I have come to realise people with consumption patterns like you describe do exist. And the Optus leasing plan is/was 100% geared to meet their needs (no fuss, just pricy and all risks transferred to the customer). I think the reason Optus has discontinued leasing is because many actually thought the deal was much better than it really is.
Case in point would be the contract. I'm probably one of 6 people that have actually read it. I can't get the exact wording now but it's along the lines of "at 24 months you can upgrade to Optus approved lease or standard plans". The key word is approved, and Optus have not approved any lease plans. So no broken contract IMO.
PS as a security tips all phones these days have one touch factory reset options. Either in the menu or a sequence of button presses on boot up. Would at least allow you to recycle them.
There really wasn't much of a financial difference at the end of 2 years if I walked away. In my opinion, you wouldn't get too much more than $240 after 2 years. And then there was the hassle of trying to sell it or keeping it in the drawer. The latter for me in such was I am actually $240 better off!
I'm sure Optus covered their backside off pretty good in their contract but it still remains that their wording and their sales pitch at the time makes people think they can continue on leasing a new phone. Which is very misleading to say the least.
im in the 12-24 month period of my lease plan. I'd preferebly like to be able to swap to a sim only plan as i can get a phone outright cheaper elsewhere. could i just pay a device return fee and swap to a sim only plan or am i going to have to wait out my lease and switch providers for the sheer inconvienece of all this?
Sorry @PRobatue but the lease contract pretty much requires it be paid out in full before you can leave. This would include remaining future monthly payments as any discount Optus might have been providing on the handset (usually an extra $0 - $30 a month).
Cheapest option for you is probably too remain on the plan until 24 months is up and then hand the phone back at no cost. Then get a SIM only deal.
Alternatively upgrade now to a Optus own your own phone plan for free. Just go the 24 month option and while the monthly cost does hike you will end up with the phone
Just need to do the Sums on the TCO over two years for both options (factoring in your annoyance level too)
I'm at end of lease on my current contract. If I sign up for a new phone/contract online, can I return my current phone to a store after the new one is received? Or do I need to do everything in store?
I think a part of the problem is that many don't pay much attention to the details. For example my most recent general suggestion in this thread is "... So far the best option seems to be a TIO complaint, followed by a clued up Optus Rep contacting you and then agreeing to go your separate ways ..." which sounds very much like what you are advocating?
An interesting assumption about my legal eductation @woodwi but its better to deal with knows in forums rather than make it up as you go along. But I'll make one myself and assume you haven't actually read your contract? (most customers would probably have no idea where they are or that one even exists). My observation is only that Optus haven't changed the contract. All the words are the same as they were when you signed it. The clauses within the contract easily cover Optus discontinuing the leasing program when they want (logically people suggesting otherwise seem to be arguing that Optus has agreed to provide a never ending service for a fixed price).
I would be very interested if someone could find a specific line that they feel Optus have broken.
IMO (and it is only my opinion) Optus are possibly worried about the lease plans being misleading and with the amount of confusion many seem to have that's probably a fair bet. Definitely few understood how poor a deal (compared to standard own your own phone deals) they were.
Regardless there does seem to be some definite room to negotiate an immeadiate end to an existing lease contract with no penalties applied. Would always be good to get a few more confirmations (than the two in this thread) on that.