and renewals.

  • Nate

    There goes my summer upgrade plan….

  • Mr. Joe

    This would be bad if I was still on dumbphones. Since moving to smart phones (Droid) I haven’t had the desire (like I did with dumbphones) to swap constantly. I’ve had my Droid for a little over a year now and have not wanted to trade it up. It’s still going strong and can still do things for me.

    I’m only upgrading when all of these conditions are met:
    My next device must have:
    – at least a 4″ screen
    – dual core CPU
    – 512MB+ RAM
    – LTE

    Then I’ll upgrade when LTE either hits my area or enough places that I go to frequently.

  • As long as I can root my phone it’s not really an issue. Sure It would be great to get a new phone, but flashing a new rom is a temporary fix for my technoerge.

  • Reginald Owens

    This, to me, sounds like VZW is gearing up for the iPhone. One of the things that I always questioned was whether Verizon would be able to keep up the annual upgrade program with all of their new phones costing well over $500 retail along with tablet devices. Unlike Android phones in which, although released very often, are usually differentiated by either small spec changes or different brands, Apple phones are a consistent phone that remains the same for a year (barring OS updates). After that year, Apple releases the next phone that would be consistent for the next year, etc. With annual upgrades, every time that Apple releases their new phone, everyone with previous gen iPhones would just upgrade to that, paying the cheaper cost. The problem with this, however, is that it would mean that VZW would never receive the full amount of money on a subsidized iPhone. The reason is because if you just upgraded year after year, Verizon would have to float the phone costs each year. If you never break your contract, VZW never charges you the ETF, which recovers the cost of giving you the discounted phone. The result is that VZW never gets to pay off the cost of the phone (they pay it off at purchase, but because the price is never realized, it’s always 2 years behind). Long story short, if VZW ended up in a situation where a lot of customers are doing that year after year and they have a huge float going, if a significant amount of people decided to drop VZW for whatever reason, the only recourse is to hope that everyone who cancelled pays their ETF fee. If not, VZW would be out of a HUGE chunk of money.

    • None

      The iPhone will not be coming to Verizon. Sorry.

  • Anonymous

    That really sucks, I will be on the one year plan as well or just out right buy the phone. This is a sad day and I hope Verizon feels it from thier customers. Seems to me that Verizon is getting full of themselves. I think alot of customers are going to be turned off on this.

  • 1T2dirtnap

    This gives me no reason to stay with Verizon anymore, I will be moving to T-Mobile.I know 20 month policy, however they’re much cheaper.

  • JW

    We can (will be “could” soon I guess) upgrade every year? I thought the NE2 was the only way we could upgrade and get a discounted phone that wasn’t at MSRP.

    • Anonymous

      I think a slight discount was applied at the 12 months remaining mark.

  • It will be interesting to see how the contracts are for the i*hone and how they affect other phone makers. AT&T offers 1 year contracts for all of their phones BUT the i*hone – and AT&T will flatly state that Apple dictates that 1 year contract terms are not permitted.

    I wonder if this change is in anticipation of the launch of the i*hone, and is a way to keep many folks from jumping ship on their phones early… all very interesting.

  • Anonymous

    i usually end up waiting til the 20th month anyhow…so no big deal to me…my 1 year would be in february and there’s nothing thats going to be out by then that will make me get rid of my droid…oh and btw…gosh forbid they make new every 2 actually mean new every 2

    • Not Happy

      No, they mean New Every Two will not exist for your next contract. Therefore, no more discount off the price of your new phone when you renew your contract after 2 years.

      • Anonymous

        so like i said…gosh forbid they make their new every 2 actually mean new every 2…i always thought the discount was not a good business move…no other carrier does it, that i’m aware of…why should verizon be any different? we’re not entitled to a discount, nor is it a right…

  • andrew8806

    Remember that this is for people whom sign a new 2 year contract after January 16th. If you are currently under contract you should not be effected due to breech of contract.

    • JohnPA2006

      God I hope your right Andrew8806, I should be up for 1 year early upgrade by first week February, I read this and wanted to cry like a little girl.

    • CoolName

      can you or anyone else verify this? I would love to believe this is true but the wording of the article doesn’t necessarily indicate this.

    • Anonymous

      I got my Droid in February of 2010, and the My Verizon app says I can’t upgrade till October of 2011, which is 20 months later.


      • Anonymous

        Yeeeah – I got my Droid in November of ’09, and I see a similar timeline for upgrade eligibility in my account. I’m new to Verizon – how was anyone getting an upgrade on their 2 year contract in just one year?

        • Anonymous

          You used to be able to get the subsidized price on a new phone after 1 year of a 2 year contract, if you renewed your contract for 2 more years.

    • Anonymous

      Not likely. They can change the terms of your contract at will. There’s wording in it that says so.

      • Anonymous

        Then they should be paying my early termination fee >:(

        • trust_me_i’m_a_lawyer

          If this is impacting existing contracts you may be able to terminate your agreement, without a fee, due to a material change in contract terms.

          • this is true, if they change anything in their contract and it affects you, you can ask to be removed from your contract without you paying because they changed the terms not you so maybe that will help. Im gonna call in too and have them terminate my family contract, and maybe i’ll just get a new one to get a new phone def no an i*phone.

    • Jawshua

      Oh well you made this article make more sense thank you.

    • Anonymous

      That’s only if the 1-year upgrade policy is specifically listed in the contract.

    • NoLongerLoyal

      Was just informed by a Verizon rep. that we are not grandfathered in because the 1 year upgrade policy is not part of any contract and therefore will not be honored! Am super pissed!

  • Ummm so does this mean that I am currently eligible for an upgrade on my D1 but that goes away on Jan 16th? I was gonna upgrade to an LTE phone… WTF

    • Deb

      You still get the early one year OR NE2. Had you upgraded before January 16th, it was my understanding you would then still have one more NE2. (because you would sign another contract before the change started) So now all you have to do is decide which LTE phone you want! 😉

  • Anonymous

    On that this news is only on new and renewal contracts?

  • Anonymous

    Is that confirmed?

  • Finire

    So… This change is taking effect in a couple of weeks. Does this only effect the people that are signing there contract after this takes effect? I signed a 2-year with the promise that I could upgrade early. From what I can see if they take this away from people that already have a contract, this is a contract breaker.

  • Anonymous

    Both myself and my wife are (were) eligible at the beginning of February. Absolutely amazingly depressing news today. I can deal with my Droid 1 but my wife is using my old BB Storm 1 and I am sick of trying to fix the damn thing. This is horrible news.

    Let me ask this (hopefully someone knows). My wife’s cell is actually on someone else’s account. Will Verizon allow me to move her phone number over to my account if the contract on that number is not up? Even if I sign a new agreement?

    • AnDroidSepTIX

      yes you just have to accept responsibility of her account. Basically accepting whatever contract she has remaining

    • Anonymous

      yes you can. we’ve done it a couple of times.

  • Maybe I’m just ignorant, but what does the New Every 2 change really do?

  • Anonymous

    If they are going to make customers hold on to phones for a longer period of time, they had better provide high quality support over that period. That includes pushing out the latest Android updates.

    • Pmtwice

      Overheard from Verizon Wireless HQ:

      LMAO no, n00bert[/quote]

  • Mth2134

    Way to combat those us cellular belief project commercials or whatever they are. Insert 1 yr contract here.

  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness that OG droid still does!!!

  • BayportBob

    this is sad news. say it isn’t so joe! 4G coming up, stuck with old phones coming up, rule the air babe!

  • Anonymous

    This is the worst news in Wireless that I’ve heard in quite some time.

  • gio2005

    For those on family plans, I wonder if the primary line will still get an option to upgrade every year

  • So would this not count as a change of terms to the Verizon contract and allow us to “break” our contracts with no termination fees?

    • NKTizzle

      It only goes into effect for new contracts and renewals. It doesn’t change existing contracts.

  • Anonymous

    This is bullsh*t my 1 year is the beginning of feb…we already pay verizon enough money now this….

  • Alphabets13

    sprint is looking better and better.

  • mandroid2010

    wow what a BS move Verizon !!!!

  • Matt

    if were already a current verizon customer, are we affected or just new customers? and if we are affected is this a way if people wanted to get out of their contract?

  • That sucks, that goes into effect the day before my 1 year upgrade!!!!!!!!!!!

  • NewsWorthy

    Makes the Best BuyBack deal that much sweeter!
    ~ Slim ~

    • Anonymous

      Great point, forgot about that already hah.

    • scribbles

      What is that

    • scribbles

      What is that

  • Anonymous

    i had thought about 1 yr contracts…but now it’s solidified. never signing up for 2 years…ever again.

    • Anonymous

      Me either…1 year it is…

  • Knothle

    And I mean Verizon.

  • Tom

    That picture says something about special offers. Until those are known I think we should all step away from the ledge.

  • DBK

    I’m a little confused about the change in NE2. Does that mean that they are doing away with it completely or is that just not available for new customers as of the 16th?

    • Anonymous

      It sounds like the it’s still alive, they just won’t be calling it NE2.

      • Tom

        The additional credit is being done away with it sounds like but you will still receive the 2 year price every 20 months.

        • DBK

          If that’s the case then it’s a good thing I don’t plan on upgrading for a long while.

      • DBK

        I hope that’s the case because it sounded like they were doing away with it (which would have resulted in some specially delivered Molotovs :P)

    • Mike

      I think they’re getting rid of it completely, so you won’t get the extra $50 you used to get, just the regular “two year contract” price.

      • DBK

        *Looks at response to Tom*

        What he said. 😛

    • yelraf

      Excellent question, and I think it’s the most important question to be asking now. Is that option not available to new subscribers or any contract signed on/after 1/16, but still available to those of us that signed before 1/16, to be phased out over time?

  • That is such BS. “phones become almost obsolete just months after they are released”. You said it all right there. So now buying phones at MSRP is the new way to go? F that!

    • Anonymous

      +1 Glad I used my 1 yr already Haha.

    • They cost about 150 in parts and labor to make. They aren’t really ‘subsidized’ at all.

      • takeshi

        Parts and labor alone do not make phones. That was a tired argument long ago.

  • Anonymous


  • That sucks. Looks like it’s 1 year contracts for me then…

    • Anonymous

      Yep, just made the same decision, or just buying the phone off contract.

      • DBK

        That’s what I was thinking. Looks like Best Buy just gained a customer. 😛

        • Anonymous

          New every 2 is a joke now anyway, the average customer will only get $30 credit.

          • DBK

            I got $50 the last time I upgraded (a few months ago). Guess that changed. Good thing I upgraded when I did.

      • Anonymous

        or switching carriers.

    • Anonymous

      Ditto. I have 5 phones on my plan. They will be 1 year contracts (or off-contract) from this point forward. With 2 (maybe 3 in the future) being smartphones, I definitely want to be able to upgrade faster than every 20 months, esp given how fast I expect the technology to change when the 4G phones start rolling out. The loss (excuse me, reduction) in my ‘new every 2 credit’ also makes the 1 year contracts much more palatable.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah no kidding. With 4g coming out there will be a ton of people stuck with old phones now, and the progress will just speed up. 1 year is going to feel like an eternity with a device in the near future.

  • Anonymous

    Way to piss on your customers, Verizon.

    • Anonymous

      Going to piggyback on your comment and ask if anyone else thinks this has anything to do with the i*hone being released? They want to get full cash on them rather than discount on resigned contracts and know people will pay it. Just a thought that popped into my head.

      • Anonymous

        Great point. But I also think it’s for all the 4G phones as well. They are going to likely be taking a bigger hit on more expensive hardware to keep the price points down and don’t want to see their profits dwindle from subsidizing low margin hardware.

      • takeshi

        Probably as much as every other thing in the past was related to the iPhone coming to VZW…

    • Andrew Hewitt

      Lol, I love how they start off by saying they are “simplifying” the upgrade policy. Such a positive connotation, considering all they are doing is screwing their customers out of upgrades?

  • Amiel