Hardware Upgrade Programs (HUP) are nothing new to our Canadian carriers, but what is new is changing them up. TELUS revised their hardware upgrade program last November and called it the “Clear and Simple Device Upgrade” program. This gave customers the option to upgrade early for a price that’s based on what device you have (ranges between $5-$15), multiplied by the remaining months on your contract. Rogers followed this last week with their new HUP structure but their “Early Upgrade Fee” device price structure is between $10-$20.
Now we have Bell coming out with their new Hardware Upgrade Program. This will go in place on May 22nd and according to the internal doc we received it states there will be a couple new additions. On top of the usual $35 Hardware Upgrade Fee there will be the option of a “Early Hardware Upgrade Fee” where “Select clients will have the opportunity to upgrade early by paying a fee on their Bell Mobility monthly invoice. This fee will be calculated based on their eligible hardware upgrade date and can be paid either monthly or in one lump sum”. There’s no dollar amount listed in the doc but we are hearing the fee will come in around what TELUS has at $5 per remaining month for non-data devices; $10/month for BlackBerry and Android devices, and select handsets such as the iPhone will cost the most at $15/month.
Then there’s the introduction of “Eligible for Special Hardware” option. Bell notes that select customers “will have the opportunity to upgrade early to a pre-determined list of special hardware”. Customers will be made aware that they have a select number of devices they can upgrade to and they can “only upgrade to hardware on the list”. The $35 Hardware Upgrade Fee will also apply here.
We’ll have more info soon!