Monday, November 15, 2010

When can I upgrade my Verizon Wireless cellphone, how do I get an early upgrade from Verizon Wireless? How much do cell phones cost?

How often can you upgrade your Verizon Wireless cellphone? How do you get an early upgrade from Verizon Wireless? How much do cell phones cost?

Well, this is a pretty easy one; let me start by telling you how buying cellphones works. That Droid cellphone you're looking at has a 'real' retail price in the $500 range. When you sign up as a brand new customer, Verizon will give you a few hundred dollars off the cost in order to get your business, so you pay $200 (or less at Amazon!) Now, Verizon needs to make that $300+ dollars back plus some profit from your monthly plan in order to stay in business and keep providing their great network (contrary to popular belief, even expensive monthly plans don't make a huge profit). This is why Verizon Wireless will charge you an early termination fee (of about $350 on a smartphone for example) if you cancel your account early. They want to get back their subsidy.

They also want you to resign your contract on a regular basis because then they can rely on your future spending as a customer. Thus, they make you wait a certain amount of time between the last time you got a big discount on a phone and the time when you resign your contract and get another big discount on a phone. You're always able to buy a new phone, just not always at the discounted price. (And yes, they really do cost a lot of money. Compare the price of a phone to another piece of consumer electronics like an Ipod Touch! Thats why you should treat your phone as nicely as you treat your Ipod!) 'Upgrade' is also a misnomer; technically they should call it 'Discounted Pricing.'

Long story short, how long do I have to wait to get an upgrade?

Plan Cost                                                    Months
(Tracked per phone, not per account)      (Until you can get another discount on a phone)
9.99-59.98                                                  20
59.99 +                                                       12 (or wait 20 and get an even bigger discount)

A sales associate can also move you update ahead by 7 days in a store.

Hope this helped someone!


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