More reports on: Telecom

Verizon pulls the plug on discounted phone contracts

08 August 2015

Verizon has put an end to the discounted phone contracts, which had been used by millions of US citizens in the recent years to upgrade to newer smartphones.

The contracts had been ended by T-Mobile two years back. With the move from the country's largest telecom operator in the US market subscribers would now only be able to pay upfront or go for installments.

T-Mobile had also taken a similar step recently and with Verizon joining in, users would see the the days of getting flashy new phones at a low price of $200 had ended.

Users mostly preferred to get an iPhone 6 for $200 rather than the regular price of $649. Consumers would sign a binding contract for two years.

According to commentators, the latest move by Verizon would see consumers paying more for their data plans too.

Verizon had termed the move as simplification of its plans and it had also streamlined its data plans and changed the cost for the same.

Existing consumers of Verizon under contract would be able to continue with their current plan, but Verizon said there would be some restrictions.

The company had not yet elaborated on the restrictions it planned to introduce on existing subscribers with discounted phone.

Verizon's simpler pla, charges $20 per smartphone for voice and texting and users would then add one of four data plans, ranging from $30 a month for 1 gigabyte to $80 for 12 GBs.

Phones would cost extra and could be purchased for full price or on a monthly payment plan.

The new prices seemed to save customers about $20 a month, but savings varied on the basis of what the customer bought, according to Meagan Dorsch, a Verizon spokeswoman.

Data plans were shareable, for a family of four who owned their smartphones and needed 3 GBs, for example, the cost was $125, excluding fees. Verizon's More Everything Plan was $150, while T-Mobile charged $110 for a comparable plan.

Existing Verizon customers could continue with  their current plans, however, if they decided to upgrade, there could be extra charges. According to Verizon, there would be restrictions, The Associated Press reported.

Verizon would also charge $10 a month to add a tablet or Jetpack (a portable Wi-Fi hot spot) and $5 a month to add a smartwatch or other connected device.

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