The battle of the carriers continues. It seems that the US telecom industry has a unique obsession on early phone upgrade programs. Another major player is revamping its campaign to keep aligned with the aggressive competition.
Verizon has just announced its move to shorten Edge early upgrade program to make waiting time for replacement of new handset shorter from six months to just 30 days. That is so far the most aggressive the industry could get.
The move is logically and obviously a response to T-Mobile’s ‘drop your carrier promotion.’ The carrier is offering subscribers of other networks to drop their current plans and transfer to T-Mobile in exchange for the early upgrade perks.
Such scheme targets gadget junkies who could not stand the thought that others are taking smartphones that are of later models than theirs. It also caters to those who become disappointed with their current handsets and aim to take a new one in a shorter span of time.
Just a promo
But Verizon has clarified that the shortened period for upgrades would just be a ‘promotion.’ Thus, it would last without further notice. The company could not disclose how long the bonus promotion would last. But its message is clear: customers should immediately take advantage of the program before it is gone.
On top of that offer, Verizon is also giving away $100 gift cards to subscribers who would sign up for an Edge plan. The subscriber would just have to trade in his working smartphone and buy a brand new one (any of 4G LTE units) from Verizon.
Here is how Edge would work. It is a normal 24-month installment plan for the handset. The installment amount would be charged on top of the monthly service plan. Once the customer reaches the halfway point in payment for the smartphone, he would be eligible to take a phone upgrade. In the past, it would usually take six months for that to happen, but with the new campaign, a customer could upgrade to a new device in just 30 days.
Many analysts just warn consumers against such promotions. According to them, it may lead to double dipping, because a subscriber is actually shouldering subsidy for his device as part of the contract agreement with the network. Thus, it is like paying for the unit twice.