U.S. carrier Verizon has announced some changes to its device upgrade policies, increasing device upgrade periods from 20 months to 24 months. The changes don’t appear to fit well with users so far, but a newly-leaked photo has surfaced that could make things just a bit better.
According to details obtained by Droid Life, Verizon is introducing an option which will allow customers to purchase a phone or tablet before they’re actually eligible for an upgrade, spreading out the full retail cost of the hardware over a 12-month period. Customers who want to get a new phone before their contract is up (or, presumably, anytime) will be able to do so without paying the full device cost up front. For this, Verizon will let consumers sign up for a “Device Payment Plan” that will break up the full retail price into monthly payments over the course of a year. Here’s the relevant text from the announcement:
Upgrade eligibility begins at the end of 24-month contract. The change allows customers to plan on a single upgrade date for each of their connected devices and is in keeping with how the majority of customers purchase their new phones today. The first customers impacted by this change are customers whose contracts expire in January 2014. Customers may purchase a new phone at the full retail price at any time prior to the end of their contract.
Verizon will officially start this Device Payment Plan on April 21.