Verizon nixes the one-year contract option from April 17th

Verizon nixes the one-year contract option from April 17th
Big Red will no longer have the option to fall into its warm embrace for just a year. The only contracts you can sign will be for two years length, effective April 17th. Here's the memo sent to Verizon's stores nationwide:

"From: Verizon Wireless

Date: April 6, 2011

Subject: 1-Year Contract Elimination

Effective April 17, 2011, Verizon Wireless will further simplify the VZW service experience by removing the one year customer agreement (CA) option for most customers.

This means VZW will no longer offer one-year CAs to consumers, including those who are “employee liable end users” (ELEU), any business customers without an ECPD profile and the “grandfathered” Alltel Lifetime customers.

For those agents/retailers whoa re authorized to support business customers with an ECPD profile, VZW will continue to provide the one-year CA for those types of customers, based on their negotiated agreements.

This policy change applies to all transactions, plan types, and device types. Customers should continue to be informed of all VZW service options available to them, such as Prepay, Month to Month, and 2 year CAs.

Thank you for your support with this change. Training to support the available will be available."

Granted, most people prefer their high-end smartphones in the $200 ballpark, so they sign up for two-year contracts anyway, but given how quickly phones depreciate these days, except for the iPhone, even one year contract seems long. Moreover, Verizon already changed the terms of the New Every Two program earlier this year.

According to Big Red these moves aim to simplify life for consumers, but when has cutting down on choices been a good thing, and not only in the cell phone plans universe. All current yearly contracts will be valid until expiration, and will have to be renewed for two years afterwards. The new contract policy, however, affects only individual users - National, Federal, Goverment, Major and Small Business Accounts will still be able to choose a one-year contract agreement.

Thanks for the tip!

via SmartPhoneNation & GadgetU



1. hawk62

Posts: 320; Member since: Nov 21, 2009

Good job vz. Get rid of the only good thing you had going.

21. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

I paid $99 for each Thunderbolt I bought and my ETF is $250. I paid less for with a contract price and option to cancell early than me paying full retail for the phone. You just have to know how to work the system. Threaten to leave to the right customer service rep and they will definitely work with you. Happy Friday Everyone !!!!!

30. yodaynp

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 08, 2011

You paid 99.00 for each of the Thunderbolts and your ETF was 250.00. Tell the truth, why would Verizon lower the cost of the phone from 249.99 for a 2 year contract then decide to negotiate a early termination fee from 350.00 to 250.00 just because you threatened to leave.? Are you the sole person keeping Verizon afloat? Really try to explain that because what you said is not true. Now perhaps if you purchased the phone from an authorized agent..the cost could be accurate but not the ETF.

39. ChrisTheTechGuy

Posts: 85; Member since: Nov 04, 2010

agreed. they aren't going to adjust an ETF. personally I can tell they don't know whats up between the ETF and device price because his post doesn't make much sense. ETF on devices is non-negotiable first off. and even if this person had a grandfathered in new every 2, the most he could have taken off each device was 100, leaving the phone price at 150 after rebates. And I can tell you this, threatening to leave when wanting an upgrade, in my experience, will get you either a loyalty plan with fewer minutes, some sort of courtesy credit (that would not equal out to what this poster said). I can tell you, we as reps in the cell industry as a whole are not push overs and "threatening us to leave" usually has an adverse effect. Sure we'll try to keep you, but at a certain point your yelling and complaining goes through one ear and out the other, and at that point, you can become another carriers problem in 2 years when your contract is up there :)

32. kocho unregistered

I just upgraded my phone that was 2 years old. When I bought my Windows Mobile 6.5 phone back then, Android phones weren't even out yet, and the iPhone was novel. A lot can change in 2 years. Thus, the attractiveness (for consumers) of the 1 year contract. So Verizon, can you tell me how is this will lead to "reducing customer confusion and questions"?

38. ChrisTheTechGuy

Posts: 85; Member since: Nov 04, 2010

they still offer CPO, which in turn is a phone that someone had for less than 14 days and decided they didnt like, NOT manufactures defects. you have the ability to get one of these devices every 12 months. this is usually cheaper than 1 year contract pricing was on these phones as well. they have everything from feature phones to android phones to netbooks. so sign a 2 year agreement, in a year if you don't like the phone, get a certified pre owned that someone just decided to return within 14 days because they didnt like it....and you can still have a new phone every 12 months without a contract extension....

2. Phullofphil

Posts: 1762; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

that and upgrade every year went away is realy making me consider another carrier. and i really like verizon

3. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

They are doing everything they possibly can to lock you in with their claws and make sure you don't go anywhere. This is getting ridiculous. I have verizon and probably always will, but I hope to god Sprint steps its game up and gives verizon some serious competition so they will lighten up on their customers....

7. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

How are you getting "locked in" exactly? Aren't all the terms and the conditions disclosed to you before you sign up...then it becomes your choice from that point? Also no contract is always an option but let me don't like the idea of paying full retail for a phone. You could even buy a Verizon phone from ebay & activate it no contract. People have been fine paying $200 for the latest smartphone on a 2 year agreement but now that 1 year contracts are going away (probably b/c the demographic of those who actually take advantage of 1 year contracts are pretty low) everyone is pro-1 year contract now. Verizon could offer free service for a year plus any smartphone & tablet you want for free and I guarantee there will be some dirt bag complaining about it. Moral of the story, people just love to bitch & moan.

10. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

It's funny because not one comment you made about me is even close to true. I have bought the Droid pro, Droid 2, BB Tour, BB Pearl Flip, and other older non-smart phones a few years ago all for full retail (Yes, around 450 - 500 a pop). So what my contract is really doesn't matter because I can buy a new phone full retail phone if I really want it. I was just trying to show the point that some people like to save money and move to the carrier that has the cheapest plan for them, but if you lock into a 2 year contract instead of a 1 year, then you lose this flexability. Moral of the story, morons like yourself have no clue what they are talking about...

23. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

Well...I was just responding to the points that you made & posing some questions. If the shoe doesn't fit...then why get offended? Also if you are such a full retail guy...then why is it even ridiculous to you that 1 year contracts are going away? This doesn't affect how you do things at all so I'm a little confused. Maybe you just posted what you posted just to be argumentative, that would make more sense but we have someone here who has an issue with a company changing a policy that they don't even use anyway? The same concept of purchasing a phone at full retail can apply to paying early to terminate. So a customer is still not stuck. That doesn't make much the moron comment...try again. Why you gotta be so hostile? Keep it classy killa...

17. biggles

Posts: 269; Member since: Oct 15, 2009

"but now that 1 year contracts are going away (probably b/c the demographic of those who actually take advantage of 1 year contracts are pretty low) everyone is pro-1 year contract now." WRONG. Don't be so naive. This is a business move, pure and simple. Right now you pay about a 35% premium on a phone when opting for a one year contract, but Verizon makes half as much guaranteed income on the data plan compared to a 2 year contract before they potentially need to front another subsidy to you. The pace of technology change has picked up drastically and because more folks are considering the 1 year contract, Verizon's revenue could take a big hit. I, for one, have always been a two year person but was pretty much dead set on going with one year contracts for the next few years based on the marginal additional cost and the benefit of receiving a new subsidy after 10 months. And because many others are probably in the same boat, that would be why Verizon is killing it.

24. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

I guarantee you sir that the number of customers that continue to renew 2 year contracts vastly dwarfs those that do no contract/1 year contract customers. Thats hats keeps the business running &'s the meat & potatoes of a wireless carrier. You think a top carrier can thrive off of 1 year contracts & still be leading? Because you & you circle (possibly) are leaning more towards 1 year contracts doesn't mean the rest of the other 90 million+ feel the same way...

34. giantgnome

Posts: 67; Member since: Feb 11, 2011

You can't guarantee crap, simply because you have absolutely nothing to back up your statement. Take into consideration that people never needed the 1-year contracts unless if they tended to hop carriers a lot, simply because Verizon had a number of persistent promotions that essentially allowed you to upgrade to a new device slightly longer than a year at the price of a 2-year. Now that those promotions are completely gone, I think a good portion of those 90+ million are starting to care about that 2-year contract, especially if they care about technology at all.

45. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

Just b/c I haven't posted a link doesn't mean that there isn't actual proof out there. So I can guarantee "crap". Options like does the backing for me. Also look at the customer base Verizon has, the amount of money they invest into their network...its wireless 101. Thats my proof...but this isn't a litigation. There is information out there that will align with what I'm saying. If you feel like my statement is the research & let me know if the results are far off from what I aml saying. I've worked in wireless for over five years and I can count on one hand how many 1 year contracts I've personally & as a store I processed. Now I realize that I represent one area but in the past 6 months no 1 year agreements...that's gotta account for some validity. The vast majority (like myself) don't pass up an opportunity to save money & to save $70.00+ upfront on an equipment purchase usually causes a customer to go for the 2 year. Wireless companies don't thrive on 1 year contracts. As far promotions do know that Verizon doesn't have something more beneficial to the customer in mind? You don't. If this is a proof game then what you just posted holds no weight b/c "you simply have absolutely nothing to back up your statement"...right? Jackwagon...

19. captn3x unregistered

alright Fran Shammo, stop trolling in the forums. This is a horribly geedy move and I have had it with Verizon!!!! When my contract is up I WILL be moving to Sprint! First sticking me with this POS DROID 1 with the "awesome" 2.2 update which has made the phone unbearable, then stopping the new phone every year for head account holders, then not supporting windows phone 7, now not even geving me the option to pay a little more for the phone and sign a 1 year deal..... The camel's back has broken!!!

31. yodaynp

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 08, 2011

Really lighten up on customers? Look at AT&T, they dropped the cost of the Iphone prior to Verizon getting it to lock their customers into a 2 year contract, and some people did even with dropped calls and crappy service, your argument makes no sense. Now lets look at the customers who call in and complain and not take responsibility for overages and usage charges or lie about phones not working just because they want the newest and latest greatest phone..that kind of crap costs a company money and policy adjustments are needed to keep cost low and allow a company to compete. Such as AT&T and Verizon does with their plan prices. Sprint is nothing..they are so in debt is suprising they keep their heads above water...

4. rugrat unregistered

What a bunch of crap! Maybe I'll go back to US Cellular.

5. Goldeneye

Posts: 419; Member since: Jan 22, 2011

Relax folks we are getting a "simplified" life, well at least that's what big red says, what a joke!

6. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Two years is too long with a device, and the Mobile industry knows it. Get the majority of your customers onto a two year plan, put out much better devices every year, and charge upgrade fees out the Ying and the Yang. I have almost decided to wait until I can pay for the device I want outright, and screw the savings at initial sign up.

8. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

I don't think it's on the manufacturer to worry about the impatience of those consumers who always have to have the latest thing. Their job is to make money. If you fall victim to "I gotta have it right now"...thats on the you. Why blame anyone else?

15. myron unregistered

Verizon isn't the manufacturer. The manufacturer doesn't set contract terms.

25. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Solid point- except since my last contract: ETFs have risen, the price of new devices if discounted for a two year contract have risen from about 100$ to between 150$ - 200$, the price of a new, "premium" device has jumped from about 300$ to in the area of 400-500$ without contract, AT&T has risen their "non-contract" prices even more, and for that you get the privledge of decent to poor customer service, eratic updates to the device you just paid through the nose for, New tech being improved because the phone you just bought didn't get it right and it will be oh so much better in 8 months on the next device, and the right to rant on Phone Arena to vent. I do not need to be pointed out to me that the need to jump from one device to another every year is "on me", I need a company and a carrier to figure out a way that it is profitable for them to position themselves to allow for that for those who desire it instead trying to find ways to punish it. They will figure it out, when another carrier steps up, and snatches away customers over time. Until then, Verizon just removed another option for those that chose it.

9. rugrat unregistered

I don't consider "sodomy" a simplified life. Thanks Verizon!

11. kellybl131

Posts: 42; Member since: Jan 19, 2009

Maybe I'm missing something, but the fee of those "locked" contacts combined with the two year pricing of the device is 99% of the time cheaper than buying it outright. So either way, you are going to pay more to either be out of contract, or to cancel it if you change your mind.

12. ChrisTheTechGuy

Posts: 85; Member since: Nov 04, 2010

This is a fake. Trust me.

16. myron unregistered

Nope. I called VZW today - it's 100% true.

36. ChrisTheTechGuy

Posts: 85; Member since: Nov 04, 2010

thanks for calling me out, my previous comment was incorrect. wonderful how they lack the communication internally

13. Gary unregistered

No problem. I bought my Incredible used when CM6 was ready, and I'll buy my next phone used. One-year contracts aren't as stupid as two-year, but they're still stupid.

14. trin

Posts: 88; Member since: May 11, 2010

Smh. Jesus H. True, keeping the one year option would be a benefit over, or in-line with the competition. I'm in cellphone sales. Over the last two years I've maybe done 2-3 1yr contracts on anything. People generally don't want to pay anything, much less an increase in price for a device on contract. Options are available. With smartphones changing and "upgrading" at a faster pace, online pre-owned sales will increase. I believe if you have your own device you can a sign a month to month contract. You can choose to pay full retail. Not always a viable economic option but freedom isn't exactly free. The cellphone industry is changing. The smart companies aren't sitting back on their billions without trying to figure out how to get just a lil bit more YOY

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