Verizon makes changes to upgrade eligibility dates and return policies

It appears Verizon is making some interesting changes to their upgrade and return policies and while that doesn't effect iPhone owners now, it will effect those hoping to get on the Verizon iPhone bandwagon soon. As it sits now, a lot of customers are eligible to upgrade between months 13-20 on their contracts. How often you're allowed to upgrade typically depends on a number of factors including bill payment history, monthly bill amount, etc.. If the Verizon training slide from above is correct, customers won't be able to upgrade until month 20 of their contract. Ouch. So if you're thinking of sticking with Big Red, you'd better make sure you pick a phone you're going to be happy with.

Verizon also appears to be planning to shrink the return window to 14 days (it's currently set at 30 days). If sources are correct, this will go into affect as of January 16th. Verizon recently announced a press event scheduled for January 11th that could potentially be iPhone related (hey, they're rumors until Steve Jobs says they're not). Any readers think this has anything to do with preventing a surge of existing customers trying to return phones or upgrade early to obtain a shiny new Verizon iPhone?

Android Central

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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There are 43 comments. Add yours.

Frank says:

No, because any customer that purchased a phone before they make this effective is grandfathered in to the old policy. This is verizon just being themselves and continuing to try and find ways to screw their customers.

Vince says:

I agree with Frank in that previous customers will be grandfathered. Further I would guess that anyone who's contract is up in 2010 will be eligible for upgrade similar to AT&T did for iphone 4. Also verizon did similar moves for select customers when the original droid came to Verizon.

FLskydiver says:

Where does it say anything about the grandfathering (or not) of current contracts? Is it known that this does NOT apply to current contracts? Usually getting a new phone mid-contract is subject to the terms of the NEW contract, not the previous one.

Frank says:

Current verizon customers signed a contract with this policy not in it they cant change it out of the blue because they feel like it. Just like at&t couldn't take away current customers unlimited data.

peteostro says:

Several states have laws on the book requiring retailers to accept the return of any working product 30 days after purchase. This would violate these laws and therefore verizion would have to take back phones for 30 days.

bathompso says:

"Current verizon customers signed a contract with this policy not in it they cant change it out of the blue because they feel like it."
WRONG. Nobody ever reads the fine print, but I'm sure there's something in there that says: "Verizon can change the terms of this at any time" or something like that. They're big business, they don't have to be nice to customers. AT&T grandfathered in unlimited data, but I'm sure that was to appease iPhone users, who they wanted to sign into long-term contracts again. Verizon doesn't have that problem and therefore is not required to grandfather anything.

chris says:

it only takes effect once you sign a new contract after the 16th so if you upgraded before then you still have the yearly upgrade until you sign a new contract then you are stuck with this upgrade policy

Frank says:

@Ben customers who buy phones leave with a verizon rep saying you have 30 days to use and exchange the phone not you have 30 days if you feel like it. Watch it will only effect customers who sign after a certain date. BUT verizon is the worst company on earth so I wouldn't put it past them to screw their already existing customers.

Benjo says:

I'm ok with this. I've been a very patient man these past few years with my junky blackberry. Not only am I grandfathered in, but I'll be there grabbing an iphone day one.
As a Verizon customer of 8 years, I'm ok with their policies because they provide consistent and reliable service.

Jaimex99 says:

The words affect and effect are used incorrectly in this article.
The effect of this may affect lots of people.

Jim Washok says:

Interesting tactic since AT&T allows iPhone customers, at least those spending enough, to upgrade every year the next model comes out.
I think this may have to do with the Verizon iPhone coming avail on 2/3 will be a current gen 4 model and Apple may very well have their keynote within 30 days following to announce iPhone 5, which VZW may or may not get, and VZW doesn't want people returning their just purchased iPhone 4 so quickly. Both VZW and ATT would likely get iPhone 6 at same time...approx 20 months from 2/3. All in the timing IMO. Oh, and yes, VZW will screw its customers faster and harder than any of them, which is why I'm sticking with ATT. Just my thoughts.

tlo07 says:

Obviously VZW doesn't want to subsidize a new iPhone for their customers every 13 months. I'm guessing you will be able to upgrade in your 13th month on you current contract but as soon as you upgrade you are put on the 20 month deal.

Ricardo says:

Maybe apple and verizon have come to terms with an upgrade just like ATT did. We all know the Droid does more, but seriously it doesn't hold a candle to the popularity of an iPhone. I use iPhone, my family have Droid devices one of those Droid devices is on ATT and they all look at my iPhone 3G longingly. I for one will be sticking to my ATT. They have been good to me no problems.
I still won't believe these rumors until it happens I don't want another letdown like the world shattering Beatles Announcment. If this does happen it won't be long for a "sprint or TMo Rumor" it won't end until every single carrier has this device. It's annoying to see but will expect a new Droid device out of CES :p

Tony Allen says:

Odd, I wasn't aware that AT&T had any DROID devices.. since they're only available on Verizon. Now you may have Android devices on your AT&T.
I can't see this as any other reason than Verizon not wanting to subsidize new iPhones every year for people who have to have the newest iPhone annually. This being said, I'm sure there will still be some way of obtaining a new phone at a discount annually. If there is one thing that Verizon does well, its customer service, and if you're not happy, they generally go out of their way to fix the problem.

Tony Allen says:

To add to that.. in a lot of states there is a law that mandates a minimum of 30 days to return merchandise of any kind, from any company. So the 14 day return policy will likely see a demise in a lot of states, California being one I know of for sure.

grvs says:

Nextel before merging with Sprint had a 14 day return. It changed to 30 days when the merge happened with Sprint......I used to be Nextel customer.

Chenzo5151 says:

Soooo happy I never stayed with vzw, my wife and I can upgrade every year when the new phone comes out and even my other 2 non iPhone lines can get a full upgrade after 18 mo. Service in Pitt is as good as vzw and long live my 10,500+ rollover min when I only buy 1400 a month. Oh yeh my wife uses aprox 4000+ min a month usually on a-list. Can't complain since leaving big red three years ago to get the greatest phone ever. Sorry to those of you that waited to be possibly disappointed

9thWonder says:

but if the iphone comes out every 12 months nobody that buys at launch will be able to buy the next one immediately. seems dumb. it then a year later you're existing customers won't buy the new version, except the crazy people with money to burn that fork over the full price.
seems like a good way to make less money. definitely makes me think more about moving to verizon.

Poof says:

Glad to see you guys just NOW picking up this story...considering your "good friends" at android central had it days ago. As a matter of fact as soon as took this training, I headed on over to Android Central, like I always do on slow days at work, and, to my surprise, saw the training I had literally JUST taken as the top story. I'm so sorry you are all so far behind. :( I mean, considering you all have iPhones and such.

LazyStarGazer says:

Are you sure your S/N isn't 'Goof'?
Thanks for the insightful post.
Have a nice day.

Poof says:

Im positive its Poof not 'Goof'. Im sorry to hear your kindergarten teacher never taught you the difference between P's and G's.
ANYWAY, I was just saying this story is at least 4 days old. Its really sad TiPb just NOW picked it up. I dont know if you know anything about the media, but late reporting...isnt exactly a 'money-maker'. This is old news. I mean go to Android Central. its on page 8. But that doesnt mean anything to your 'Lazy' butt now does it? Lol. :) And I believe I should be wishing YOU the good day. :D

pcdsim says:

One day does not mean a couple of days. One day is not plural. Who gives a flying f**k if Android Central scooped TIPB on Verizon's change in policies, probably the same people calling out "first". Android Central just posted the Matias Duarte's Engadget interview, which was already "scooped" by Engadget yesterday (or is that a couple of days to you?). I'm sorry you Droitards are so far behind considering you all have Androids and such.

Poof says:

When did I ever say ONE day? I said FOUR. Learn. to. read. OH, wait you cant. Thats why you have the iPhone. LOLOLOLOL :D Psshh...dont respond if you arent going to read what im actually saying.
Look again. It says 4. :) So, uhmmm, whos the tard here???

pcdsim says:

That's the problem, you didn't say one. The Android Central story was posted yesterday (which is one, not 4 days ago). Yesterday is one day ago, not 4 days ago Droitard.

Stephanie says:

actually an almost identically story to this was posted January 4th. Look on page 8 on Android Central. That would be four days ago, like Poof said. YOU are the tard.

Poof says:

The story you are refering to, pcdsim, is Verizon changing their RETURN policy. Not the UPGRADE policy. They reported THAT change Jan. 4th. Like I said before. FOUR days ago. You are SOOO behind the times. Your iPhone just proves that to me even more ;)

pcdsim says:

Fair game then, I concede.

Jeff says:

The Verizon announcment didn't go out until early evening on the 7th and an hour or two passed before WSJ "confirmed" it was the iPhone announcment. With Verizon not offering and iPhones, why would TiPb post this before today? This wasn't news to the Apple community until late last night (after the announcment). At most, they were half a day late. As busy as CES week is for everyone, can't we give them that one?

roslyn says:

poof, what do you mean you people!

dave says:

its not a suprise to see this happening, vodafone (who won 49% of vzw if i remember rightly) have very similar contracts to this, for example here in the uk its 3 months before the end of your 18/24 month plan that you can upgrade. no earlier. and recently they changed from 14 to 7 day return times. thats why ya need to be sure its the phone for you for 2 years, which i guess is good with the iphone as on that basis youll only ever havecurrentandlast yearsmodel. whereas android phones therell prob be 50,000 out between signing and upgrades lol

dave says:

sorry meant to say own. and dunno whats up with the random text formatting at the end

LazyStarGazer says:

Poof:
Why would I go to android central or any other android site?
Seems like a waste of time, seeing as I don't own an android device.
I guess if I had nothing better to do with my time, I could go to discussion forums for devices I don't own.
Maybe insult the people there to get a false, temporary feeling of superiority. A band-aid for a damaged ego?
I choose not to waste my life like that.

Poof says:

Personally, I dont own an iPhone. No. But my husband does, so if you think I come here knowing nothing about this device, youre wrong. Its really sad that people cannot stand to have their views and other personal choices challenged. Getting challenged is healthy. I have mine challenged all the time. Does that change my mind? No. But it gives me more reason to find within myself WHY I made these choices, no matter how big or small the choice was. The subject we are talking here is not whether abortion should be legal or not, or whether Obama is a good president or not, its simply Android vs iPhone. Why do people continue to say that Android is behind, when the iPhone and iOS was created before it? Obviously, Android would not be thriving if it was not comparable to the iPhone. And with Androids rising numbers, it seems to me that Android is speaking for its self. Whether you decide to listen or not...we'll thats your choice if you cant open your eyes to what is happening.
anyways, as to your stab saying I have a "damaged" ego...no, I dont. Not really. Yes I LOVE to poke fun at people, and shine light on their obviously flawed argument, but really, thats the BEAUTY of the internet. I dont NEED to be a Jobite to have access to this site. You dont NEED to be technologically advanced to access Android Central. :D so you see, you can tell me that I dont belong here allllllll you want, but, noone can tell me where I can leave my opinions and where I cant. And I really dont care if you think I have a damaged ego, and need assurance by "insulting people to get a false sense of superiority" LOL. All I care about is making my voice heard, and adding some spice to this otherwise monotonous site. How much fun can you have talking to people who only share YOUR views? Agreeing in unison like little clones is only fun for so long. :)

Jack says:

Wow. Talk about a €unt.

Poof says:

look on page 8. Jobite. On android central. Posted January 4th. thats uhmm, lets see one, two, three, oh look at that FOUR days ago :D I love how idiotic you just made yourself look :D

Poof says:

UPDATE: Its actually page NINE (9) now...THATS how long ago it was ;)

Jeff says:

The Verizon announcment didn’t go out until early evening on the 7th and an hour or two passed before WSJ “confirmed” it was the iPhone announcment. With Verizon not offering and iPhones, why would TiPb post this before today? This wasn’t news to the Apple community until late last night (after the announcment). At most, they were half a day late. As busy as CES week is for everyone, can’t we give them that one?

Poof says:

I see your point, but these changes should have pointed even more to the fact that Verizon was getting the iPhone. They are reporting something thats been out for days, and could very possibly mean a CDMA iPhone. I dont know about you, but I think VZW getting it is a big deal, and, since I work for VZW as a sales rep, not in a good way. Apples going to lock down the price in our system (no more playing with numbers to get more accessories or insurance), selling the iPhone to a customer will be very undesirable, considering the whole deals Gross Profit (on a two-year contract, with the $30 data and lets say an upgrade on a $90 price plan) might be...ohhhh, anywhere from $20 GP to maybe $100 GP, and the latter is really pushing it. You are probably not aware, but a VZW reps recommended GP per sale should be at least $200. VZW getting the iPhone is really a disappointment for me. That phone wont be a money maker phone for the reps, and considering everyone is gunna want one...February is going to be a crappy month GP-wise. SO...People PLEASE. If you do get the Verizon iPhone, help out your rep thats helping you (and sucking up their loss) and get AT LEAST three accessories and, if possible, insurance. I recommend that anyway. You dont wanna drop $600+ on a new phone...especially since VZW is taking away annual upgrades and New Every Two's. This is a huge deal, and many reps are worried about it. It can either make or break our commissions. BTW, wanna avoid the crazy wait in Corporate Verizon Stores, since it seems like nearly ALL corporate stores are ALWAYS CRAZY busy? Come to an indirect VZW store such as GoWireless. Not only are we less busy (thus no two hour wait), but we are also wayyy better at customer service and answering all your questions than a rep at a corporate store, who is just trying to blow through as many sales as possible within his or her shift. I cant fight the iPhone coming to us, its going to happen. But, I can let consumers be aware of how MUCH it could potentially screw the ones at the bottom of VZW's totem pole. :( Call my opinion biased, since I have an Android and work for Verizon, but I. Dont. Want. The. iPhone. Not just personally, but I dont want Verizon to get it either. Call me selfish, but I dont want MY paycheck affected. Ive got bills to pay and a baby on the way that I have to prepare for. And did anyone stop and think about what EXACTLY is going to happen to our network the day it launches??? Oh, Lord, I better pray I wont need to make an emergency phone call!

Macboy15 says:

This is just the beginning of the verizon iPhone and the new verizon. Lot more bs to come.

alf says:

I think the article has a typo. It should be "affect" not "effect" :)
Anyways, I think I read about this a week ago I believe. I can't understand why Verizon would do this to their customers. How come Sprint (smaller company) can do it yet they stop doing it?

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