Verizon One-Year Contracts Abolished: Removing Choice

For a lot of people, buying a new phone has been a long-term commitment as many of the latest smartphones are sold with a two-year contract. However, some people have preferred to get their newest handset on a one-year contract. If you’re a Verizon customer though, you’re about to lose that choice as we have heard news today that Verizon is about to abolish one-year contracts for its phones.

The move to get rid of one-year contracts is set to come in on April 17 and will be a blow to many. At one time purchasing a phone on a two-year contract didn’t seem to be that big a deal. However as smartphones get increasingly sophisticated, with improved, upgraded versions coming out seemingly all the time, two years locked in to one phone can be a pain. This is where a one-year contract comes in. Although phones sold on a two-year contract are cheaper because carriers pay a heavy subsidy, for many people a one-year option is better even though the initial cost of the phone is more expensive.

For Verizon customers from April 17 the one-year contract will be off limits, as reported by Phil Nickinson over on Android Central, which means spending top dollar for a decent handset off-contract, or purchasing on a two-year contract. No doubt Verizon will claim that one-year contracts aren’t popular but Android Central is conducting a poll asking readers how they usually purchase their new phones, 2-year contract, 1-year contract or off-contract, and so far 25% of those polled say they purchase on a 1-year contract, so this move from Verizon will affect many people.

It does seem a rather odd move to do this as so many promising new handsets are on the way, such as the Droid Bionic for the Verizon 4G LTE network. If you want to check out the full policy changes then GadgetU shows the documents and points out this will not affect those people who took/take out a one-year contract before April 17. Some other customers will be unaffected by the policy change, such as government and federal accounts.

What are your thoughts on these policy changes and the fact that Verizon’s customers are having this extra choice taken away from them? Are you a Verizon customer who usually purchases on a one-year contract? Let us know with your comments please.

  • John

    This is very disappointing to me. I have purchased two year contracts in the past but after purchasing the original Motorola Droid just over 1 year ago under a two-year contract, I have no interest in doing it again. The original Droid is, in my opinion, completely obsolete. It is slow and has minimal internal memory. I can't wait to upgrade to a new Android device, probably the Droid Bionic, but I do not want to be tied up in a two-year contract for a device that may very well be obsolete after 1 year. Hopefully the fact that 4G is in its infancy and the Bionic will have a fast processor I will not feel the same way after having it for a year, but something better will inevitably come out that is far better. Also, each phone gets its own upgrade every year. If you bought the Droid X when it came out you are probably excited for the Droid X2, without a one-year contract, that upgrade is not available to you unless you want to pay 600-700 for the phone.

  • chris

    I have been a verizon customer since the bell atlantic days. This may be a deal beaker for me.

  • Erik Pritchard

    I’m a basic phone customer and I haven’t really payed much attention in a few years. Then I went to get support for my “dumb” phone only to find out that the company has purposefully removed effective support for these phones. So I look at upgrading on my usual one-year contract only to find out they won’t offer one! Verizon Wireless is a big company that doesn’t care about consumer choice– just corporate profit. This short-term view is unfriendly to the customers they purport to serve and ultmately risks its own long-term profitability as well. I believe its decision to remove this important consumer choice is part of its “take the money now” philosophy that also includes forcing consumers to purchase monthly internet access even if they don’t want or need it. Even though my options in a rural state are limited, I’m definitely looking for another provider.