Verizon Will Let Customers Change Plans Mid-Contract Without Extending Contract

Starting October 7th, Verizon Wireless users will be able to adjust their plan’s minutes and features without extending their service contract. Previously if you made any sort of change it meant you were locked into a contract with them for another 1-2 years. It’s just Verizon’s way of saying “Thanks!” to the community, by screwing it just a little bit less!

New Contract Policy Gives Verizon Wireless Customers Added Flexibility in Choosing Calling Plans [PR Newswire via TRAC.org]
(Photo: Maulleigh)

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  1. ryan_h says:

    U.S. Cellular has been doing this as well, for quite a while.

  2. Falconfire says:

    well its not so much a thanks as much as its a “we are doing this since the courts basically said we broke the law before”

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is more of a reversal of policy. They started renewing contracts for plan changes in 2005.

  4. twigg says:

    T-Mobile allows this as well and has for a number of years.

  5. threlkelded says:

    I thought they already did this?

    Uh…I really hope Verizon wouldn’t extend my contract without telling me. Because that would be lame.

  6. Katharine says:

    Wasn’t this posted on Monday?

    [consumerist.com]

  7. 8abhive says:

    It’ll be nice if the other providers follow this direction.

    Sprint almost caught me on this one. They used to let you change without extending the contract. In the few years since I dropped them, moved, and started again, they became blood-sucking, contract-extending, bill-for-voicemail-time, leaches.

    /Currently dancing the “My contracts almost up!” jig.

  8. Falconfire says:

    @threlkelded: they tell you just happened to me when I wanted to change who the bill was going to of all things.

  9. cde says:

    @twigg: Not really. Maybe if you change it to a “non promotional” plan, which they don’t list while the “promotional plans” stay for months and if you change to those, you will have to renew a contract.

  10. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Sorry, I didn’t get a cell phone until I was forced to for work… THIS year… because of these stupid and predatory practices. I’m not impressed and they have–the whole INDUSTRY has–quite a long way to go before they meet my MINIMUM standards for how to treat customers.

  11. aikoto says:

    Whoopty-freaking-do. Of course they should. I cringe how cell phone companies advertise this like some great concession to their customers. “Hey customers, We’re going to stop stabbing you now. Isn’t that great!?”

  12. SabrinaFaire says:

    Eesh I didn’t know they would do that before. But good cuz I need to be adding a text plan. Guess I’ll be holding off until Sunday. :)

  13. PinkBox says:

    My contract with Sprint has already ended.. hmm.. does anyone know how to find out which company offers the best service/plan/price and phone? :P

    I almost bought an iPhone. >.>;

  14. JohnMc says:

    Consumerist please explain yourself!!!

    You had an article earlier in the week explaining that the reason why Verizon was doing this was to become the second defendant in a similar suit that Sprint just lost.

    The way this article reads its almost a puff piece right out of Verizon’s PR machine.

  15. notallcompaniesarebad says:

    I’ve changed my plan with Sprint a few times in the past and not had to extend my contract. Of course, I went out of the way to tell them that I am not willing to extend my contract. Maybe they can claim they are doing it as a “service” to the customer (which is bogus, of course)? Anyway, everytime I’ve changed something, I just call them up, say change this (from normal Vision to Power Vision, for instance) and don’t change anything else, INCLUDING my contract status (month to month, currently). Has worked thus far. YMMV

  16. savvy9999 says:

    I@8abhive: I am also counting down the days until my Sprint contract expires.

    Does anyone know, is there anything special I need to do make absolutely sure that my Sprint contract will not be automatically renewed to another 1- or 2- year agreement? I want month-to-month until all of the phones on my contract expire (one in early November, another in mid December), then I will do a wholesale change over to Verizon.

    Calling and talking to a Sprint CSR is like talking to God, not exactly binding in court. Is there a way to get the end-of-contract scenario down in writing? I have searched high and low all over the Spring website (which also sucks) and I can’t find anything.

  17. sporks says:

    Uh, Alltel has always done this. Big freakin’ deal. Companies should do this anyway, especially considering that for every person who downgrades their service, there’s others who upgrade it. My family has added several texting plans over the past year on the family plan, and it’s great not to have to extend the contract.

    But then again, not everyone’s lucky to have Alltel in their area, so this is still a fantastic thing.

  18. Xerloq says:

    When did they start extending contracts? I had them for 6 years (up until 2 years ago) and changed my contract all the time and never once had it extended. I had changed my rate plan the month before I left them with no extension.

    But, really, what do I care. They’re evil in my book which is why I left.

  19. Rootman says:

    In July I switched to AT&T for the iPhone and got screwed by this Verizon policy when I tried to cancel my wife’s cell phone in August (her employer provides a Blackberry and she didn’t need the extra device). My wife’s line had defaulted to a per-minute plan after I left and when I called the cancel service the customer service rep “generously” backdated us into a new rate plan to save costs on the final bill. They did not inform me of the contract renewal or $175 early termination fee which was deducted from my checking account in September without so much as a bill (my paperless billing apparently terminated when I closed the account and no hard copy was provided). After 30 minutes with customer service they relented and I am waiting for a credit that “will arrive in the mail in early November”. I am not holding my breath.

  20. bostonguy says:

    I had a huge problem when switching from AT&T Wireless to Verizon* in early 2005.

    I knew I would have to pay a term. fee on one of my 2 lines, but they insisted that I owed the fee on BOTH lines. Then they said I had a new 2 year contract on phone X. Since I just bought the phone online, and never saw any fine print, I knew I was in the clear. The woman kept insisting I DID have a contract, so I demanded she fax me a copy. She claimed they had a contract, but she couldn’t send me a copy. That’s when I informed her that I wouldn’t do something as stupid as enter into a 2 year contract without actually signing something, and since I hadn’t, I knew she was just trying to force me to pay just to move my service. After a few 40 minute calls, I got them to offer to “forgive” me on the 2nd term. fee.

    *Yeah, Verizon is evil too, but everyone I know also has them, so it’s much cheaper to use them for service.

  21. jwbo says:

    They do a good thing and everyone still bashes them. Be happy that an industry leader is making steps in the right direction.