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Guess what! You may be eligible for a new cellphone, even before your contract expires. Why do I need to upgrade, you may ask? Well…technically you don’t have to spring for a cellphone early upgrade. But there are a couple great reasons to take the plunge. Read on.

Why upgrade your phone?

Cellphone Early Upgrade with Verizon?

Verizon iPhone (Credit: jfingas)

Why upgrade? Your phone’s not smart no more.
Most people buy a phone and keep it for the 24 months until their contract’s up. (By then, your phone is an aging geriatric. Even the best phones are often slow and prone to crashing.)

Phones are such a vital part of our lives. It just doesn’t work to have a slow or broken phone!

Why upgrade? It’s about economics.
The cost of a new cellphone is pennies on the dollar compared to what you’re paying for the monthly contract (and data plan, if you have one). New phones are often free (with new 2 yr contract) or $99-$199 for the nicer models.

Data plans are upwards of $30 / month, NOT counting fees and taxes. You do the math! You’ll recoup the cost of a new phone in just a few months. Consider the time-savings and other non-monetary benefits, too. So why hobble along when you can have a lightning quick device? Don’t deny yourself the bells and whistles.

Why upgrade? You want a smartphone.
Are you still using an old school phone? Very retro of you! To be clear, I mean the kind you have to click 3 times for each letter in a text? OK, this is one of those good reasons to consider an early upgrade!

So, are you eligible for a cellphone early upgrade?

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge. But are you eligible for a cellphone early upgrade with your carrier? Drumroll, please.

Cellphone early upgrade - Samsung Galaxy SIII

Samsung Galaxy SIII (Credit: vernieman)

Possibly so! You may indeed be eligible. The carriers want to keep you happy and lock you in for life (practically). So many of them do offer early upgrade policies.

AT&T Wireless and Verizon policy is to allow an upgrade every 20 months. Some of the other carriers don’t have a formal early upgrade policy.

However, in certain instance, you may be able to beg an early upgrade. It’s not easy but many have succeeded before you.

Give these tactics a try for starters:

  • Phone’s not working: If your phone is aging poorly, let customer service know. They may be able to make an exception.
  • Know the facts: before calling, know how long you’ve been a customer, had your current phone and how much you spend per month. You may need to remind the rep that you’re a valued customer.
  • Pay your bill on time: Show the wireless carrier that you’re a good customer. Make sure your bill is paid up before calling. Late or missed payments will not help you get the upgrade.
  • Stay Positive: If a rep says “No,” don’t get angry. Thank them politely and try calling back again.
  • Escalate the call: If you’ve got a compelling reason to upgrade but are getting denied, consider asking for a supervisor. But always be polite, no matter who are you speaking with!
  • Be Ready: If a rep does cave and give you the cellphone early upgrade, be ready to pay – right then and there!

One warning, early upgrade sometimes comes with a nominal fee. For instance, to upgrade my iPhone 4S, it would be $36. Not too steep and definitely worth it if my phone is faltering.

Have you scored a cellphone early upgrade? Let us know your story in the comments!