Smartphone leasing, is it worth it?

I was wondering if anyone here leases their smartphone either via ThinkSmart through the Carphone Warehouse or similar?

I initially took out a lease through the Carphone Warehouse because I usually sell my phone every 12 months and put the proceeds towards the latest model.

For me the pro of leasing is that I don’t need to make sure my phone is in pristine condition and can upgrade after 12 months on the condition I take out a new 24-month contract and pay an admin fee of £50

I have just found out that in order to upgrade, I have to pay a £400 to settle the lease first and I have to return the phone back to the Carphone Warehouse. For me giving the phone back is a huge blow, since I would expect that if I settled the lease I would then get to keep the phone use this as a trade in towards the latest model.

This all sounds like a bit of a con to me. Has anyone been in a similar situation?

What is the difference between this and just a normal handset phone contract

Just seems to me to be under a different name

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Apple Upgrade programme is this isn’t it. I quiet like it, means I get a new phone every year, quick fix if I break it, and on a contract with a network it would cost me about the same to be on a 24 month contract

I have a sim only deal which I am happy with, The leasing is just for the smartphone. the lease comes with with an option of upgrading after 12 months, I was told there would be a fee, but they sold this as the admin fee, but the actually the fee is £350 on top of the admin fee.

With a contract you can’t get out or upgrade till after 24 months or a couple months before, but then you won the phone outright

I am just disappointed they in order to now upgrade I have to pay 400 including the admin fee

So with Apple do they also charge a similar £400 fee to upgrade at month 12?

I’ve just had a look at the website and I can see why you would be tempted, but that £400 is criminal.

It is well hidden with the only reference to it being ‘you’ll need to return the handset and pay an early upgrade fee (which) won’t be more than the value of any unpaid lease payments in the minimum hire period.’

So you have to pay full price for a phone you can choose to keep for one year but to upgrade have to return the phone, pay off likely half the cost of it AND a £50 admin fee. Wow!

You hand the iPhone back, and that’s used as the final payment, so no £400 charge, just a swap of devices.

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Same with Samsung upgrade program

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I don’t understand this at all. Surely you’d either pay the fee OR give the phone back, not both?

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Now that sounds like a great deal and I kind of what I thought this was.

It looks like I didn’t read the fine print. But at the same time saying that the fee will be less than the value left on the lease is misleading when they only knock around £100 off.

1p savings challenge - this will be paying for my new phone at the end of this year!

The prices seem pretty high looking at the Carphone Warehouse website.


To save a Google the T&C’s are here.

I know it’s no help but that is an absolute con. To keep the phone after paying it off you are still required to make a further 4 months of payments! They should be ashamed.

Edit: Sorry, you don’t get to keep it, you get to keep the phone ‘for the rest of its usable life’ which is 10 years. Reads like you still have to give the phone back, but 10 years later. Good luck finding it in 2029.

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Ha- Thank you for linking this. I feel completely duped. Sad times :joy::rofl::sweat_smile::disappointed_relieved::sob:

Sorry, I know its not much use to you, linking to this con.

The best thing to do would be to get out of that hire agreement as soon as possible and as cheaply as possible and never darken their door again. May involve keeping your phone for another year though.

Looking at their prices, its cheaper to actually buy the phone than lease it. As an example IPhone XR has cash price £749, total price paid £889.75 for leasing over 24months…

Paying 889.75 still does not entitle you to keep the phone, to be eligible to keep the phone you need to pay another 4 additional payments on top of the 889.75. that’s another £148, total £1037.75

And give it back 10 years later or face some kind of penalty

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Yeah you need to pay another £140 on top of the £890 to keep the phone. So leasing would set you back over £1030 whereas you could buy the phone for £750 and still sell it after 24months probably for £200 meaning its only cost you £550. So nearly half the price compared to leasing

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It’s a complete joke, I was just told by someone at the carphone warehouse that they wouldn’t recommend customers sign up for the lease. Which is lovely to hear since last year they were keen to take my money and accept my old phone as a trade in.

That carphone warehouse leasing is a rip off.

The iPhone Upgrade program (which I have) and the Samsung Upgrade programs are definitely much better deals than the Carphone Warehouse offering

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