Ok, well, anyway.
If anyone reading this thread DOESN'T want to waste all their money on their cellphone bills for the rest of their lives, here's a tip: Half of your bill is most likely your phone, regardless of how much your phone actually costs. And you will continue to pay for it long after your contract is up. These kinds of contracts have become obsolete. The phone companies don't even advertise them anymore. Instead, they simply let people who are content throwing their money away continue to do so for as long as they want to, but are advertising the new type of plans to get new customers. I can't speak for Verizon, but AT&T will allow you to switch even in the middle of a contract.
The new way things are done now requires no contracts or early termination fees. New phones are offered with no money down at all, and you pay a monthly fee that is not only less than the added fees for your contract plan to begin with, but they also stop charging you once the phone is paid off. The phone acts as the "early termination fee" as if you leave for the competition, you will be billed for the rest of the phone. That amount is generally less than a typical ETF from a contract. They also allow you to trade in your phone every year, instead of 2 years. All you end up having to do is pay the new monthly fee for the new phone. You return the old phone and the debt is wiped out.
There's no catch. This is what they needed to do to stay competitive. There is no reason not to call and see if you can switch right now unless you're grandfathered in to an unlimited plan or something to that effect. This will see nearly 100% of regular AT&T and Verizon customers paying less than they are currently paying even if the phone is not fully paid off.
When I made the switch, I was with AT&T sometime in the first year of my contract. I was not only able to switch from my contract without breaking it, but I got a brand new phone just months after the previous upgrade and dropped the overall bill (2 lines) by around $20 per month. I then ditched that phone for a new one a year later. It ended up increasing my bill by $1 because I got a more expensive phone this time. Had I stayed with AT&T long enough to pay the two phones off, it would have saved a combined $56 per month. Instead, I had to leave because I moved to an area that AT&T didn't cover. Instead of an ETF, I had to pay out the last $100 for my HTC One M8 that I now use as my backup MP3 player.
Literally, there is no downside. Save some money AND get new stuff.
Edited by drbretto, 19 August 2015 - 11:20 AM.