Right after Verizon said that it will no longer offer early upgrades as of January 2014, the company updated its original blog to include new information about buying devices via a monthly installment. This move is undoubtedly in retaliation to T-Mobile's new "un-carrier" plan which doesn't require a contract, but instead binds the customer to the company via a monthly payment plan for the hardware.
According to Verizon, beginning April 21, customers will have the option of purchasing a phone at full price at any point before their contract expires. Some devices will be available for purchase through the Verizon Wireless Device Payment Plan (opens in new tab), requiring the customer to make twelve monthly payments with a finance charge of $2.50 per month.
Currently Verzion's FAQ states that only tablets with a retail price of at least $349.99 and the Samsung Galaxy Camera are eligible in the Device Installment Program. Customers can purchase up to two qualifying devices at a time, and once one device is paid off, they may be eligible to purchase another before completing the payment plan for the second device.
"The first installment and finance charge is due at the time of purchase," the company states. "Subsequent installments and finance charges will appear on your monthly Verizon Wireless bill and will be listed separately from your other charges. Qualifying devices must be $349.99 or more per device, after all discounts and promotions and before taxes are applied."
The Verizon blog implies that Verizon may include a number of smartphones in the plan starting this coming Sunday, but so far the Device Payment Plan FAQ says differently. However a Verizon rep confirmed on Tuesday with Tom's that yes, this Device Payment Plan will also include all smartphones retailing $349.99 or more after discounts and promotions, effective April 21, 2013 (thanks Tiffenie).
Earlier this month, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam hinted to a move to an "un-carrier" offering by saying that it would be easy to slip into a similar non-contract mode… but only if there is a consumer demand for such a scheme. "I'm happy when I see something different tried. We can react quickly to consumers' shifting needs," he told reporters.
He wasn't kidding, was he?