May 14, 2020 1:22 PM   Subscribe

When your cellphone provider says you are eligible for an "upgrade" on a new phone based on having been a customer with them for a period of time, do you imagine this as a discount on the new phone they sell you? Or as a regular priced new phone with an "upgrade fee?"
posted by nantucket to Shopping (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I imagine it as "this is our attempt to collect the highest possible monthly fees from you from the rest of your natural life. If you see through that, our bad."
posted by Melismata at 1:24 PM on May 14, 2020 [13 favorites]

Since most carriers have unbundled their service costs from their device payment costs, to me it means "We're willing to give you a line of credit payable over the next two years." It may or may not have a discount since the service and device costs are no longer connected. Of course there will be upgrade fees.
posted by meowzilla at 1:33 PM on May 14, 2020 [11 favorites]

p sure it means "your most recent contractual obligations to us have ended and we want you to buy another phone from us and agree to a new contract rather than going to another wireless carrier without paying a penalty" but who even knows anymore. i just buy new unlocked phones from the manufacturers.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:48 PM on May 14, 2020 [8 favorites]

What meowzilla said. Hey do you want credit to spend $1000 on a phone? We can charge you $1000/24 every month and you get a shiney new object. It is usually every two years they send you these notices. If you have already purchased a phone from them, they are saying that some time has expired and they will do it all over again. Sometimes you trade in your old phone, sometimes not.
posted by AugustWest at 1:50 PM on May 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also - at least it used to be this way - buying a new phone from them (at full retail price, by the way) renews your 2-year contract instead of letting it go month-to-month, which would allow you to, as poffin boffin said, move to another carrier whenever you like with no penalty fee for breaking your contract. The possible upside of renewing the contract is that they're slightly less likely to increase the monthly plan fee on you willy-nilly for that 2-year period. But even if you choose to stay with them, if you're happy with your current phone and it's still receiving OS updates, there's no reason to buy a new phone from them.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:55 PM on May 14, 2020

do you imagine this as a discount on the new phone they sell you?
This used to be the case but it is not any longer. Phone discounts are often only given if you open a new line (or transfer one from another carrier). I just buy directly from the phone manufacturer now and if the phone company tried to charge me a fee for that, I would complain.
posted by soelo at 6:58 AM on May 15, 2020

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