As a by-the-books kind of guy (mainly because of lack of time), I've come to the point where I hope someone can explain to me how best to purchase a new phone when I'm mid-contract with Verizon. My wife and I both got Storm I on launch day (Nov 22, 08). About a month ago, we got the "You've been selected for an early upgrade!" flyer, which listed our phone numbers. However, nobody I've talked to at VZW customer support seems to have any record of any such eligibility. That aside, my real question is more about buying a phone from a 3rd party (Best Buy, Walmart, wirefly.com, etc.), as they seem to offer some great deals on the phones themselves. What's the process of "synchronizing" the purchase of a new phone through a 3rd party and extending my existing Verizon contracts without getting hit with any extra penalties? Do I have to first notify Verizon...or does this happen automatically when I buy the phone and do the paperwork at Best Buy (or wherever)? I'm trying to minimize time spent on the phone, having to explain "well, my new phone eligibility date w/ Verizon is XXXXX, etc.". I am SICK of talking to people on the phone and re-explaining things 80 times!! And, I'm not the most assertive phone communicator (LOL I can be a real jerk and negotiator in person, but I cave in over the phone!). But at the same time, I don't want to do everything "automatically", fill out a form or two, then end up with a bill from Verizon for Early Termination Fees either. I would also think I'm a VIP, considering I've written VZW a check for well over $200/month for the past 10 years, but nobody has been able to verify that either. Anyways, what's the process for efficiently buying a phone from someone other than Verizon, then making sure I don't get hit with extra fees or penalties? How does this all work??? Thanks!