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Verizon Wireless Kills “New Every Two” Discount

This article was written by in Consumer, Featured. 39 comments.


The year 2000 was not an easy one for me. I had hardly any money thanks to a low-paying non-profit job and student loan debt. Even when not spending much beyond the necessities, I wasn’t improving my financial condition. I was moving around from apartment to apartment; by 2004 I would had lived in seven different locations in four years, in different locations across the sate of New Jersey. It became apparent that I was going to need a cell phone, and I was probably one of the last of my friends to get one. This was at a time I had no money for tech.

In 2000, it was clear that Verizon Wireless offered the best service and coverage in my area, so I chose them over Cellular One, AT&T Wireless, Sprint PCS, and Nextel. I’ve been a customer of the company since then. Every two years, I renewed my contract and benefited from the “New Every Two” credit of (previously) $100 to use towards a phone, usually making the new phone free. Of course, I was not required to buy a new phone every two years or sign a new contract. I often did wait longer than two years to use the credit and re-sign my contract. For my first renewal, I waited until I had a new job and was earning some money. I was happy to see the Kyocera go; by that time, the phone’s technology was considered ancient.

I’ve taken advantage of the “New Every Two” discount several times since then, despite Verizon Wireless reducing the credit to $50. Some customers today qualify for only a $30 credit because the value depends on the type of calling plan that accompanies the phone.

Verizon Wireless has been offering bad news lately. First, the company announced that the carrier will begin offering the iPhone, but with only 3G capability. Now, customers who sign a new contract or renew a contract after January 16 will have no “New Every Two” discount to look forward to. The discount was a good way for Verizon to maintain loyal customers. To be clear, existing customers who have New Every Two on their contract will have the chance to use their New Every Two discount, even after January 16, but after that, New Every Two will not be part of their new contract, and the credit will not be available when they renew again two years later.

Will the company be able to keep customers without offering significant incentives to prevent attrition to other carriers?

Photo: Sonny Side Up!

Updated January 18, 2011 and originally published January 14, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar tigernicole86 ♦55 (Newbie)

Honestly, there will be people who will go to other carriers because of this. I’m a Verizon customer and the main reason I have them is because I have service almost everywhere(except for the ER at the hospital). However, they are going to have a loyal following since they do have great service and they will have the Iphone that everybody covets so much. A cousin of mine works as a salesman at a Verizon store and he said the power belongs to the people at the customer service centers, they can get you the better deals than the salesforce.

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avatar Edward - Entry Level Dilemma

I had Verizon for my first phone, in 2004. I remember the “new every two.” I never did use it. When I switched to AT&T in 2008 (NOT for the iPhone, AT&T just had better service in NE Burlington County, a full bar more on average). At AT&T, every two years you can buy a new phone at new account prices (as long as you extend your contract 2 years). I had just assumed that all carriers did something similar.

I do think that Verizon will loose customers to other carriers because of this, but not enough compared to the overall size of the company that it will really matter in the long run.

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avatar rewards ♦31 (Newbie)

Since you bring up the costs of dealing with the big guys (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.), it reminded me of all the little guys (TracFone, Straight Talk, Virgin, Boost, etc.). I found this list very useful, as it points out that many of the little guys are just resellers for the big guys. i.e. if you want to use Verizon’s towers, you can also purchase service through Jitterbug, Page Plus, Straight Talk, and TracFone.

Does anyone know if the quality of the service really is the same whether you buy from Verizon or from TracFone?

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avatar Skeggy

I had a TracFone last summer and I had that kind of service for over 4 years. I don’t know why people say that they go off Verizon towers because my friends had Verizon and where they got service I didn’t especially in my highschool. But they are not bad, but it depends on how much you talk and text and if you want to constantly worry if you have enough minutes(I hated this). I texted alot and called every once in a while and I was paying like 90 dollars a month on TracFone cards. So pretty much my family got a family plan with verizon and we split the cost. So now I’m only paying 40 dollars a month with free texting and we share 700 minutes for talking. The service is great and they have better phones, even the cheaper phones at verizon are better than the best tracfones. I recommend that if you have Verizon stick with them they are deffinitly a better service than Tracfone.

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avatar TakeitEZ ♦549 (Dime)

I agree with the other posters. Verizon might lose a small amount of customers due to this change, but I think they will gain overall more customers due to the IPhone and many current IPhone users who are not happy with AT&T service.

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avatar Cejay ♦1,521 (Half-Dollar)

I decided to use Straight Talk in the Fall and love it. I bought a basic new phone, I am not a techie, and use it whenever I need to. The only trouble I have had is in the mountains and hills of Alabama and my friend who was with me had the same trouble and she has Verizon.

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avatar Joe

I believe straight talk is a good deal as well. It is on the Verizon and ATT networks depending on what your location is. It is the best of both worlds and the price is great too.

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avatar krantcents

A great deal depends on what the other carriers do. I have Verizon and love their service. It bothers me, but it probably won’t make change carriers.

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avatar brianahasmoney ♦367 (Nickel)

How frustrating! We were definitely using the new every 2 to our advantage. Now it looks like we’re going to have to get a new phone this weekend, which definitely won’t be happening

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avatar NK

There is an error in this article regarding how if you renew your contract after 1/16/11 you won’t have the New Every Two discount. Actually if you’re currently eligible to receive the discount (which I am eligible for the $100 discount… I’ve been eligible now for well over a year and a half), I will still be able to use my discount after 1/16… that would be my LAST discount though. If I were to buy a phone before 1/16 then I’d get the discount now and then in two years I’d get one more New Every Two discount which would be my last one. I confirmed this with Verizon. The big question though is whether I’ll be able to use my New Every Two discount on the iPhone. Verizon and Apple are currently in talks about this and no decision has been made as of now. Hope this helps!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

That’s not an error, you’re not understanding what I wrote. For existing contracts that have New Every Two, there is no change. When those people renew — or when new customers sign on — after January 16, New Every Two will not be part of the contract. That is, two years *later,* they will not receive the type of discount that is now offered. At that time, they will still get the standard discounted price for the phone (not the ridiculous full retail price), but no extra discount unless VZW replaces New Every Two with a different discount.

So yes, current customers with New Every Two will still get the discount the next time they renew, even if it’s after January 16, but once they do, New Every Two will not be part of the new contract.

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avatar tbork84 ♦1,867 (Half-Dollar)

Thanks for clearing that up. I must have been distracted when I first read through the post and didn’t catch the part about current customers.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

I added the clarification later because I realized I wasn’t entirely clear.

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avatar NK

You’re right… I didn’t understand based on how you originally worded your article, but your clarification now makes sense. One thing I’ll add that I don’t think you addressed… if you are eligible for New Every Two discount as of right now and you buy a phone BEFORE the 16th… you can use your discount now AND you get one more New Every Two discount the next time you renew in 2 years (technically 20 months).

Either way, the fact remains that neither Verizon nor Apple know at this point whether customers like me who have the New Every Two discount available will be able to use it on the iPhone 4. Given that it’s a Verizon phone they should allow it but whether Apple makes Verizon not allow us to use it is the question.

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avatar Apex ♦478 (Nickel)

Two things for people to be aware of.

First the new every two is still available for all existing customer to use one more time. If you have a verizon contract prior to Jan 16, then whenever your 2 year anniversary comes up, you will get to use the discount one more time.

Secondly, this discount is only between 30 and 100 dollars depending on the phone. This is over and above the normal subsidized 2 year contract phone price. That is to say, if you extend your contract for 2 more years you will still get the subsidized much reduce price of the phone rather than paying full retail.

Thirdly, Verizon says they will be announcing a replacement for this program. I have no idea what that will look like and it might be horrible, who knows, but it appears it is not just being cancelled but replaced by something else.

When I first hear this my thoughts were does this mean I have to pay 700 dollars for an iPhone. An the answer is no. The 199 iPhone with 2 year contract is still the price you would pay. You just wouldn’t get the extra 30-100 dollars off after that price. And if you are a customer prior to Jan 16, you will still get that discount one more time.

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

thanks apex, i was just going to make a similar post. that said, i am still a litttle annoyed by the removal of the program, as i have a feeling whatever they replace the current plan with will probably not be as “good.” i’ve got another 5 months to go before my next upgrade, so i am looking forward to a move to a LTE phone if they have some nice options available at that time.

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avatar NK

Hey Apex… that was the point I was making… none of us including Apple and Verizon know if we’ll be able to use the New Every Two discount on the iPhone 4. If I can’t use my $100 discount then I might consider getting a different phone like the Droid… or maybe give the discount to my wife who’s on my Family Plan.

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avatar Marcus in Greensboro, NC

I have been a Verizon customer since 2004, and I will be cancelling my service anyways in June. They first lost me when they tried to make me pay for a data plan I didn’t want, then reduced the amount of data at a higher price, then tried to make me pay $350/each for all five of my phones on my family plan, and their plans are not competitive anymore. Sprint will be getting my business as of June because my final contract will end then. Verizon used to be reliable, but they got greedy in my opinion. I could see them becoming the weakest link in the Wireless world very soon.

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avatar Cruxman ♦331 (Nickel)

You know, it was a great deal but really most people just don’t care enough to do anything about it. You know change and all and seems these days it easier to just get rolled over on! Not me, I have a voice and we all need to get other people to have a as well.

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

you are almost certainly right Cruxman, sadly. i know i will remain with verizon, but not due to apathy, they simply have better service where i am located. they have also come through for me in several instances with regards to customer service.

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avatar Brian E. Young

It would be great if there was an iphone with more than 3G capabilities on any carrier. The AT&T Iphone 4 is the same exact phone and also only has 3G but doesn’t have the ability to become a wifi hotspot like the new Verizon one. I’m disappointed about the loss of New Every Two though as a Verizon customer.

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avatar Nineincher

I just wish their phones didn’t blow. they are for sissies. i need a cool brick that don’t break or get wet and has texting.

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avatar NK

LOL… sissies? Seriously? Come on now… we’re all adults here… relax. :-)

All the carriers have good and bad phones… all depends on your luck, I guess.

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avatar Jenna

I think discontinuing the new every two makes sense. Phones are getting cheaper and I think a lot of people will be leaving ATT for Verizon even with the 3G iPhone.

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avatar NK

The people I spoke with at Verizon today said that they plan on replacing the New Every Two program with various “incentives” that should hopefully be comparable or even better… we’ll have to see though.

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avatar faithfueledbennetts ♦264 (Nickel)

It depends on the customer I think. If the customer is with Verizon for a bargain, they probably will change so they can keep up with the Jones’ for less $$. But, Verizon is the biggest cell phone company i our area, so if you are going for ease, they are the best option. Me, I will stick with Verizon as I don’t really care what phone I have as long as I am connected.

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avatar gotr31 ♦224 (Cent)

I think the bigger the companies get the greedier they get. This move by Verizon doesn’t even surprise me. They know they have a quality product and know with the iphone being added they are probably banking on that to draw more people than they will lose. Personally I like my like my Cricket, it works for what I need it for and I have no desire to pay more for a bunch of tech I don’t need and don’t have time for and I have no desire to own an iphone.

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avatar Len Penzo

I think the jury is still out on this, Flexo. Don’t be surprised if Verizon is only testing the waters here and evaluating how the market reacts. They may bring it back — with a lot of fanfare — in the future.

It’s kinda sorta like those “Farewell Tours” by the Rolling Stones. How many of those have they had over the years? ;-)

All the best,

Len
Len Penzo dot Com

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avatar Anthony

This is why I cancelled my contract and went to Straight Talk prepaid. Straight Talk works on the Verizon towers so the reception is just as good. The great thing is that the deal with Straight Talk is simple. You buy the phone you want and pay for the minutes you use. They have no hold on you and can’t trash your credit rating. They have no way to jerk you around. They are even coming up with some smartphones, so they will be able to compete with the I phone.

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avatar Jules

Really? I have been on Verizon for a while and I think I might switch as well. I can be on the same network and not have to be part of any contract. It sounds really good to me because I was never a fan of contracts.

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avatar twiggers

What I think will be even more interesting is whether Verizon can handle all the data the iPhone will bring. I’m a happy AT&T customer that has had ZERO problems with service on my iPhone….but the beef always seems to be the data. Now Verizon will pick up some of that.

Also, don’t expect to see a lot of AT&T defectors. AT&T was brilliant and got a LOT of people to renew their contracts early when the iPhone 4 came out. Likely anticipating the Verizon contract.

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avatar Laure ♦198 (Cent)

Wow, I imagine they are going to lose a lot of customers. I loved Nextel, but when Sprint absorbed them and costs went up, I went shopping for a new carrier. I tried T-Mobil (horrible reception in high rises) and ended up with AT&T (which truly has the worst customer service anywhere) since everyone else in my family had it and we could talk for free. I stayed to get the iphone. The iphone was the only cell phone I have EVER paid for, and I paid the low new contract price. But now even iphone customers could bounce back and forth between AT&T and Verizon…interesing move on Verizon’s part. Either their extensive studies show their customers’ loyalty is rock solid, or this was a big mistake.

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avatar Darwin's Money

Agh – had to do a double take. My wife’s phone is dying a slow death and up for the 2. Glad it’s still active for “grandfathered” accounts.

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avatar Mike Mc

If read Verizon FAQ about the new Iphone – it clearly states YES you can apply you new-every-two discount toward the new I-phone… Straight from the source!!

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avatar eric ♦1,549 (Half-Dollar)

I had Verizon for two years and didn’t renew so I never got to use this discount. I changed back to a SIM providing carrier becauseI realize I just have to have that feature.

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avatar ajonesin ♦135 (Cent)

This is definitely something that will make me reconsider my contract when it comes up in one year.

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avatar Brainiac Jr

As others have mentioned, Straight Talk is a terrific deal, Verizon service at Tracfone prices. Ha!

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avatar Danny

A lot of mixed reviews on here….considering switching away form my blackberry but not sure what the phones are like…any suggestions?

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avatar Daryna C.

Incorrect!!! If you were eligible for NE2 discount prior to Jan.16,2011 you will have 6 month to use it or lose it. If you become eligible after that date you will have 6 month to use it after eligibility date. I work for promo department and yes,everyone is pissed.

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