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AT&T Mimics Verizon, Pushes Upgrades to 24 Months

Article Comments  29  

Jun 9, 2013, 4:50 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

AT&T today announced a change to its device upgrade policy, extending the amount of time between when customers are eligible for discounted devices. As it stands today, customers become eligible for discounted pricing after fulfilling 20 months of their 24-month contract. Beginning today, any new customer signing a new contract will have to wait 24 months instead of 20 to receive discounted device pricing. AT&T says the policy change "aligns" its contract and discount terms. The change applies to existing customers whose agreements expires in March 2014 or later. According to AT&T, customers can pay full price for a new device at any time, as well as use any unlocked GSM device they might own. AT&T also said that customers can trade in old devices for cash or credit when purchasing new equipment. Verizon Wireless made a similar change to its upgrade policy earlier this year.

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Jun 17, 2013, 2:23 PM

This 24 months thing could backfire...

VZ and ATT moving customers' upgrade date to match the
contract end date could very well backfire. In the past, many folks would get a new phone and sign a new contract at 20 months. It was easy to convince them to, because they still had 4 months of contract left and they needed a new phone. It was almost a "reward" for loyal customers. Now, with the 24 month plan when you're finally eligible to get a new phone, the option to walk with no ETF is on the table too.

Personally, I think T-Mobile's business model is fairest. You pay full price for your phone, with payments as part of your bill. When it's paid off, you only pay for your service.

I think when my Verizon contract is up, I might go to T-Mobile for a smartphone because the ...

Jun 10, 2013, 9:26 PM

What consumers don't think about!

Ok yes companies like Verizon and AT&T are very greedy and consumer unfriendly with their policies. Especially taking away the ability to get reduced pricing prior to the 2 years. Now we all get angry at these companies for doing so. But us consumers never see things through their eyes. How many times are three people you know and the many thousand clients here on phonescoop talk about the many phones they buy in a short period of time. You have no idea how many times I hear about people saying in the last year I owned the IPhone 5, the latest Blackberry, the Samsung Galaxy III and now had to have the 4. Now is there really a need to own all these phones. These kinds of things happened when the discount pricing was a much looser pract...
Well......I don't know that most people who go through a lot of phones get them at a discount...some people (myself included) just like buying phones...

But as far as buying phones and then selling them on EBay....well..after I bought it, it's my p...
Rusty Shackleford

Jun 11, 2013, 1:27 AM

Arguments against for people who are not 12

I think this is a bad idea, but I am not going to come at it from the attitude that I am an entitled 12 year old and Verizon and AT&T better gimme that infrastructure they spent billions upon otherwise I will stop my feet and call them "greedy" for "forcing" me to buy their services. Why? I am an adult. So for all the grown ups out there:

1) Matching your upgrade date and contract terminate dates eliminates loyalty and makes it easier for customers to leave. If my upgrade eligibility comes first then I am still punished for leaving due to my ETF, and I am tempted by newer phones to begin a new 2 year contract. Make the dates the same and there is no reason at all to remain with the carrier when the upgrade date hits.

2) Although ...
Rusty, I'm going to agree with your 3 points that you made. However, I disagree with you saying people should grow up and actually buy their phones when they buy them. Because if I buy my phone at retail price then I'm still paying for that subsidy ...

Jun 9, 2013, 6:22 PM

Consumer Unfriendly

It's so infuriating how unfriendly Verizon and AT&T are becoming to consumers. It seems like every time you turn around, they're both doing something that negatively impacts their consumers. Their plan prices are RIDICULOUSLY high, they no longer offer early upgrades, they continually add additional taxes and fees to increase their profits, and they force customers into their "newer" rate plans that often don't offer any benefits.

I'm really ashamed to be a Verizon customer, but given the fact that they cover everywhere that I go the best, its hard to even think about switching to the little guys.
at&t does indeed offer early upgrades.....I upgraded in July 2012 to a Blackberry 7 device.....and then I upgraded again just two days ago to a Blackberry Z 10...they called it an 'early upgrade' because I was only 10 months into a 24 month contract, ...

Jun 9, 2013, 5:26 PM

Monkey see, Monkey do

If Verizon or AT&T do something that makes them more profitable (or just less consumer friendly in general) the other follows.

I really wish Sprint and T-mobile could get some more subscribers, wider coverage, and faster network speeds (I'm looking at you Sprint and your 3G network), so that either I can finally switch to one of them (I'm in an AT&T only area which sucks because when **** like this happens I can't switch) or AT&T and Verizon have to start lower prices, give us our unlimited data back and let us upgrade in 18 months again.
I really do hate ATT for how they always copy everything Verizon does, good or bad (usually bad)

And while I do not have any evidence, many times, I honestly wonder if ATT and Verizon are engaged into attempted price fixing, because of how they alw...

Jun 10, 2013, 8:16 AM

Not everyone will be put at 24 months

NOTE: Accounts with upgrade eligibility between now and October will be grandfathered. Accounts with eligibility in November and beyond will be impacted.

Jun 9, 2013, 5:52 PM



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