Re-think Your Phone Upgrade

I’ve been eligible for an upgrade for a few months now, but there’s something that’s held me back. For starters my phone has been working fine (until recently), so I couldn’t justify the purchase of a new one. On top of that if I upgrade I’m forced into a new contract which means I will lose my Unlimited Data option. If you’re anything like me, that’s kind of a kick in the head. I use a lot of data for work, and I really don’t want to resort to counting kilobytes. Fortunately, there’s a way around it.

Verizon’s current offerings are something like this –btw, I’m ignoring Talk and Text options to keep things simple here:

  • 2 GB/month for $30
  • 5 GB/month for $50
  • 10 GB/month for $80
  • Unlimited data for $29.99 (no longer offered)

At some point Verizon will change their plans and prices making the above info completely useless, however, the principles below will still apply.

All upgrades lock you in to a 2-year contract. The advantage is that you get the phone for much cheaper by signing up. Typically a new smart phone costs about $600, but they will offer it for, say, $200 if you sign up for two years of over payments –I mean, a contract. Here’s how the prices break down for a new phone today.

$650 for the phone w/out contract
$30 per month unlimited Data (only applies to customers who already have this plan)
$1,370 Two year total

$300 for the phone w/ 2-year contract
$50 per month for 5GB Data
$1,500 Two year total

$300 for the phone w/ 2-year contract
$80 per month for 10GB Data
$2,220 Two year total

In other words it’s $850 cheaper for me to buy a new phone at full price than it is to get the “discount” and pay for usage (over the next 24 months). Plus I have the peace of mind knowing I never have to worry about overage charges.

So if you find yourself in the same situation as me rest assured you don’t have to be the sucker consumer. Try buying a new phone and simply having the number switched over. Your wallet will thank you.