Verizon wireless "upgrade" policy?
November 15, 2016 7:25 AM   Subscribe

I'm not understanding Verizon wireless's "upgrade" policy - is there any benefit?

We have a wireless plan with 2 phones from Verizon. We are eligible for an upgrade on one line and will become eligible on the other line in about a week. The last time I did this process, it seemed like there were some significant discounts on phones with an "upgrade" eligibility. Now, when I go through the steps on the website, it does not seem like there is any benefit at all. Nothing shows up saying $x dollars off because of upgrade, for example. I don't see any special deals or pricing offered because of the upgrade eligibility - just "retail price." Am I doing something wrong? Or does "upgrade" not really get you anything any more? The website does not seem to explain anywhere what the benefit of an "upgrade" is.
posted by Mid to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I noticed this about my AT&T plan too. An iphone was literally the same price at the Apple store as from AT&T. When I called they said they did away with the discounted hardware when they eliminated the two-year contracts. So, I bought my new iphone at the Apple store!
posted by bluesky78987 at 7:33 AM on November 15, 2016

It might help you to use the Verizon online chat while you try to sort this out. I just upgraded my phone last month, and I had to spend over an hour on the Chat with some Verizon person just to understand what the hell was happening. In my case, I sent them back my old iPhone, and then bought a new iPhone, and now they are evaluating the old one and assuming it goes well I'll get something like $600 or whatever taken off my Verizon bill, spread out over 2 years of payments (yeah it's really annoying). Anyway, the Chat person can let you know what your options are - they were surprisingly helpful.
posted by FireFountain at 8:04 AM on November 15, 2016

Essentially, under the old system, you were paying your phone off each month by just paying your bill. Verizon subsidised your upgrade with your plan. So phones were always 600 dollars, but you only paid 200 and then paid a higher rate for your plan.

The new plans are cheaper, but do not include those subsidies. Make sure you're on the "new Verizon plan," or have at least compared what those costs would be. From what I've seen, of you're on an older plan and not paying for your phone, the difference between that and the new style plan even with phone upgrades will be minimal, plus you'll have a new phone.

If your phone still works and you're happy with it, you'll pay less by not upgrading.
posted by papayaninja at 10:47 AM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

What FireFountain said. You get a (generous IMO) trade-in credit for your old phone, and you get to finance the cost of the new phone over (I think) two years.
posted by JimN2TAW at 11:52 AM on March 28, 2017

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