What Is a Verizon Contract Extension?

by Starr Kang

A Verizon contract extension extends your contract with Verizon Wireless for a certain predetermined length of time. Often contract extensions are referred to as upgrades because when you switch cellphone models with your provider you extend your contract. Contract extensions are a continuation of the original, often two-year, agreement made with Verizon Wireless that you would pay to use the company as your cellphone service provider for a given length of time.

Requirements

To be eligible for a contract extension, you must already have a cellphone contract with Verizon Wireless. To qualify you must have had a one-year contract for at least 11 months or a two-year contract for at least 22 months. Additionally, your account must be in good standing with Verizon, which means you don’t owe them any money, and you’ve never had late fees assessed. If you meet the requirements, you must still obtain approval for a contract extension through Verizon, and the company does have the right to determine your eligibility at its discretion.

Advantages

The main advantage of a contract extension is your ability to upgrade your phone and stay with the same provider. If you're satisfied with your Verizon service and are seeking a new cellphone, a contract extension gives you the opportunity to own the latest phone at a discount or for no cost because Verizon pays the majority of the retail price. You won’t have to switch providers for the discount and you can continue with the same provider and payment methods that you’ve been using.

Disadvantages

When you purchase an upgrade and extend your contract with Verizon, you’re agreeing to an additional two years of service past the expiration date of your current plan. You also won’t be eligible for an upgrade for almost two years, and if another cellphone is introduced within that time frame, you won’t be able to switch without paying full price. Additionally, If you’re part of a family plan and you elect to extend your contract, it will extend the contract for everyone on your plan, not just you. Thus, if you have children or relatives on your plan, you will be obligated to continue their service for an additional two years.

Changing Plans

When you sign up for a contract extension with Verizon Wireless, you’re locked into the provider, but you’re not locked into the plan you chose at the time. Verizon gives you the option of changing plans at any time without paying a fee or extending your contract. Thus a contract doesn’t lock you into a specific plan for the next two years. You also have the option of ending your contract if you company changes the terms and conditions without notice.

Cost

Verizon doesn’t charge a fee to to extend your contract. However, you may have to pay for part of the cost of your cellphone upgrade. Additionally, by signing a contract extension, you have agreed to pay the cost of service with the company for another two years. If you change your mind, you’ll have to pay a termination fee to break your contract. It’s smart planning to consider the different plan rates and cellphone options among the various cellphone service providers before agreeing to a contract extension.

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