I am in my first year of lease. I feel we should be given an option to amend the contract to owning it. This should not involve cancelling the plan nor paying for the device. Rather, work out numbers for us to continue with the plan and own the phone. This option should be available as a number 1 priority for people on lease plan.
I think Optus are (or have) recently sent out a round of SMS notifications with some info (although nothing much different from the current statement of options I believe).
FWIW you can do the numbers yourself now for the 'own it option'. At the moment the default outcome is you just keep paying what you have until 24 months is up and hand the phone back and walk away.
You have two other main choices.
First at the 24 month point you can offer to buy the phone outright. Optus will tell you the price (which does seem mostly reasonable on the proces reported to date - depends on your model but probably somewhere around $500). So if you have 12 months left to go on the lease just pit aside 500/12 = $40 a month and you'll be able to buy the phone when the time comes (You can see now how the $10 a month you save on a leasing plan doesn't start to cover the $40 a month of value you give up)
Second you can switch across to an own your own phone plan any time after the 12 month point of the lease (which you are at?). This will involve a new 24 month plan at these prices (probably more than you are paying now). But the big advantage is this is now an own your own phone deal. So after 24 months you get to keep (or sell) the phone yourself. The plans all also come with the 12 month upgrade option so you can do that too if you want to keep getting a new phone every 12-24 months.
As for Optus changing the existing contract to an own your own phone version, that seems very unlikely now. IMO Optus fully deserve the bad blood these leasing plans have created. They were always a ticking time bomb of eventual disappointment. Good luck with your choices.
Hi @Fii ,
I held off responding as I figured there would be a lot of happy comments on your news but the thread went oldly quiet. It no doubt gives others some hope that a mutually acceptable resolution can be found and that Optus does seem willing to negotiate if pressed. Thanks for letting us know.
That said it will be interesting to see if Optus follow through, customer service people do sometimes say what you want to hear to get the call concluded. The know its not their problem when you call back asking what happened. I also think the your settlement was probably based on your insistance that you were mislead at the point of sale. This is a valid reason to be able to cancel the contract. Most others seem upset that leasing plans have been discontinued and want changes to their contract based on that (much shakier IMO)
You don't say when your 12 month time is up so as @Slimhome says it would be great if you let us know how it is fully resolved in the end.
Posting again as Optus moderator deleted my previous post.
The process to be followed for anybody who wants true recourse.
1. Speak with Optus and let them know you're not happy, they have changed the terms of the Agreement. They are essentially forcing people into a more expensive plan or having to hold onto a phone they had no intention of holding onto for an additional 12 months. The intent of the leasing plans was that they were a cheaper option, and not everyody wants to "own" a phone.
2. If they don't let you rescind (cancel) your contract without penalty and insist your only option is to upgrade, lodge a complaint with Optus AND the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
3. When Optus respond to your complaint, hold your ground and insist that they let you out of your contract.
Optus will offer to waive the cancellation fees and let you pay out the remaining phone fees to keep it, or to return the phone and be refunded the remaining phone payment cost, which will vary depending on how long you had left.
4. Buy a new phone and go onto a SIM only plan with another provider - this is a more economical option OR signup with another provider (or Optus if you dare).
I signed up Optus leasing plan on 8/7/2019. I never received any notification that the leasing plan was removed.
So, we lost one option that we keep going with the leasing plan with the upgraded device after 12 months.
Some people said it has no difference. But, it's not correct.
Before Optus removed the leasing plan, we have three options (after 12 months):
- pay $99 for upgrade device and go with the leasing plan. Keep going with $99 upgrade fee.
- pay $99 for upgrade device and go with non-leasing plan
- pay $99 and the cancellation fee
After Optus removed the leasing plan, we have two opitions (after 12 months):
- pay $99 for upgrade and go with non-leasing plan (for once only). It's $149 from second year.
- pay $99 and the cancellation fee.
As Optus removed the customer's one option, I think Optus needs to offer other optios.
- $99 and No cancellation fee after 12 months.
Leasing contracts are only 24 month contracts. Unless you took Option 3 (walked away) Optus always required you to re-sign a brand new contract with brand new terms every 12-24 months. Previously Optus has been just churning over the old pricing terms but that was always at Optus discresion. If Optus had kept leasing plans they would almost certainly contained the same price hikes in the plan and the same $149 fee for future phone swaps as the current plans have.
In practice Option 1 and 2 you list are essentially the same. They only differ in one key respect: If you pick a leasing plan you save $120-$240 upfront but don't keep the phone. Financially a break even proposition (compared to non-leasing plans) if you kept leasing with Optus for 10+ years.
Personally I agree that Optus should have put a lot more thought into this. They seem to have just decided to pull the pin on future services but not concidered how to leasing customers would react (many of whom have chosen leasing for its no fuss and worry factor). They could have picked a time to announce this that didn't coincide with a fairly significant general price rise (not only are leasers losing the $10 discount but the plans have gone up $10 plus - a double whammy.
But that's in the past, IMO they could still be offering all current leasers (that elect to recontract on a non leasing plan) the same old $10 lease discount (from standard pricing) for the next new plan only. That way the price shock isn't as big, the before and after situation is essentially identical and customers retain the ability to either upgrade again in 12 months or get a "free phone" after 24 months (that they can throw in the bin if they want)
Ultimately the concerns of most people on this thread seem financial. If that is the case then going forward most people are a lot better off (financially) on the new non-lease plans.
I second that!
This is not good enough Optus... if you are closing the lease option then you need to cancel any further incurred charges as technically they no longer exist. I went into the store a few weeks before I got this notification about the end of the lease plans and they did not tell me this was going to happen. They simply informed me that I would be elegible to upgrade in 3 weeks time or buy out the phone for the “remainder of the contract terms” and then $760 for the pay out for the phone. In three weeks also. Hen I get this notification about the cancellation informing me I needed to cancel before the 1st of July, funny thing is the first message I have from Optus about it was on the 23rd of August... very disappointing
I did post an update but I’m thinking it was maybe removed.
Optus got in contact with me after my TIO complaint was filed, gave me the option of upgrading at 12 months and they’d waiver the $99 upgrade fee, I wasn’t happy with this as i’d then be stuck in a non-leasing plan and end up paying more. The Optus rep who callled me always happened to call whilst I was at work, didn’t leave a number to call back and her number would always go to messagebank. So I ended up calling Optus and asking them to email her to email me her contact email or number so we could sort this out, a young man on the Optus side was very helpful with this. She then emailed me the next day saying the same thing (upgrade at 12 months for $99 and have the $99 waived) which I declined, she then offered for me to return both leasing plan phones on my account (last years iphone and last year’s samsung) and have all our termation fees, leasing fees and phone costs removed from my account. (which was $2100 when adding both contract fees up together) I’m super happy with the outcome and I’m actually very happy with how Optus handled my case, I didn’t have to push or hold my ground for the option to be let out of my contact early to be offered. Hope you all have a similar outcome as I did 🙂