updated 11:11 am EDT, Wed July 17, 2013
Carrier to reintroduce extensions to commitments for new devices
US Cellular is updating its terms of service to make its customers sign up for another two-year contract when upgrading their phone, rather than upgrading without a new commitment period. Customers under the carrier's Belief Plan will be forced to enter the new agreement if they want another subsidized smartphone, with the change coming into force from July 27th.
A statement from the carrier received by Engadget advises "Beginning later this month, all customers will be required to sign a 2-year contract when purchasing a subsidized device." Customers will now also be charged a $35 restocking fee if a handset is returned during the first 15 days of ownership. US Cellular states that the changes "will allow us to invest in improving our customer experience and offering new products and services to our customers."
The move to tie customers into a longer commitment comes after both AT&T and T-Mobile announced plans to allow customers to upgrade earlier, as well as a rumor that Verizon would be offering something similar in the future.