Vodafone launches Red Hot smartphone renting scheme


Customers can choose to own either an Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III or Samsung Galaxy Note II and change it or extend the contract after 12 months

Vodafone has launched Red Hot, enabling customers to rent a high-end smartphone on a 12 month deal.

Vodafone Red Hot provides customers with unlimited calls and texts, 2GB of data, 3GB of Wi-Fi for the iPhone and 2GB of Wi-Fi for all other handsets. Customers sign two contracts – one for the tariff allowances and one for hiring the phone. At the end of the 12 months, customers can either extend their contract or swap their phone for a newer model.

The plan is available with three devices at present. The Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB and 32GB models cost £47 and £52 a month respectively, with an upfront cost of £29 for the latter. The Samsung Galaxy Note II is free at £52 a month.

The Apple iPhone 5 16BG is free for £59 a month, the 32GB model costs £29 upfront with line rental at £64 a month and the 64GB model is available for £69 a month with an upfront charge of £49.

Every contract comes with a screen protector and personalised case for the chosen handset, as well as insurance. However, customers can still be charged if they return the phone damaged at the end of the contract.

If the phone and charger are returned in good condition with normal wear and tear, there will be no charge. If it works but has deep scratches, chips or dents, the port are worn or there is water damage, there will be a charge of £75. Customers will have to pay £150 if the phone switches on vut there are cracks on the device and screen and the ports and buttons are worn.

There will be a charge of £375-£425 (depending on the phone) if it doesn’t work, there is a lot of damage to the screen and device, the buttons are damaged, it doesn’t switch on, it has had components added, the specification doesn’t match what was originally supplied, it has a non-approved operating system or is damaged beyond repair. The same charge will apply if the phone isn’t returned within a week of the end of the contract.

Handset damage claims must be made within seven days to avoid any charges. Lost or stolen phones must be reported within 48 hours.

Vodafone said the decision to offer customers the ability to rent a phone comes on the back of customer research that demonstrated that many people wanted to change their phones more regularly, but did not want to make a large initial contribution at the start of their contract.

Vodafone UK consumer director Srini Gopalan (pictured) said: “We’ve been working incredibly hard to simplify the price plans we offer to customers.

“Vodafone Red Hot marks another way for customers to stay one step ahead of their friends, having the latest technology in their hands.  Coupled with unlimited calls, texts and a massive amount of internet, we think there will be many customers who will see this as a great choice.”