Posted by: bhalley | 07/17/2011

Before You Upgrade Your Phone/3G Modem Check Your Original Contract

As I was working with an individual this week it came up in our discussion that they had just renewed their contract for their mobile phone.  The person was asking about what did and did not use data because they had a limit.  I shared that Verizon had just stopped their unlimited data with all new contracts.  They were upset because they could have taken advantage of this.  I realized that many of you may be wondering whether or not you will still have unlimited data when you come up for renewal.

First let me say that you need to check your contract and what I state here is based on typical contracts, but yours may state differently.  Usually, the contract you signed up for will remain as is unless you upgrade equipment, or make a change to the plan that affects the specific feature, in this case your data.  I have a 3G modem from Verizon that I have had for over 3 years now.  I signed up with Verizon 2 months before they stopped their unlimited data plans.  As long as I do not upgrade my modem with Verizon I will have unlimited data for life.  This is typical with any contract, where once the contract expires you then on a month-to-month contract until you upgrade or terminate.

Next question is what if you want to get a newer phone/modem, can you do that without affecting the contract?  The best answer is check with your provider.  The answer should be yes.  In the past I have changed handsets without affecting the contract provisions that would cause me to loose features.  The downside to this is that you will pay a higher price for the new device since it is not part of a contract renewal.  The other consideration is to make sure that the device is compatible with your carrier’s network.  Not all use the same carrier technology.

Next question you may have is the best place to purchase a new device at the best price.  When it comes to technology I look at several sites like Amazon, Newegg, and Ebay.  With the first two you will be looking at a higher price than with Ebay, but you will also have a lot less problems.  If you decide to go with Ebay check the seller’s feedback and if they have several negatives than stay away from them.

In my personal opinion the change by Verizon is not a smart move.  At a time when people are watching their spending this will cause them to look harder at their service.  Also, Sprint has already released a commercial touting that they have the only full-speed unlimited network.  The reason for qualifying full-speed is that T-Mobile does have unlimited data but when you hit their ceiling the speed slows down significantly until the month cycle is over.

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