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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!


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65 Reactions to this post

"Does something need to be done about upgrades?"


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Kyrie Johnson I think 22 mths is way too long for a upgrade. They should cut it to 10-12 mths. I don't understand they could make alot more money .
Ada Clarke It should be between 10 months- one year for an upgrade !!!
abwerle I used to get 10 months cause my dad works for Verizon but they are changing it to 20. I don't know what I'll do.
Ravin Schmidt AT&T moved my upgrade up by about 4 months. I was really happy....considering I just dropped my infuse on accident. But we have 5 lines and so we have different times for upgrades. And my brother and grandma don't ever use them, because they like their flip phones, my mom and my brother and I get their upgrades :)
Tony Abiama I just buy the new phones a while after they come out for cheaper on eBay, once the new newer phones come out, sell the old one to off set the price of the new one. Works out. Been out of contract with Sprint now for months
Jimmy Lamb Yes something must be done. I think some companies put out way to many phone. I think we should be able to upgrade phones once a year. If android did a better job of releasing soft wear updates maybe people would not what to upgrade so much. My phone will never get 4.1 and that makes me wish I could upgrade sooner then 22 months. The phones companies need a overhaul!
August White I would have to say that 22 months a way too long if you have an android phone. With the way companies come out with new android devices, the one you bought becomes outdated in less than 6 months. Apple, on the other hand, comes out with a 'significant' upgrade every two years, so I can see where it would not be needed there.
Roger DeOliveira How about we give you yearly upgrades but your bill is $25 more per month?
Garrett Vincent I did have the ability to upgrade every year on sprint but they got the iPhone and I lost yearly upgrades.
Frank Nitty That's why most of you ppl can keep dreaming bcuz what you see is what you get. 20-22 months upgrades is what it is, or buy the phone full. End of story !
Antoine Everette Yes 22 months is to long to wait for an upgrade if a person doesn't like there phone the carrier you with should let people upgrade when there's something about the phone they don't like I've asked my carrier could upgrade and they say I half to wait until next year I'm like next year shoot around that time they'll be coming out with something new
Nikola Karovic if u buy S3 it isnt
Brandon Watters That'a why I sorta like the philipines you goto X manufacturer buy you phone full price and then go get a prepaid card. You upgrade as you will.
Rustle See I think that if they took the sale price, and chopped it up over three or four months.. people would buy more often. Even at full retail.
Craig Greene If what everybody says is true, upgrading to a new phone each year wouldn't work. The Verizon I work for is out of iPhones and Galaxy SIII's. If everyone could upgrade after a year, all phones would be out of stock, and the guy who just dropped his phone in the water would have no phones to choose from.
Eli Leblanc I'm with Verizon right now and I have never done a 2 year course its way to long I now have year and a half contracts as a reward for being a customer since the start I think that Verizon should give 1 year contracts as my family plan costs about 180 dollars a month not including what we pay for Verizon fios which has terrible support by the way
Jesse Huertas The price of phones make no sense outright. You can buy a tablet, wi-fi only for 199.99 (Nexus 7 for instance) but getting its equivalent in a smaller smartphone form factor would cost 699. Are you trying to tell me that a single HSPA/LTE/CDMA chip costs so much money? I don't think companies like Verizon and ATT like Google's push of selling unlocked handsets. I bought my Galaxy Nexus for $350, no contract or anything and use it wherever, ATT or TMo. Imagine if Google promotes their online retail store more and pushes out more Nexus devices as planned, and they're way more affordable. Customers can buy directly from Google, take it to any prepaid or main carrier and live life good. I never understood why Samsung, HTC and other manufacturers don't sell their devices directly, instead of allowing the wireless industry to sell them. If consumers had other avenues of buying phones directly, the need for contracts would go away. I like TMo's vision, of removing subsidies and spacing out the cost of the phone over the term of the contract. They're on the right path. Contracts and full price sucks
Matthew Munson Or phones should be reasonably priced where we dont need contracts or subsidies. you can pay outright or finance with the credit card company.
Stephen Wagner Yes but they won't do anything cuz all they care about is money
Heather Mayer A new phone comes out every month these days. 22 months is too long to wait for a upgrade. 12 months would be nice.
Daniel McCarthy If I get a phone off contract, carriers should drop their monthly bills by at least half. That voice and data you pay for? That costs a dollar or two at most.
Jason Chandler We should have the option to upgrade every 12 months
Demahj Hook Jus think about it ur payin for a phone on a 2yr contract be4 the 2yr is up u already pay for the phone like 3times!!!!!!!
Dave Morgan I've brought this up several times with AT&T and the answer is always the same: We can't do that because the phones are subsidized. Regardless of whether or not the phones are subsidized, would they really rather give away one phone every 22 months, or sell 3 or 4 at a discount during the same 22 months? For a multi billion dollar international company, it makes no sense that they wouldn't want to make more money.
Robbie Piccione Forget upgrades. How about contracts. Why are they still around when the cellular communications industry will eventually be dominated by the prepaid carriers?
Deborah De Boer OR get Solavei and upgrade whenever you want with a great plan! solavei.com/deborahdeboer $49 unlimited talk text and data and a great new promotion till the end of the month. One Free month and free SIM card if you bring your own phone. Plus the chance to get another month free....then I have $$ to spend on a phone!!
Anthony V Cannata yes once a year phones are coming out to fast make their customers happy because happy customers = more money for them!
Linda Evans these company are making a lot of money of uf us.
Yasir Sohail The way I do it is this. Pay full price for the high end smart phone I want and when something new comes out I sell my phone for atleast around 400 to 500 dollars and add another 200 to 300 dollars and but that new device. Think about it, upgrades now a days for good phones range from 200 to 300 dollars anyways.
Athena Athens Plus what if you lose your phone or it breaks on month 16? Am I expected to fork out $600+ for a new phone? I can't afford that!!!
Joe Czo Once a year should be ok :D
David DiPilla Their is another way to get a phone every year but you need to have a famly plain
Joanna Enrique Ramos Well alot of people trade phones on craigslist or buys and sells phones
David DiPilla I get tired of phones after a year
Brandon Coffey A lot of phones hardly last the entire two years.
Still Dre Dane i want remade 3315
Enis Fazliu or they should let u charge it on ur bill and u pay a lil bit every month if u dont have the moeny for a new phone.
David DiPilla Would still be alot plus not everyone wants to trade their phone in
Alfred Johns IV Sell your old one or trade towards a new one.
David DiPilla They would be making more money if we could buy a new phone at a new 2 year price every year
David DiPilla It's not right
Anthony Evans Jr it should be yearly as much as we pay per month and all
Rawlston Shamik Hmm buy a badass phone on 2yr contract that takes 24 months to pay off phone + tax and the other stuff yeaa or just buy unlocked and skip all the bs :D
David DiPilla No one pays full price for a phone if they were priced at a new 2 year a lot more people would be buying phones
Marc OKelly buy used phones that's what I do
Joanna Enrique Ramos Yeaa kinda it should b every 8 to 12 months instead of 22 months
David DiPilla Paying full price is way to much money pluse they are not worth 100 dollars if you could upgrade every year and they could add an another year to your contract that would be alright
Nain El Fuego Romero Don't sign contract, buy full retail price.
Sean Reece I say yes knock it down to about 18 or 16
Cyndi Rose Yep. It is insane.
David DiPilla Yes we should be able to upgrade every year
Dan Daniel Pay retail sign no contracts and dont worry about upgrades PLUS save on your monthly bill. use unlocked none carrier branded phones get wifi hotspots and full data for a family plan add on price
Chad Cookler If I am willing to lengthen my contract, I should be able to upgrade whenever I want. I would think the phone companies would want to lock me in.
Frank Nitty Just pay full price you broke ass Mofo !
Ian Baylon OR, if you want to upgrade whenever you want, go prepaid and you can change phones whenever you want!
Justin Battle Not really. Don't like your current device? Then switch sim cards and buy an unlocked phone. Its as easy as that.
Jorge Moran If you really want a phone that bad buy it outright or wait, that's it
Tito Cruz nobody cares about iPhone dude. little hardware is added to the next generation it is unworthy of whining about. Android phones on the other hand.... :)
Jake Denning Seriously? People need to quit whining. I bought a iPhone 4s on launch day, and am I steamed about not having a 5? HELL NO, because I know i'll be ready to upgrade in time for the eventual 5s
Nicole Olsen Verizon does 20 months....




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