Right now, we’re all kind of in a frenzy. T-Mobile unveils its “Uncarrier” approach, and people are interested. The lack of contract is good, the phone payment plan is decent, the prices are competitive and make sense, and the only missing piece is that T-Mobile coverage outside of major cities is not that great. This gives a person a lot to consider when deciding if they want to switch carriers or not. Here we have a company that’s willing to break all the rules in order to survive, and it’s a darn good idea in my opinion. In fact, the idea seemed to catch on so well with consumers that Verizon made a statement that they also would be willing to drop contracts as well if customers demand it.

Unfortunately, a decision like that wouldn’t be instantaneous and would require some work even if there was an influx of customer demand to remove contracts. In the meantime, Verizon has apparently seen it fit to extend upgrade dates by four months, making the current 20-month wait change to a 24-month wait.

What? I mean, are you trying to lose customers? If that’s the end goal you’re off to a pretty good start.

Four months doesn’t seem like a long time for a lot of things. Four months means nothing when it comes to age. Four months comes too quickly in regards to that dentist appointment you made to get a root canal. But four months waiting for your next phone upgrade? It takes forever. Mobile years feel like dog years – it’s been four months, but it might as well have been 3 years.

One of my first articles ever published on PhoneDog was my opinion that 22 months is too long for upgrades. At the time, had I not purchased my iPhone from a co-worker, I would have been carrying my EVO 3D. The HTC EVO 3D is something that had a terribly short shelf life, and it would be a phone that I would still be carrying with me today as I’m still waiting for my 22 months to be up. Fortunately Sprint changed its policy so that you can upgrade every 20 months, so if I stick with Sprint my next upgrade time frame will be two months shorter at least. However, that’s beside the point. The point here is that if 22 months is too long for upgrades, 24 months is also too long.

I feel like, for the most part, Verizon just picked a really bad time to do this. As mentioned before, T-Mobile’s new “uncarrier” plans have people wondering if sticking with their current carrier is worth it. People weigh the pros and cons, and tightening the reins on certain perks isn’t going to impress anybody. I don’t know if Verizon is trying to see how much they can get away with, but their “great coverage” argument will only last so long with other networks on a constant growth.

Verizon states that they’re doing this so people have more time to plan for their yearly upgrade. What, 20 months isn’t enough? I understand that it would be easier to remember that once your contract is up it’s also time to upgrade, but that’s the only convenience I see in this move. When a customer upgrades their device before their two-year contract is up they just start over with a new two-year agreement starting from the date they bought their new phone. If a customer is ready to leave the company they don’t take the upgrade and they cancel the lines 4 months later. If Verizon wanted to solve a time problem and make the customers happy they could have shortened the contract to coincide with the upgrade date instead of extending it. In a perfect world…

If you’re going to lock customers in a contract, the least you can do is offer them a little freedom. Like a parent dealing with an angsty teenager, adding more restrictions will only push them away even more. Think about what you’re doing to your teenagers, Verizon. Red is a cool color; but pink, blue, and yellow aren’t looking so bad either. They have other options if they want. Give them reasons to keep using red, not reasons to hate it.

Readers, how do you feel about this upgrade date extension? Does it affect your decision to stay with Verizon or does it not really bother you? Share your opinions with me in the comments!

Image via DigitalTrends

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42 Reactions to this post

"Do you think Verizon is pushing it too far by extending upgrade dates?"

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Alex Garcia
Alex Garcia I'm currently with Verizon and I think this new policy is an excellent idea. It gives me 4 months to plan who my next carrier will be, which will most likely be T-Mobile. After 7+ years, goodbye Verizon. BTW it doesn't help that Verizon wants me to pay $30 per line to upgrade to a new phone. REALLY?
Martin Strutzel
Martin Strutzel yes
Greg Cassella
Greg Cassella Sprint laughing all the way to the bank.
Eric Mitchell
Eric Mitchell While Sprint only advertises 6-8 mbps, posted on their website. That sure says a lot.
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel Come to t-mo.
Camar Green
Camar Green It's not unlimited if you can't even use your service. I used less than 2GB last month with sprint cause I just get frustrated with loading on 3G.... Las Vegas
Michael Hercliff
Michael Hercliff I absolutely love Verizon's service, but they are the most expensive carrier, which bites. Now that they are eliminating early upgrades, it's making it harder and harder to like them.
Mike Bauer
Mike Bauer Brandon, you're an idiot. You are just some mad Verizon sales rep that got his feelings hurt when people started bashing the new policy. And you are either woefully ignorant or just plain stupid.You actually work for a provider and you think that they pay the full price of a device? Just because Verizon says a phone is $650, doesn't mean that his how much they actually pay the manufacturer. They literally buy 100's of thousands of devices (a lot more in some instances). You don't they get any sort of bulk discount? Verizon has been making a heck of profit quarter after quarter. They aren't hurting their bottomline by allowing people to upgrade a few months early. They only two reasons they are doing this because they think they can (without the majority of people caring) and because they are greedy and just want more and more...
Dina Locklear Ball
Dina Locklear Ball Their just gonna push their customers to T-Mobile and virgin mobile
Paul De Lozier
Paul De Lozier Jerimiah Why would verizon force you to loose your unlimited data? If you don't buy a subsidized phone you won't loose your unlimited data. That's what I'm doing? Still got mine.
Mathew Duhamel
Mathew Duhamel I'm not going to upgrade
Jerimiah Reece
Jerimiah Reece This makes me mad honestly. I'm grandfathered into an Unlimited Data plan and on one of the old 20 month upgrades (used to have that nifty New Every Two plan). I'm already facing the reality that Verizon will FORCE me to dump my Unlimited Data to upgrade. Now they'll force me into a 24 month upgrade instead of 20? Not to mention their new plans cost more than my current plan. Pay more, get less and less every time.
Devin Tolliver
Devin Tolliver Dont care. verizon is the best. ill be with them until i absolutely can no longer afford it.
Jerimiah Reece
Jerimiah Reece Aside from price structure I've been happy with Verizon for nearly a decade. Love their service/product, hate their prices/plan options.
Jeremy Carter
Jeremy Carter Come to sprint or go to tmobile. Cant beat unlimited data
Kevin Kaufman
Kevin Kaufman i've been very happy with their service in ohio region
Brandon Worley
Brandon Worley I love all the greed comments. U can tell who works in the industry and who doesn't. If you had any idea the amt of $$ lost out the door on a phone sold on subsidy (that means discounted for the uneducated) you would realize the company is hoping to actually now make a profit on ur phone purchase by delaying ur next precious upgrade. Vzw is not a nonprofit company. Our goal is to make money. If you want to pay full retail ( that's the amt the the carrier pays to the mfg for u uneducated) then do so and buy as many new phones as u want. I long for the day when everything moves to full retail like the European wireless model. And the look on my face when I finally get to tell a customer that their new smart phone is $649, it will be amazing. Quit ur crying. Quit complaining about something as lame as an upgrade get a life find a new hobby
Eric Hook
Eric Hook Yes crazy. No contract and no subsidizing phones is the way to go. Especially with Tmobiles service far better than indicated above, and still increasing.
Bobby Delaney
Bobby Delaney I think this is bad for them IF, and I stress IF, the consumer is smart. The upgrade comes at the same time you can decide to leave them. If the rep or customer service is rude or terrible that day, it could lead them to look into a competitor. The way it was before was perfect for them in that the upgrade came before they could leave Verizon pissed off.
Phil Ofthefuture
Phil Ofthefuture I think maybe youre talking about sprints wimax 4g
Phil Ofthefuture
Phil Ofthefuture Idk what sprint lte you've seen, but the speeds I've seen are just as fast as verizon and at&t lte. And as far as I'm concerned, both at&t and verizon are overcharging, so I'd still pick t mobile over both.
Jeff Jones
Jeff Jones I'm done with Verizon whenever my contract is up and/or whenever they get rid of grandfathered unlimited, whichever comes first. Tired of all the BS they keep pulling. Going pre-paid after that.
Peter Blanco
Peter Blanco As a Verizon employee, YES.
Joe Velasquez
Joe Velasquez I'm just waiting for my last contract to run out on my family plan(yes its multiple contracts because I wouldn't give up my unlimited data), then i'll be switching to sprint. Just wish sprint or T-Mobile had LTE in Lincoln, NE.
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey According to Sprint, their LTE was supposed to be an industry-leader from Day 1. So far, Sprint has—by every metric—the slowest 4G service out of all the major carriers. Even T-Mobile's HSPA+ fake 4G network, is significantly faster than Sprint. AT&Ts 4G LTE is the fastest in the industry, and AT&T just announced they'll be starting the upgrade to LTE Advanced, which will further widen the gap.
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey And flush your money down the toilet with a crap network with the spottiest of spotty service? You'd be leaving on crap company for another.
Jess Harper
Jess Harper I agree Verizon Wireless seems to be doing everything in their power to lose customers. I know I wouldn't have them if it weren't for my parents being the plan owners and I just pay them my portion. It's getting ridiculous.
Phil Ofthefuture
Phil Ofthefuture Once t mobile and sprint have fully built out their lte, verizon is gonna start leaking customers like a broken faucet
Paul Harlan
Paul Harlan 1st world problems...
Denny Mui
Denny Mui They are pushing way too far
Jerry Parker
Jerry Parker This is just another reason not to like verizon
James Choi
James Choi Verizon is just a greedy company that take advantage of their loyal customers. Ripping them off every way they can. Would never use their service.
Rick Harris
Rick Harris Verizon over charges and slams more than any other carrier,got rid of them years ago.
Jeremy Gross
Jeremy Gross bring back unlimted data and were all good (even consider doing data throttle at 5 gigs like t-mobile did would be a huge improvment)
Daniel D. Guice III
Daniel D. Guice III And when T Mobile is moving in the opposite direction, go regional or go Pink!
Randy Walker Sr.
Randy Walker Sr. Anorher reason I like at&t. This and the fact when my wife and I looked at Verizon and at&t, at&t was about 100 dollars less a month for similar plans.
Justin White
Justin White Haha that's really smart seeing as how t-mobile wants to do just the opposite. Glad I jumped that ship when I had the chance!
Marina Elizabeth
Marina Elizabeth Yea, no. Been with Verizon for about 5 years and happy to go away from the tiered plan to an unlimited plan! Tmobile!
K.j. Littlejohn
K.j. Littlejohn Come to T-Mobile USA
Dale Junior
Dale Junior No. You sign a 2 year contract. If you sign a contract and it states so.. nothing wrong with that.
Andrew Dawson
Andrew Dawson Who cares it is Verizon after all, this crap should be expected from a lousy company like them
Codi Carroll
Codi Carroll They're just keeping their customers longer. Not like people move carriers that often anyways. Seems like a pointless move in my opinion.

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