T-Mobile, in its signature Uncarrier move, had gotten rid of device subsidies and multi-year contracts a while ago. Earlier this month, Verizon sought to get with the program and got rid of smartphone subsidies and its contract structure ostensibly, in an effort to simplify its plans. What Verizon has done in essence, is to divide its monthly bills into separate segments – service charges and device payments. While the new billing structure has its own pros and cons, a lot of existing Verizon customers seem to be confused over whether they can hang on to their current contracts or if they’ll be made to compulsorily switch over to the new plans as laid out by the carrier.
Now in an apparent attempt to end all confusion surrounding its new plans, Verizon’s Chuck Hamby has clarified once and for all that existing Verizon customers will have the option to keep their current contracts, if they so desire. Not only that, they can also choose to renew their two-year contract with a new, subsidized smartphone from the company, if that’s what they want. It is however believed that the carrier might not actually offer subsidized devices on its roster for much longer. On the official Verizon Blog, Mr. Hamby wrote, “Current customers can move to the new Verizon Plan whenever you wish, or stay on your current plan (no matter if on month-to-month, two-year contract or device payment plan). If you have a current two-year agreement and move over to the new plan, the line access charge will be $40 and not $20. Upon reaching your next upgrade eligibility date, that $40 line access charge will drop to $20 automatically”. He went on to say, that “Our sole intention of this new pricing is to make things more simple for our customers – so you know exactly what you’re paying for and how you’re saving”.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, Verizon is following in T-Mobile’s footsteps in ending the device-subsidy regime, but the two other major carriers, AT&T and Sprint are also expected to follow suit in the months to come. While Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has already announced that the carrier will do away with subsidies and contracts by the end of this year, AT&T is also said to be moving in the same direction sooner rather than later.