VZ Edge: Is the new contract-less plan from Verizon a good value?

Verizon's VZ Edge plan, which will launch on Aug. 24, joins similar plans from AT&T and T-Mobile. 

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    Pedestrians are reflected in the store window of a Verizon Wireless store near the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan.
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As predicted, Verizon today confirmed the existence of a "flexible" payment plan called VZ Edge. 

In a press release, Verizon reps said that VZ Edge would be entirely contract-less, with no upfront fees or finance charges. 

"Here’s how it works: Choose the phone you want and sign up for a month-to-month service plan, it’s as easy as that," Verizon's David Samberg wrote today. "The full retail price of the phone will be divided over 24 months and you’ll pay the first month at the time of purchase. If you want to upgrade after 6 months, just pay off 50% of the full retail price of the phone and you can choose a new phone and start all over again." 

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VZ Edge, which resembles the recently-unveiled AT&T Next and T-Mobile Jump programs, will be rolled out to customers beginning in late August. 

Of course, it's worth noting – as we did yesterday – that although these rapid-upgrade plans certainly seem pretty alluring, once you start to crunch the math, they don't make a whole lot of sense for anyone other than diehard phone geeks (or anti-contract stalwarts who don't want to cough up $200 up front). Lifehacker has published a very good breakdown of the pros and cons of the new T-Mobile and AT&T plans, and unfortunately, it's mostly cons. 

Another reading suggestion: a long essay from Tony Bradley of Forbes, who warns against embracing Next, Jump, or VZ Edge. 

"Bottom line – these plans may seem like a good idea to someone who simply must have the latest and greatest smartphone, and doesn’t have the cash to just pay for the device outright," Mr. Bradley writes. "But, financing the habit through these frequent upgrade plans is a bit like selling your soul to the wireless providers, and will end up costing you much more in the long run." 

We tend to agree. But we're open to hearing the counter-argument. Hit us up in the comments section. 

And for more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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