For the last 3 years, our staff and our families have been riding the no contract cell phone wave. One editor cut his family’s bill from $250 a month to just $60 for the same service plans that they had originally. Getting deals on handsets, saving for sales and keeping a yearly rotation on devices has kept the purchase costs of new phones in check, and kept some pretty great hardware in hand. Unfortunately, even with competitive prices on those phones, there was finally a deal that came along to kill them all… The Verizon Black Friday Deal…
That’s correct, on that fateful November morning, our cash hungry editor’s family became one with the universe and joined in on the madness of purchasing a new device on a 3 month minimum deal through Big Red. Of course, there was a very good reason for doing it, a better than free phone. You see, he was able to trade in a aging Lumia 920 and a decrepit old Galaxy S2 and combine them with some serious rebate action to walk out of the store with brand new Samsung Galaxy S6’s for just $80 a piece. Two lines, with two brand new devices out the door for $32. The $3.50 monthly payments on the devices brought the monthly bill to just over $100. Of course this was going with the lower 3GB plan, but being around Wi-Fi will certainly keep them within limits for a few months.
Now, how exactly does this work long term? The Verizon deal requires that users fulfill 3 months of service to get the trade-in value of the devices. The trade in credits can be cancelled and reverse billed if you leave before paying your third billing cycle. This means that you honestly have to have the service for 4 months before you can walk, but even still, that is only $40 a month more than their old bill cutting total was. That means both people got new Galaxy S6’s for about $150 each.
Sure, there was the headaches of signing up for a new service, and shopping at the store, but with deal that was to be had on that gorgeous new S6, who would be silly enough to pass on it? Now for the good part, after 4 months of paying that $100, there is nothing stopping them from moving back to their favorite prepaid carrier as the devices ship GSM unlocked. While AT&T customers will be limited to HSPA+ speeds, T-Mobile users will get full LTE service in most areas. You also have the bevy of Verizon MVNO’s like Red Pocket Mobile, Straight Talk, Net10 and Page Plus that are available as well.
The Verizon Black Friday sale may have marked the end of the prepaid road for one of our team for the moment, but you can bet the first time that network falters or the bill comes in a bit higher than they want it to, they will walk away and take those gorgeous new phones with them. For now, it’s just a great deal on a great phone with a decent price on good service to match.
You can still snag a bit of a deal using their current sale. The $300 trade-in credit is still running and you can still get a $100 instant credit. This would leave that new Galaxy S6 costing about $200 plus the service difference for four months, but even that should be a nice addition to anyone’s pocket at that price.