Verizon’s new phone upgrade policy makes you wait a full two years, prospective Lumia 928 buyers will be affected

We’ve been hearing more and seeing more about the Nokia Lumia 928 for Verizon, which will debut sometime this month. We don’t know a single Windows Phone fan on Verizon who isn’t excited to finally have a Nokia flagship to call their own, and the 928 looks like a worthy alternative to the 920. However, some news announced by Verizon today might make you pause before choosing when to upgrade your contract next.

Announced on their press website, Verizon revealed that they were making tweaks to their device upgrade policy which might limit how often you get a new smartphone. As of right now, once you sign a contract for a phone you only have to wait 20 months before you’re eligible for an early phone upgrade. But with today’s announced changes, Verizon is making customers wait out the entirety of their 24-month contract before being offered the option to re-up on their contract and get a new phone with the subsidized price.

The change is going to affect those whose contracts end in January 2014 or later, so if you know your contract is expiring before that you should be in the clear. However, it does make picking your next phone a little more tricky; for example if you use your upgrade to purchase the Nokia Lumia 928 (assuming it goes on sale soon), you’ll have to live with it for a full two years.

It also may set a scary precedent for other carriers to follow — currently AT&T and Sprint offer early upgrades to customers, but the two have a tendency to follow Verizon after a policy change such as this one. The only carrier from which you won’t experience this is T-Mobile, whose new Simple Choice system allows customers to upgrade to a new phone at any point in time — as long as they’re willing to pay for the new phone, of course.

Other alterations to Verizon’s upgrade policy taking effect includes the discontinuation of credits from the carrier’s old “New Every Two” program, which was canceled in January 2011. Then there’s also the change where upgrades from non-phone devices (like a hotspot or tablet) may no longer be used to upgrade to a new phone.

Source: Verizon Wireless