22 months is too long for upgrades

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| Published: October 12, 2012


It’s cloudy and gloomy around these parts today, so it seemed like a good day to give the ol’ Sprint store a visit to play on the cell phone playground that we all know and love. I toyed around with a lot of different devices, but I kept finding myself back at the Galaxy S III. I have to admit that it’s becoming more tempting than I thought not to use my upgrade on it. It’s bigger than I’d like, but it’s fast and it’s beautiful , and I kind of love it. I’m not saying I’d buy it, but… now seems like an opportune time to check and see that my upgrade is still available.

“July 1 of next year,” Said the friendly retail associate.

“Oh. That's strange. I thought it was sooner. That’s a long time from now.” I replied.

“It’s only a few months…” he said.  This was beginning to sound like a conversation between a parent and a child the day after Christmas about how far away next Christmas is.

“I’m sure you could help me out! Just move it up a few months for me.” I said, batting my eyelashes.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that.” He replied.

“Don’t you want to make an old lady happy?”

“It says here you’re 21.”

“I’m 147 in dog years.” Well, this conversation was turning ridiculous. I knew he couldn’t do anything for me, but I like to keep my conversations interesting. I understand that he was trying to make me feel better about not being able to upgrade by being condescending, but it just wasn’t helping. That’s 261 days before I can get something different, something new!

I told him I thought my upgrade date was sooner. I knew my next upgrade was on September 1st of this year, but he informed me that something about my recent plan change changed my upgrade date as well. I thanked him for his time and left, which gave me some time to think.

My upgrade date being on July 1 puts me at the 22 month mark since I purchase my last “new” phone, which was an EVO 3D, which seems ancient by now. The 3D wasn’t even on the shelf for a year before they pulled it, and I am supposed to wait another year before I’m allowed to get a new phone at a reasonable price. Now obviously, I went ahead and purchased an iPhone before I could officially upgrade. I bought it for $200 from a co-worker who absolutely hated it. It was a lucky purchase for me, because otherwise I would have had to shell out about $700 if I wanted a new one, and not everyone has that kind of money to throw around.

I would cringe sometimes at the phones that would come in and still weren’t available for an upgrade. I’d see some very old, outdated devices that wouldn’t be available for upgrade for months to come. Even when I’d get the right department on the phone, nothing could be done. I’ve always felt that 22 months, and even the new 20 month upgrade date, is just too long with how fast technology advances these days.

I feel that if people were able to upgrade once a year, consumers would feel less “trapped” so to speak. I’m used to having a yearly upgrade, but now that I’ve been pushed to a 22 month mark, I’m starting to understand why customers would get so upset when they learned they weren’t eligible for an upgrade after they’ve been carrying their current phone for over a year. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled this whole time and am upset that things aren’t going my way. But come on! I’m not sure how other carriers work as it’s been a while since I’ve been with T-mobile, and I’ve never been with AT&T or Verizon, but 22 months!

My new plan is to stand in front of the Sprint store with puppy dog eyes, longingly looking into the window at their best phones. Maybe work up a tear or two. Surely somebody will cave.

So how do you feel about your upgrade time frames, whatever they may be? Are they too long? Have you gotten used to it? Give me a shout in the comments!