If you’re looking to buy a new phone from Verizon, you now have only two options: buy the device right away or pay monthly installments for three years. As reported by droid life (through android police), Verizon appears to have lost its 24 and 30-month contracts for all devices — including phones, hotspots, and smartwatches — and has instead extended it to 36 months.
Verizon’s payment program FAQ page explains that there is no interest associated with the 36-month plan and you can choose to pay off the phone in full whenever you want. However, what you can’t do is pay more than your set monthly installment – so unless you can pay off the entire device, you’re stuck with the three-year plan. If you agreed to a 24 or 30 month subscription before February 3, 2022, Verizon says you won’t be affected by this change.
As phones get more expensive, with more than a few crossing the $1,000 mark, it’s no longer uncommon for us to want to hold onto our smartphones for several years. In addition, a number of phone manufacturers are still rolling out updates several years after a phone is released, eliminating the urge to upgrade our devices (at least for some of us). In a nutshell: Samsung phones get four years of extra security updates, Apple offers five to seven years of updates on devices, and Google offers five years of updates on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. But not all phone companies are so generous (looking for you, Motorola), so you may want to check your phone’s software update policy before committing to a three-year contract.
That said, it’s unclear exactly when Verizon switched to longer contracts, but it seems like it’s a little late for the game. AT&T has already gotten on board with the idea, as the company started offering just three-year contracts last year. And while T-Mobile started experimenting with the idea of 36-month plans in 2018, it has since gone back to offering 24 or 30-month plans.