Yesterday, Verizon told us that they were simplifying the Edge upgrade and payment experience by getting rid of the plan’s requirements that ask you to wait 30 days and pay off 75% of the phone in order to pick up a new phone. The new version of Edge, which goes into affect on May 31, only asks that you pay the phone off in full before upgrading. Sounds simple enough, right?
It’s simple all right, but it also completely kills off any form of an early upgrade at Verizon.
With the old Edge policy that required you to pay off 75% of your phone, you had the opportunity to upgrade within about 18 months assuming you paid your monthly payment and nothing more each month. Should you buy a $600 phone and pay $25 per month, you could upgrade to a new phone six months early without ever paying the full $600 price. Once you hit that 75% mark, you could swap out your phone for a new one without paying an upgrade or activation fee.
As of May 31, that all changes. If you want to upgrade to a new phone early, you have to come up with the full $600. Either that, or you just continue to pay your $25 per month payment for 24 months until the device is paid in full and then you can upgrade. See, no more early upgrades with Edge.
Of course, the early upgrades haven’t just stopped there with Verizon. Back in 2013, Verizon changed their 2-year contract upgrade dates to better “align” with contract terms, which meant a move from 20-month upgrades to 24-month upgrades.
So no 75%-paid upgrades with Edge and full 24-month upgrades when you have a 2-year contract. That sounds to me like Verizon has completely abandoned any form of an early upgrade.
On the flip side, AT&T has three different Next plans that allow you to upgrade in as little as 12 months (they also have 18 and 24 month plans). T-Mobile has its JUMP! program, which costs you $10 per month, but lets you upgrade at any time, with T-Mobile covering the rest of your device payments up to half of the device’s total price. Of course, those plans from AT&T and T-Mobile both require you to trade in your device, while Verizon lets you keep it (but they should, since you paid it off fully).
Just something to think about.