NEW YORK — If were looking to switch to a new carrier, all the big cell phone companies had tempting offers to pay off early termination fees — except for Verizon.
No longer. Verizon will now pay up to $650 per line if you sign up for a new smartphone plan and trade in your old phone. It will even throw in two extra gigabytes of data per month, if you sign up for 12 GB or more a month.
The offer is good on up to four lines. You and your family could get up to $2,600 to switch over to Verizon.
Like everything in the wireless world, there are caveats:
–You have to buy a new phone from Verizon and sign up for an installment plan to pay it off over time. –The old phone you’re trading in has to be worth more than $0, and the value of the trade-in will immediately be applied to your Verizon bill (and deducted from the $650). –You have to stick with Verizon for at least six months.
Oh, and the $650 only applies if you had been paying off the value of your phone each month in an installment plan with your old carrier. If you were under a two-year contract with your current provider, Verizon will give you up to $300 to pay off your early termination fees.
Got all that?
Verizon has a pretty good switching offer, but it’s not quite the best.
Sprint will pay off all your switching costs and promise to give you service for half of what you were paying your old carrier. Sprint will halve your bill through 2017.
T-Mobile will cover all of your switching costs, including early termination fees, the balance of your smartphone payments or whatever other fees your old carrier charges you.
And AT&T will give you up to $300 for switching — $100 in bill credits plus up to $200 for a trade-in.
Of course, the plans of Verizon’s three rivals have caveats too. Read the fine print.
Now that all four major nationwide carriers will cover your switching costs, wireless customers will have an easier time making a move if they’re unhappy with their cell phone company.
As carriers have ditched contracts in favor of smartphone payment plans, customers have gained more freedom and cell phone companies have grown more competitive for your business.
Still, these are all just limited-time promotions. So if you want to switch, now’s the time to do it.