iPhone Saga

verizonMy iPhone is 3 years old and has been out of contract for a year. Since we upgraded, recently, to Verizon’s More Everything plan I’ve been getting a $25 credit every month (off the $40 line charge) that I remain out of contract. I would love to do this indefinitely! I also like to keep an upgrade available for when one of the kids loses or breaks their phone. This was more important when they were younger, but I like to have it as a backup plan.

Unfortunately, I’m having iPhone issues. I don’t know if it’s my battery. I don’t know if it’s the fact that my phone, a 16GB 5, isn’t nicely compatible with the newer operating systems. I just know that it dies unexpectedly, going from 50% or more down to 1% battery. It’s happened when I’ve taken a picture and when I’ve tried to use Siri, among other things. But, when I plug it in, the charge immediately goes back up to 50% or more. It’s like the battery just thinks it’s dead.

So, I went to the Verizon store yesterday and got the scoop on my options. I found it very confusing because Verizon has changed their upgrade policy/options, something I wasn’t aware of. For the past 10 years or so we’ve always upgraded into a new 2-year contract. You can still do this. But you can also “buy” your new phone – either outright, or by making monthly payments.

Assuming I upgrade to a 6s with 16GB, let’s say, here are what the options will cost over 2 years:

Monthly payment option: $0 down + (24 x $27.08) + (24 x $15*) = $1,009.92
Pay retail price option: $649.99 + (24 x $15*) = $1,009.99
2-yr contract option: $40 upgrade fee + $199.99 + (24 x $40) = $1,199.99

* $15 is $40 line charge less $25 if I remain out of contract (first two options).

Clearly, the monthly payment option looks best. But there has to be a downside! 😉 How is this going to bite me in the butt? These companies never (or at least hardly ever) make changes that aren’t in their interest. This is how I felt when we changed to the More Everything Plan. It is saving us money from our old plan, but there has to be something they know that we don’t know. Somewhere it’s going to cost us more down the line. And, of course, you can never go back to the plan you left.

For now, I’m going to limp along with my current phone. Aside from the monthly “plan” cost, It’s only costing me $15/month – by far the cheapest option of all! I bought a $30 portable battery that I keep with me and can use to charge my phone when it acts up. It’s something I’d thought of getting for times when we’re somewhere with no power source, like camping – something I rarely, if ever, do. 😉 But the guys all hunt and fish. A lot.

We’ll see how long it takes before I cave in and get the new phone. If Jay’s iPhone (only a year old) is still going strong next year I’m confident he’ll be happy to keep it as long as possible without upgrading. That’ll give us the $25 credit on his. But good luck trying to convince the kids to go this route.

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