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Verizon confirms that existing contract customers can still get phone upgrades

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Verizon stopped offering on-contract plans to new customers this month, but it failed to do a good job of explaining what that meant for people who were already on a contract. Now Verizon is clearing all of that up with a new blog post discussing what existing contract customers will and won't be able to do. Perhaps of greatest interest: Verizon says that these customers will still be able to renew their contracts and buy phones at subsidized prices. This means, for instance, that when a new iPhone comes out next month, Verizon customers who are eligible for a renewal will be able to buy it for $200.

Existing contract customers can basically keep doing their thing

It's possible that Verizon will stop offering certain smartphones as part of its subsidy scheme in the future, therefore encouraging people to move over to its new off-contract plans, but it doesn't sound like that's happening for now. Verizon says that it'll let existing customers remain on their contract plans with the same terms for as long as they'd like — they can even add new lines — but once they switch to an off-contract plan, there's no going back. It's likely that existing customers won't be able to change their current plans very much either, although the blog doesn't comment beyond adding new lines.

What all that adds up to is: existing contract customers can basically keep doing their thing; when they finally want to change something, they'll probably have to hop on over to one of Verizon's new off-contract plans. For the most part, that's nothing to fear. Though they have different pricing structures, there's probably even some benefit to going off-contract — not the least of which being that you can just stop paying Verizon whenever you want and move over to another carrier. Pricing is ultimately pretty similar, especially if you buy a new phone using one of Verizon's payment plans; these have become industry standard and space out the cost of a phone such that you end up paying about as much as you would when buying a phone on-contract.