Print 36 comment(s) - last by Smilin.. on Jan 20 at 1:27 PM

Won't offer long-running incentives in preparation for iPhone 4

Now that Verizon has the upcoming iPhone 4 to tout, along with the next wave of top-tier Android phones and first LTE-enabled 4G devices, the company has done away with a perk that could have helped some customers pay for said devices. Verizon has confirmed (via SmartMoney) that as of Sunday, January 16, its New Every Two and early upgrade policy will no longer be available to new customers.

The New Every Two program offered customers $30 to $100 toward the purchase of a new phone every two years. Current customers will be able to use this discount one more time within 6 months of reaching 20 months into their contracts. New customers will not be offered the perk.

Verizon's early upgrade program -- perhaps even more attractive than New Every Two -- offered “new-customer” pricing on devices 13 months into their contract. Customers will now have to wait a full 20 months before they are offered the upgrade price.

"The longer you can get customers to go between upgrading their phones, the stronger the profitability for the carrier," Michael Hodel, an analyst for Morningstar, told SmartMoney. As evidence, Hodel points to last year's iPhone 4 release, when AT&T allowed many subscribers to upgrade early, sometimes even waiving the $18 fee. This resulted in shrinking profit margins for the carrier. 

Verizon, on the other hand, can count on a number of AT&T iPhone users to jump ship for its CDMA version of the device -- without having to offer much extra incentive.

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And things like this
By joshuasims1981 on 1/18/2011 9:27:53 AM , Rating: 5
Is why I left Verizon and went to Sprint. Much better customer service, plus a real unlimited plan, Verizon can shove it.

RE: And things like this
By Luticus on 1/18/2011 9:34:03 AM , Rating: 3
How's sprint's coverage/signal?... about the only thing that keeps me on verizon is the fact that it's so reliable. Otherwise i completely hate verizons stinking guts... worst carrier ever.

RE: And things like this
By wolrah on 1/18/2011 10:41:55 AM , Rating: 3
Sprint and Verizon have full roaming agreements with each other, so if you have Verizon signal you can use it on a Sprint phone.

Obviously each phone will prefer its native carrier's towers, so if you have a weak but usable Sprint signal it will prefer it over the Verizon tower next door, but for all intents and purposes 2G data and voice coverage is identical between the two.

RE: And things like this
By DanNeely on 1/18/2011 10:45:00 AM , Rating: 2
Does the roaming agreement cover 3g data?

I know 4g is a lost cause due to different platforms.

RE: And things like this
By Chaser on 1/18/2011 2:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
I travel from Coast to Coast to most major cities and some smaller towns as well. I'm pleasantly surprised with Sprint's voice and 3G coverage. 4G is a mixed bag but if you are in the center of a downtown it can be very fast.

RE: And things like this
By DanNeely on 1/18/2011 6:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
According to their map roughly 1/3rd of my area has no 3g coverage; and considering how optimistic the maps are I suspect the reality is much worse. VZW is the only provider with anything approaching full coverage in my area, and even they don't have all the deeper valleys covered.

RE: And things like this
By rudy on 1/18/2011 5:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
You know coverage was like year 2000 talk. Every carrier out there has basically blanketed the US with roaming agreements. Speed, etc... Now days the only one who could break ahead is if someone figured out some crazy way to penetrate buildings and ground much better. Most towns have limited towers and they make all the carriers put up panels on the same tower. Sometimes one carrier or another has more or less ability in a certain spot. But the only really important thing that people neeed is to check who has the best coverage in their home and work. The other factor is price. I could care less if verizon has slightly better signal if it cost me more than I am willing to pay to get data what good is it. I can have everything on another carrier for less . Maybe sometimes I need to walk 10 feet to get a better signal.

RE: And things like this
By Smilin on 1/20/2011 1:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
Not so.

I just switched to AT&T and there are some dead zones near my home. Verizon was fine. They might have agreements with other carriers but doing "roaming" in the suburbs of a major US city in this day and age would be unacceptable.

But.. I'm still happy. Verizon is letting it's success get to it's head and is really treating customers like crap.

AT&T is a stopgap for me. I'll probably check Sprint near the end of my contract.

RE: And things like this
By SanLC504 on 1/18/2011 9:38:06 AM , Rating: 1
And now Sprint is going to charge you an extra $10.00 per month for that "unlimited plan" as soon as you upgrade.

Every carrier has its pros and cons. Some just keep adding more and more cons.

RE: And things like this
By mcnabney on 1/18/2011 9:39:30 AM , Rating: 1
Pretty sure Sprint is only now climbing out of the cellar of terrible customer service. Verizon still leads in all markets. I don't know if it is Sprint improvements or AT&T screw-ups that swapped the two for worst service.

Why anyone would do business with a company that hasn't made a profit for 19 quarters is staggering.

RE: And things like this
By Luticus on 1/18/2011 9:58:23 AM , Rating: 3
because a company that hasn't made a profit for 19 quarters will be "put in it's place" so to speak... perhaps if verizons profits drop off for 19 quarters it'll start treating it's customers better and offering fair, decent deals on its services... one can dream.

RE: And things like this
By ebakke on 1/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: And things like this
By Luticus on 1/18/2011 10:37:59 AM , Rating: 3
oh i've been a verizon customer for about 9 years now and there's most certianly a reason for it. I only give precious few my business. It's simply that i seem to be hearing about verizon sucking more and more every day and using the "network" as a shield to hide behind. it's almost like we're forced to put up with their bs because they have the network and we can't do anything about it. I've been looking at alternatives for a while now and believe me if anyone had anything close to the network verizon has i'd be all over em. supply/demand i suppose.

RE: And things like this
By anandtechrocks on 1/18/2011 10:48:13 AM , Rating: 3
I've been a verizon customer since 2001 and although I've had some issues (unexplainable data charges), I've found verizon customer service to be helpful and friendly. I don't know where they get their bad rep from, and I actually don't think they're over priced. They offer discount pricing because of where I work, and I pay only $135 for 3 smart phone plans for my family. My "new every two" is up soon, and I'm glad they'll let me use it one more time.

RE: And things like this
By Suntan on 1/18/2011 11:09:59 AM , Rating: 3
I agree. I have been a Verizon customer for 7 or 8 years and in the limited amount of time I have been to there stores (mostly to play with a potential phone before getting a new one) they seem to be nice and some of them even knew the products they were selling.

That said, I don’t have any real allegiance to them, I use their service because I get a 20% discount, both my family and my wife’s family predominately use them, and they have really good coverage in the areas I make calls. If another phone company can offer similar, I’d have no issue switching.

I do find it funny that people are calling Verizon out for dropping their NE2 program, yet everybody around here complains in general about carriers subsidizing phones to hook customers. Can’t have it both ways.

Personally, I’m in favor of phone pricing that more closely tracks with their true cost, and letting the carriers service offering dictate the value of their plan. So even though this means some future phone I get might cost more, it fits better with the way I wish it would work.


RE: And things like this
By Luticus on 1/18/2011 1:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
My beef with verizon is not their customer service. For the most part i had good customer service except for one bill dispute which I'm still not happy about, but they did end up meeting me half way and so i have since dropped the issue.

My problem with verizon is that they nickel and dime you to death, making you pay ridiculous rates for data plans per phone, and then wanting you to pay extra to tether and on top of that they get pissed when you actually use it and go over 5gb even though they market the plan as "unlimited". the term "unlimited" seems to have a really loose definition in the corporate world. I understand it's more than just verizon that does these things, it's simply that verizon is the one i happen to be with now and so they are the ones I'm annoyed with. they strike me a greedy fat cats with a creepy evil empire vibe that i don't like. Every move they make these days is doing little to ease these feelings and in most cases only makes them worse. I feel like verizon is becoming the apple of the cellular world that only the elite few can afford to take full advantage of and scraps to the rest.

I don't know, call me crazy... but the fact that $80/month buys you 10gb of data over a slow 3g connection (in most places) is appalling. just because it's mobile... really? I don't know, really I'm pissed off at the entire cellular market... and cable/internet/satellite markets too now that i think about it.

Seriously is there an awesome plan/company out there for nerds who actually want to use the service their paying for without breaking the bank? I don't mean ridiculously cheap either. I don't mind paying $100 - $140 for cellular service (2 smart phones) as long as i get GOOD USEFUL service.

I don't think that's a terribly unreasonable request. I mean... really? Pipe dreams... Pipe dreams...

RE: And things like this
By AlphaVirus on 1/18/2011 11:37:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not a Verizon customer so I can't vouch for the customer service, but I can vouch for pricing.
Minute for minute and byte for byte, Verizon is the most expensive major carrier.

I must add that they do have the BEST network amongst all major carriers. I've tested Tmobile vs ATT vs Verizon all in the same car and drove around, Verizon always came out on top. At the time I didn't have a Sprint device to test but I know they have been improving over the years.

RE: And things like this
By mcnabney on 1/18/2011 3:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T and Verizon have essentially the same prices.

Not sure how you consider one to be cheaper than the other.

RE: And things like this
By Chaser on 1/18/2011 2:32:21 PM , Rating: 2
I was skeptical with Sprint. I don't play favorites with carriers. I've recently used AT&T (iPhone 3G), Verizon (Droid) and now Sprint (samsung Epic). Sprint's service is fine. I see NO differences in both voice and data coverage with their service.

Customer service. Try calling Verizon's number and then Sprint's and see for yourself how quickly you get a human being on the line compared to the other. You might be surprised.

By Luticus on 1/18/2011 9:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
sometimes i really hate verizon. I'd be more understanding if it were only going to change things for new customers but as someone who's been a paying customer for ~8 - 9 years now... quite frankly i'm pissed about this. Other carriers are looking quite attractive right now... never thought i'd say this but sprint actually might be a good bet if verzion keeps this crap up.

RE: ooph
By mcnabney on 1/18/2011 9:46:22 AM , Rating: 2
Mark's description is actually a little on the inaccurate side. He didn't mention the following key facts.

1. New Every 2 only applies to primary lines. Secondary lines could only upgrade after 22 months.
2. Annual upgrades ALSO only apply to primary lines.
3. Eligibility for upgrading in general is being move up to 10 months with a 1 year and 20 months for a two year. So all lines will be able to upgrade a little earlier.
4. New Every 2 hasn't been $100 for many years. I think it is currently $30 for primaries under $80/mo and $50 for primaries over $80.

RE: ooph
By Luticus on 1/18/2011 9:54:45 AM , Rating: 2
i got my last phone about a year and a half ago (I'm up for renewal this summer) and i got $100 off. I don't like that i sign a contract and all the sudden some time into it they change the deal. I signed a contract with them and i can't just randomly decide, ok I'm only paying to $90 instead of the full $100 because my household profit margins will be better that way... they'd be pissed. Well now I'm pissed because i saw the new every 2 as part of the deal i signed up for.

It's like they have chad vader working for them... "I'm changing the deal... the long distance deal." suck it, verizon!

RE: ooph
By ebakke on 1/18/2011 10:12:18 AM , Rating: 3
Well that's the beauty of a wireless service contract. If the provider changes the terms, you're within your rights to say "yeah, I don't think so" and walk away.

RE: ooph
By Luticus on 1/18/2011 10:34:20 AM , Rating: 2
considering it...

RE: ooph
By theapparition on 1/18/2011 11:41:04 AM , Rating: 3
You are completely incorrect.

The terms of you contract are still binding. "If" Verizon changes the terms, you have the option of voiding the rest of the contract. That's why they send you those TOS letters in the mail. Don't like the new terms, call and cancel service with no reprocussions, including early termination fees.

However, in this instance, the NE2 program will continue on the terms of your old contract. Whenever you are eligable for an upgrade, the NE2 will be there, based on the terms that you signed. Only the new contract, if you chose to re-sign with Verizon won't have the NE2 option anymore. In other words, they are doing away with NE2 for new contacts after the specified date.

So you may be unhappy with the change (and I don't blame you), but don't claim that Verizon is changing you contract mid-stream with no recourse, because that is not the case.

RE: ooph
By Luticus on 1/18/2011 12:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
Current customers will be able to use this discount one more time within 6 months of reaching 20 months into their contracts.

I think i may have interpreted this incorrectly to mean that there was a time limit for which you could use your upgrade even if you were an existing customer. the fact that they aren't doing away with this mid-term does make me a bit happier but it does indeed still suck as i really liked the program. I am definitely going to be looking hard come renewal time.

R. Lee Ermey says it best..
By CrazyBernie on 1/18/2011 9:25:15 AM , Rating: 3
... "you jackwagon!"

Seriously. I was just looking at upgrading too... might be time to start shopping around again.

RE: R. Lee Ermey says it best..
By Luticus on 1/18/2011 9:37:54 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon is just a big kid with a magnifying glass and a god complex, and we're all ants running around on fire!

RE: R. Lee Ermey says it best..
By Suntan on 1/18/2011 11:13:52 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, you should look around at all the providers each time your contract is up. Regardless of any news articles you happen to read about them around the time of your upgrade.

It shouldn’t just be a sensationalized news article that makes you look at the possibility of getting a better deal.


Leave the Device selling business
By vcolon on 1/18/2011 10:41:23 AM , Rating: 2
Carriers have it all wrong. If they left the business of selling devices and just sold the service, there wouldn't be anymore of this bitchin and moaning by greedy customers. We should be able to buy the device from the manufacturer and then decide who we're going to get service with.

By darckhart on 1/18/2011 10:48:40 AM , Rating: 2
completely agree. the time for devices available only on specific carriers is over. but the carriers should also be more honest about their service. you can't call it "4G" if it's not! you can't call it "unlimited" if it's not! and what's with trying to sell me a whole separate hotspot service? i don't tell YOU how to use YOUR phone.

Contracts are a viscious cycle...
By Roffles on 1/18/2011 12:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
I've been on new every two for ~8 years. I think I've used it three times. They never let me upgrade on the 13th month until just recently. Go figure. What always irked me is how they charge you full sales tax before applying the discounts/rebates on a contracted phone....then you wait six weeks to get your rebate in the form of a CASH CARD! Why a cash card? So they can take the spare change from your nearly depleted card when you toss it in the garbage. These practices are probably about as pro-corporation and anti-consumer as you can get.

I'm coming to realize that individual (non-family) smart phone contracts, no matter which carrier you are on, are a complete con. I want out. My contract is up in July and instead of jumping carriers, I simply won't sign a new contract. I will choose the most future-proof flagship phone (buy it discounted from a non-Verizon source if possible), take good care of it, and auction it on E-bay after 1 year. I should get enough money from the auction to more than equal what I would have payed out on a discounted phone. But now I'm on the new every one plan. Suck it Verizon.

By DanNeely on 1/18/2011 1:08:49 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just that. If you don't call the bank that issued the card and jump through a zillion hoops if the number gets cloned/stolen/etc the overdraft protection will let the thieves run up a massive bill; and because the bank (intentionally?) doesn't have direct contact information for you and getting it from the rebate issuer is insanely slow you won't find out about it until the dispute period is over. Leaving you the choice of paying for the thieves shopping spree or having your credit score junked and bill collectors harassing you for years. Enough suckers pay up that the banks make good money on it.

Off topic
By The Raven on 1/18/2011 10:26:43 AM , Rating: 2
I know this is off topic, but I have to just say that I hate the way these companies push new phones. It is practically a vertical monopoly where they sell the phone and the service. I know this was a necessity in the early days of cellular tech, but I think we can take the training wheels off now.

Though it technically is not a vertical monopoly since the manufacturers of the phones sell to all service providers (except Apple).

I don't think any law is needed, but I wish people would wake up and smell what they are cooking. They are getting you to buy a new phone (without a real discount because you are locked into a contract). So why upgrade (for the average user)? They make it look like a good idea but in reality they are probably passing on the interest to us in the form of out monthly bills.

I'm just rambling a bit, but I just don't see why we need the service providers to push phones to us. I have yet to get a new phone because of this. And not to make anyone else feel guilty, but FOR ME a new phone is just one more piece of ewaste that I don't need.

Am I right? Or am I crazy? I don't know all the ins and outs of the cell phone industry so I wouldn't doubt that I am off target here.

By btc909 on 1/18/2011 3:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon is the Bank of America (BofA) of the cellphone carriers but they have the best coverage. Well the new every two change pisses me off. So I have to do something within 6 months. I'm wating for a 4G/LTE Android based phone on Verizon.

T-Mobile is now the best!
By mavricxx on 1/19/2011 12:54:19 AM , Rating: 2
If you do the math, T-Mobile is now the best. Not only were they ranked #1 for having the best customer service but they also have the LARGEST and FASTEST 3.5G/4G (whatever you wanna call it) in the nation. They have publicly announced that they will NOT charge extra for 3.5/4G. Also, due to the fact that their phones are GSM you can unlock them and use them overseas if you need to. Lastly, you can talk and use data at the same time which you can't in CDMA (sprint/verizon) and did I mention they're the cheapest of the 4 major carriers. This equals to T-Mo is the best carrier in the nation now!

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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