Not a joke: Verizon just tightened eligibility terms, killing early upgrades

Verizon Sucks

Straight from the ‘what-were-they-thinking’ department comes news that Verizon Wireless, the nation’s leading carrier, Friday updated its upgrade eligibility terms, but unfortunately not for the better.

If you’re on a two-year agreement, you’ll be now eligible for an upgrade at 24 months as opposed to today’s early upgrade eligibility at 20 months.

Remember, this is a carrier that just two years ago eliminated the 12-month upgrade. The first customers impacted by this change are the ones whose contracts expire in January 2014. Verizon cynically states that people are always free to “purchase a new phone at the full retail price at any time.”

Monthly installments, much?

They even had the nerve to argue the change is “consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today”. So, folks are actually eager to commit their soul to Verizon’s long-term agreements with no easy way out? Seriously? Let me guess: if consumers demanded it, the company would eliminate contracts, right? Looks to me Verizon didn’t get the memo. But wait, there’s more…

From Verizon’s media release:

The New Every Two program ended in January of 2011. Verizon Wireless has continued to allow customers to utilize these expired credits. However, as of April 15, these credits will no longer be 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. 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.

Policy tightening, at a time when rival T-Mobile (and UK’s O2, too) is separating phone and wireless plans?

T-Mobile (Uncarrier banner 001)

What were they thinking?

There’s carrier and then there’s Uncarrier.

How do you “like” this new better-for-the-customer Verizon policy?

Feel free to vent your frustration down in the comments.

So, who’s switching to T-Mobile?