It hasn’t been that long since cell phones were something that came in a bag or closely resembled a brick, but we’ve come a long way in a short period of time. We’ve lived through some crazy stuff when it comes to our phones. We made it past the tiny phone craze, the switchable phone faceplate phase, and the beginning of texting with the number keys. Back in those days there weren’t a lot of options for phone service, and the few options that presented themselves weren’t all that awesome, but we made it through.
For many years, having a cell phone meant having to sign a contract. If you signed that contract, you were typically indebted to the carrier for at least a year, but in most cases, two years. The contract offered a monthly price for your service, an additional fee to ensure your phone, and a bunch of taxes that added up to a pretty high price. Since then, the prices haven’t really gone down at all, but when it comes to Verizon Wireless, the contract is a thing of the past in favor of their all-new Edge program.
See a contract used to mean that if you ducked out early, if you lost your phone, or if you could no longer afford to pay your bill, you were hit with a huge fee. During the time frame of the contract, if you lost your phone, you paid full price for a new one, because you were only allowed to receive a discounted phone once every two years. For technophiles and the accident-prone, Verizon’s New Every Two program was akin to torture, as we had to wait to get the newest technology for two full years. Another downside of this program was that by the time the upgrade date rolled around, our phones were completely obsolete and many were held together with some mixture of duct tape and prayers.
Verizon rode the New Every Two Plan for many years, despite the complaints from customers that two years was too long to wait for a phone. People were also tied into contracts that renewed for another two years whenever a significant change was made to the account. For some people, the contracts are advantageous, because they’ve been allowed to be grandfather into some of the perk programs that Verizon has done away with like better data plans, or free features.
The Edge plan, announced in 2013, was good news for Verizon Wireless customers, but we weren’t thinking too hard when we signed up for it. With the new every two programs, we got a phone at a discounted rate, in exchange for the two-year commitment. With this new program we were being charged full price for the phone, but we didn’t need to extend our contract or wait for two long years to get a new phone. Was it even close to being an even trade?
Short answer? Maybe. Maybe not. Longer answer? It depends on the person. With a contract, you paid a discounted rate for your phone, but it was yours from that day forward. However, you had to wait out the end of your contract until you were able to get the same deal on another phone. With the Edge program, you’re financing the phone. You make a monthly payment toward the full retail price of your cell, with equal payments spread out over those two years. As a requirement for upgrading customers was required to pay off at least fifty percent of the phone’s cost, BUT they could choose to make a lump sum payment and get a new phone after just 30 days.
While the plan is great news for the people who have to have a constant influx of new technology, the people who don’t really care were confused by the option. Depending upon the phone you choose, and the plan you go with, the Edge Plan can actually be a better deal in the long term than the two-year contract in terms of monthly expense. However, the Edge plan is a lot nicer to your wallet upon your visit to the Verizon store for a new phone. You pay taxes and the activation fee, but otherwise, you walk out with your phone and you save yourself several hundred dollars up front. Another plus? If you want out of the contract after six months, you turn your phone in and move on. There are no hidden fees, no early termination charge, and Verizon won’t make an effort to destroy you.
Certainly, only time will tell if the Edge program is the best deal Verizon has to offer. As of right now, however, it would seem that it’s a pretty good option for the tech-crazy people that upgrade their phone every time something new comes out. It’s also great news for the accident-prone. You don’t have to accept a refurbished phone or pick the phone you can best afford at the time, simply pay off the 50% and move on. It may be unfamiliar, but that’s life on the Edge.