Hate. Hate. Hate.
Here’s why. Typically, the customer pays more for “Special Phone X” extending their contract than if they were a new customer. That isn’t always the case, but it’s often the case. I’ll spare you the argument that it costs more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer, but the carriers have their reasons and you can be assured it is monetary. Now, the best analogy I can give a customer goes something like this, -when you move into an apartment, you may get a great discount on your first months rent. Everybody gets that first discount. If you extend your lease later, you probably will not get the same price break. Maybe you should, and you can ask, but don’t be surprised if you don’t. Back to cell phones. Everyone gets the initial price break, and a year from now you may not get the same discount you did in the first place. People in the stores get tremendous grief for this.