Even as companies like T-Mobile try to loosen the restrictions and obligations you sign up for when you get an iPhone, Verizon is tightening them up. The nation’s largest wireless carrier has just announced that they are ending their early upgrade eligibility program, which allowed customers on a two-year contract to upgrade their devices every twenty months. Instead, you’ll have to wait until your contract expires.
The announcement was made in a press release today, which says:
In alignment with the terms of the contract, customers on a two-year agreement will be eligible for an upgrade at 24 months vs. today’s early upgrade eligibility at 20 months. This change aligns the upgrade date with the contract end date and is consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today. The first customers impacted by this change are customers whose contracts expire in January 2014. As always, customers may purchase a new phone at the full retail price at any time.
In other words, want a new iPhone early? Verizon’s going to stop taking a break on you and letting you get one by signing up for a new contract four months early. Instead, they are going to bleed you dry for that extra four months worth of iPhone subsidy fees, even though you’ve already effectively paid off the phone; if you want a new iPhone, tough noogies, you’ve either got to wait until your contract’s up or buy an unlocked iPhone at full price.
Shitty, to say the least. And what Verizon tends to do, AT&T can usually be expected to follow. How long until AT&T ends 20 month eligibility for early upgrades too?