Cell phone manufacturers are constantly releasing new and improved devices, often with faster download speeds, better image quality, more responsive buttons or touch screens and extra media features. Many cell phone users are ready to upgrade to a newer model before their old contract expires. Many cellular providers will upgrade your handset, but it may cost you.
Read your cell phone contract or call the wireless company's customer service department to find out when you can upgrade. A contract might specify that you can only upgrade the phone from 70 to 190 days before the contract ends.
Agree to the upgrade requirements. Some companies will allow you to upgrade the phone early into your contract, but will prevent you from choosing a new plan that cost less than your current one. If you wait until the normal upgrade period specified in the contract, you can select any plan. Also consider plan requirements; some upgraded phones will require a more expensive and extensive plan.
Choose an upgraded phone. Companies such as Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile allow you to order an upgraded phone online; others will require that you contact customer service or go to a retail outlet. The price of the new phone varies. Some companies, such as T-Mobile, will discount the phone price based on the length of time since your last phone purchase, and your rate plan.
Sign the new contract. Many wireless companies will require that you enter into a new one- or two-year agreement. The new contract will often have to be the same plan or one that costs more. In addition, the provider will add the number of days left on your current contract to your new contract. Once the contract is signed, the representative will turn on or send the new phone to you.
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