Verizon No Longer Offering Early Upgrades in January

Back in January 2011, Version killed off its New Every Two deal, which provided credit of $30 to $100 towards an already-discounted new phone once the customer completed at least 20 months of a two-year contract. The change conveniently came just days before Verizon revealed its long-awaited version of Apple's iPhone.

Although disappointing to new and existing customers, that change made sense from Verizon's point of view. At the time, a 16 GB iPhone 4 cost $599 without a contract, but only $200 with a two-year contract. Throw in the additional credit when customers upgrade using the New Every Two, and Verizon was losing even more money. The Droid X at the time was $570 without a contract and $200 with a contract after a mail-in rebate. Another $100 credit would have made it a super-cheap deal.

However, now Verizon is getting even tighter with upgrades. Although the company discontinued the New Every Two credit offered at 20 months, the company still allowed customers to upgrade to a new phone after the 20-month period rather than force them to wait until the contract expires. That will change as of January 2014.

"In alignment with the terms of the contract, customers on a two-year agreement will be eligible for an upgrade at 24 months vs. today's early upgrade eligibility at 20 months," the company said. "This change aligns the upgrade date with the contract end date and is consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today. The first customers impacted by this change are customers whose contracts expire in January 2014. As always, customers may purchase a new phone at the full retail price at any time."

Verizon added that customers still holding onto New Every Two credits won't be able to use them after Monday, April 15, 2013. That said, this weekend would be a good time to upgrade if the option is available.

"Customers may continue to share an upgrade with another person on an account if that customer is upgrading to a device within the same equipment category," Verizon added. "Customers can utilize a phone upgrade to purchase a new phone; however, the option to transfer upgrades from non-phone devices (such as a Jetpack or tablet) will no longer be available."

Can you feel that burning sensation around your ankle? That's Verizon's ball and chain getting a firmer grip.

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