Optus launched leasing plans on 5 May 2017 for eligible consumer and small business customers. Leasing plans enabled you to lease a selected mobile phone on a contracted plan. At the end of the leasing contract you would not own the phone but you would have the option of either returning the leased phone to Optus or offering to purchasing the phone at its fair market value.
On 22 July 2019, Optus stopped offering new leasing handset plans, see the options below to find how the change will impact you.
If you signed up to a lease plan from 4 December, 2017 and want to upgrade to a new phone before 12 months has passed you must recontract to a new (non-leasing) plan by paying a cancellation fee for the current leasing contract and all remaining monthly devices charges (increased by any device credits which are forfeited). You would then own the phone.
If you signed up to your plan prior to 4 December, 2017, the above applies if you are within the first 18 months of your minimum contract term.
If you signed up to a lease plan from 4 December, 2017, you can upgrade to a new phone for $99 by returning the current phone in good working order (see below) and signing up to a new phone on an eligible handset plan. Note that a flex/leasing plan option is no longer available.
*If the phone isn’t in good working order you’ll pay a damage fee of up to $499 and can then upgrade
1. You can return the phone in good working order (see below) to Optus.
2. You can make an offer to buy the phone at fair market value (which Optus will advise at the time)
3. You can continue the lease for up to 6 months by paying the monthly device charge and plan fee if you leased a mobile device between 5 May 2017 and 3 December 2017, or for an additional two months if you leased a mobile device from 4 December 2017.
If the phone is not returned after the minimum term of your lease has finished and any permitted additional available months have lapsed, a non-return fee will be charged. The non-return fee will be the fair market value of the device at the time. Once the non-return fee is paid, you will own the phone.
This means the phone is fully functional - that is, it makes and receives calls and texts, connects to the internet, and is not physically damaged, except for normal wear and tear as reasonably determined by us. Find out how we determine whether a device is in good working order.
How can I check if I’m on a Leasing Plan?
You can view if you are on a Leasing plan simply by checking your rate plan name in My Account, My Optus App or your monthly bill. Leasing plans include the word Flex (i.e. My Plan Flex, Promo Flex).
Can I cancel my Leasing contract and keep the phone?
This depends on what month you terminate the contract.
0-12 months: If you purchased after 4 December, 2017, you will have to keep the phone. You will pay a plan cancellation fee plus all monthly device charges (which will be increased by any device credits lost as a result of early cancellation) for the remainder of the contract term.
If you purchased prior to 4 December, 2017, the above applies for the first 18 months of your minimum contract term.
Last 12 months (12 – 24 months): If you signed up after 4 December, 2017, you will pay a plan cancellation fee and have the option to either return the phone to us or make an offer to purchase it at fair market value (which we’ll advise at the time). If you choose to return the device, you will pay an early device return fee of $99 (if it’s in good working order) or a damage fee of up to $499 instead, depending on the nature of the damage.
If you purchased prior to 4 December, 2017, the above applies if you are in the last 6 months of your minimum contract term.
When would I be charged a damage fee and how much is it?
You will be charged a damage fee if you return the device to us and it’s not in good working order.
If the damage is an easy fix like a cracked screen, you will be charged a damage fee of up to $229. Or if the phone can’t be repaired, you will be charged up to $499. If a damage fee is charged when you're upgrading early, you won't be charged the $99 Flex Upgrade fee as well.
What are my options if I've damaged the leased phone?
If the phone is damaged you have a few options:
Early upgrade after 12 months – by paying a damage fee, returning the current phone and signing up to a new phone on an eligible handset plan. You can no longer upgrade to a new flex/leasing plan.
At the end of the minimum contract term (and any available additional months have lapsed) - return the phone and pay the applicable damage fee of up to $499 or make an offer to purchase the phone at fair market value (which we’ll advise at the time).
You can choose to pay to have the phone fixed. You need to have it repaired by Optus, a repairer approved by us, or by the phone manufacturer, and fees will vary depending on how damaged the phone is. Damage fees won’t be charged if the repair is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or the Australian Consumer Law. If you do get the phone fixed by a repairer other than Optus, the manufacturer, or a repairer approved by Optus, you may be charged a damage fee when you return it to us.
What is fair market value?
Optus will advise fair market value of a good working order device at the time you make an offer to purchase the device or if a you don’t return the device.
Can I lease the same phone after 24 months on a leasing plan after the minimum term of the contract is over?
You can continue paying the lease device charges and the plan fee for up to a specified number of additional months outlined in the Critical Information Summary for the plan (if you leased a phone between 5 May 2017 and 3 December 2017 it is an additional 6 months, or for an additional two months if you leased a mobile phone from 4 December 2017). At the end of this extra lease period, if you don’t return the phone we’ll charge you the fair market value of the device (which we’ll advise at the time) and then you will own the device.
Couple of things:
1) With the whole point of leasing plan being for a year-to-year upgrade, are there contract plans available or in the works to supplement that need?
2) With the enforced situation we’re in, why are the users expected to pay a cancellation fee in the first year to change contract rather than being offered an out to another contract plan - or is that an available option?
3) if none of the above are available, and a user doesn’t want to actually pay an exorbitant cancellation fee - do we just have to sit with the existing plan until it ends (therefore another year or more, if within the first year of a new lease)?
What constitutes good working order please?
I am nearly through my two year leasing contract and recently cracked the corner of the screen in two places. The phone works fine but i suspect that is not what is meant by "good working order".
When i signed up for leasing i was told all the plans are heading this way now, I'll save money, and won't end up with an old phone at the end of it, because i can just upgrade.
How is this now going to play out for me?
1) Customers can still go on any contract and do the 12 month trade up option for $99
2) If you wish to change plans after 12 months you can pay the $99 fee, hand your phone back (in good working condition) and move onto an owned handset plan
3) Customers do have that option and are welcome to Message us to review all their options
Information is available here on what is classified as Good Working order
As it's been unfortunately damaged, information about being charged a damage fee can be found in the FAQ
Thanks but i looked through the FAQs as suggested and it is not made clear what to expect for a damage fee as you suggest. All it says is that you can still upgrade after 12 months if you pay out the phone. As i am not looking to upgrade after 12 months or even start a new contract with Optus, what am i likely to be charged for a minor crack in the screen? Further more, when i signed up for this leasing arrangement (clearly a mistake), i was sold it with the promise of a free screen replacement. I would now like to use that free screen replacement in order to hand the phone back.
Based on the FAQ, I would say it falls under:
Return the phone and pay the applicable damage fee of up to $499 Make an offer to purchase the phone at fair market value (which we’ll advise at the time) You can choose to pay to have the phone fixed. You would need to have it repaired by Optus or the phone manufacturer and fees will vary depending on how damaged the phone is. A damage fee of up to $499 would not be charged if the repair is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or the Australian Consumer Law. If they do get the phone fixed by a repairer other than Optus or the manufacturer they may be charged a damage fee when they return it to us.
This is not something that we can assist with here on the forum as we don't have visibility or access to customer accounts.
I don't understand your reply to Jason, you didn't actually address any of the points made. The only option if on a leasing plan of less than 12 months if I wish to upgrade is to pay optus a cancellation fee for a contract that optus will no longer honour. Then once I've paid out all remaining phone lease payments I can keep the phone I don't actually want. But it's ok because optus says I can sign up to another plan and this time optus promises I really can replace my phone after 12 months.
I intend to complain to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. Optus advertised the leasing as an option for those wishing to upgrade every 12 months. Now if I wish to upgrade I must pay a cancellation fee!
I believe you are misleading in stating "You would then move onto a Optus owned plan and you can still update the handset again in 12 months time for the same fee."
Optus has bumped up the New Phone Trade Up fee for the new plans by $50 so it's not a good as deal: "After 12 months, you can pay $149 to return your current phone to a Yes Optus store in good working order and get a new one on a new eligible 24-month plan."