Big mobile service carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, recently changed certain aspects of their contracts and phone payment plans. If you're unsure whether these contract changes affect you, read on – we'll break down the significant changes to Verizon's contracts that consumers like you need to keep an eye on.
Changes to Verizon Contracts
- Three-Year (36 Month) Contracts
- No Interest Attached
- Including Streaming Options
Three-Year (36 Month) Contracts
By far, the most significant change to phone payment contracts Verizon made was the switch from 24 months standard to 36-month standard contracts. In a nutshell, most new phone purchasers will be locked into 36-month contracts to pay off the prices of their mobile devices rather than 24 months or two years.
This is part of a more significant, industry-wide trend and shifts toward longer EIP or equipment installation plan terms. All this means for Verizon customers is that they'll pay off those phones across three years instead of two when they purchase new phones.
What if you already have a two-year contract from Verizon? If that’s the case, nothing changes. You’ll still pay off the price of your current phone over your original contract term. But going forward, consider this when deciding whether to buy a phone from Verizon or another mobile service carrier.
No Interest Attached
The second significant difference in Verizon's contracts is the elimination of APR or interest rate. Now, whenever you take advantage of Verizon's monthly installment payment program, you can pay off your mobile device like a tablet, smartwatch, smartphone, or something else over the specified term with a 0% APR.
This is excellent news for consumers since they won’t need to pay more than the original purchase price for a new device. Whether this makes up for the longer term and how that changes your analysis of a potential offer.
Including Streaming Options
That’s not all Verizon has changed to switch up its payment plans and to improve over the competition. Now Verizon customers can take advantage of streaming options.
When you sign up for Verizon Unlimited, you can get The Disney Bundle for free. Usually, this is $13.99 per month. Not only do you get Disney+, but you also get the streaming services Hulu and ESPN+.
This flat bonus offer is designed to entice new customers to come to Verizon instead of competing companies like AT&T.
Of course, you can upgrade to The Disney Bundle if you are already a Verizon customer. But the most cost-effective way to take advantage of this deal is to sign up for Verizon Unlimited. It may be a good offer if you are looking for a new mobile service carrier and want to pay for the above streaming services for less than you currently do.
As a side note, Verizon has also adjusted its hotspotdata plans. Be sure to review these changes whether you use an AppleiPhone, a smartwatch, Google Pixel, or any other mobile device, so you aren’t hit with unexpected data charges.
What Happens to Your Old Verizon Contract?
Contract changes and new mobile service upgrades are good, but many mobile users are already Verizon customers. So, if you already have a Verizon contract, how will the changes affect your current arrangement with Verizon?
In short, not very much. If you already have phone service or EIP contract with Verizon, your current terms and conditions will not change until that contract expires. Say that you currently have a 24-month period to pay off your Verizon mobile phone.
You don't now have an extra year to pay off your mobile device. You still have to pay it off over the original 24-month term.
However, if you purchase a new phone or upgrade to a new mobile device, that device’s payment plan will be subject to the new 36 months standard.
This will likely change the internal calculus many people perform when they decide whether to buy a phone from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and other companies. But remember that all the big mobile service providers are now pivoting to the 36-month term standard.
What Is the Verizon Contract Cancellation Policy?
Like most other mobile service providers, Verizon has a contract cancellation policy. If you cancel while under an EIP, you could be charged an early termination fee depending on when you cancel.
The more time passes, the less the cancellation fee will be. If you cancel your Verizon contract, you could pay $350 upfront. This early cancellation fee decreases by $15 per month.
Say that you are ten months into your Verizon phone payment contract. If you decide to cancel your contract before it is up, you’ll pay $200 rather than $350.
On the other hand, you can cancel a Verizon line of service without an early termination fee if you do that within 30 days of initially accepting your contract agreement. So, if you sign a contract with Verizon but want to cancel within the first month, you don’t have to pay the early termination fee above.
You do have to return the equipment purchased from Verizon, of course, and pay for any mobile services or data usage through your date of cancellation.
Where Can You Find Verizon Contracts?
- Verizon Stores
- Electronics Stores
You can find Verizon phone payment contracts at various locations and retailers. Verizon stores are arguably the best places to find new Verizon contracts, discounts, and special deals.
This includes the above-mentioned Disney Bundle, which you can get as a Verizon Unlimited customer. Shopping at a Verizon store also makes upgrading your phone or plan to a new Verizon offering a little easier.
However, electronic stores like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy also offer Verizon contracts for phones, data, or mobile plans. That said, your selection at these locations will likely be a little limited compared to what you can find at a Verizon retail location.
You can also check out Verizon’s online site or pick up a phone payment plan from another online retailer. Just be careful when purchasing a mobile phone online, as several retailers or third-party shippers are scams instead of legitimate operations and companies.
What To Do Next
Bottom line: Verizon recently changed its phone payment contracts to 36 months standard terms instead of 24 months. Verizon is not unique in this regard, as it is part of a broad and industry-wide trend.
This shift probably won't affect you if you already have a Verizon contract. But going forward, you'll need to plan to pay for a new phone from Verizon over three years instead of two years.
This might affect how much you pay per month and whether or not you stick with Verizon or begin looking for another phone manufacturer or provider with Navi.