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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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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.


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