Cell Phones

Big Three & Device Return (Lease). Do people understand the terms?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 29th, 2020 2:18 pm
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2006
18862 posts

Big Three & Device Return (Lease). Do people understand the terms?

I've been ask several times that they're getting offers from the Big Three.

It seems they don't have a clue, they 're shocked when I tell them they have to return it (in good condition) after 2 years or pay of the remaining balance.
"I'll put up color bars before I'll put you in front of our cameras."

- MacKenzie
6 replies
Mar 20, 2012
26 posts
People do their own upgrades obviously a lot more during the pandemic and when you do, depending on the carrier will default to the 'lease' or return option to give the customer the lower price. In a store, you can absolutely have a rep that doesn't properly explain that you must return the device or you will be charged back the initial discount at the end of the 2 years. This will be and is a problem already. Lesson ofc is ....never ever sign a contract before knowing what you're signing!
Deal Fanatic
Aug 4, 2008
5189 posts
I think it makes sense depending on the brand.
The iPhone 12 Pro 256GB buyout is $540 in two years.
Will you get $540 or more on the resale market?
Maybe, maybe not.
You have the flexibility to just scout the market and decide for yourself.
In terms of not keeping your phone in good shape, well that's a YOU problem and not an issue regarding the carriers.

I think the program makes sense for any device that's not an Apple.
Even Samsung phones are depreciating faster than they normally do.
And most people are weary about used phones without warranty unless its an iPhone.

Its a terrible program if you hup often, especially, if you took an offer with a promotional discount on the finance.

In my case, I get about $20 off a mth on my device finance to keep my costs down since I grabbed a Note 10+ during Boxing Week 2019.
I want to move to the iPhone 12 Pro but I have to pay out my subsidy. So initiating the upgrade triggers the lump sum of 12 payments but not the lump sum $20ish discount a month I get from them over the 12 months.
So, I'm leaving about $240ish plus taxes on the table if I try to upgrade.
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2017
4509 posts
The carriers have gotten smarter. I think the ones who don't understand it are the ones hoping for "customer loyalty" when it comes to paying it off at the end of 2 years lol
Deal Addict
Nov 7, 2012
1227 posts
Yeah I almost got sucked into buying an Iphone12pro Max.
I usually check My account on Rogers to see what they have to offer. As of this past year I would get random texts from Rogers with various offers.
I'm currently using an iPhone 8+ with nothing owing to Rogers. And have their $75 20gb plan.
When I was on My Account I saw this whole $600 off with Upfront Edge. Obviously they're pushing the low montly cost ($41.50) Throw in a pair of 2nd gen airpods as well as an extra $55 off on your next bill. I was like shit... I can afford this no problem.

But before I pulled the trigger I was wondering what the catch was. Then I read the info on Upfront Edge. So its a lease on the phone. I don't know how I feel about this. I know how a lease works. But having to fork over $600 a couple years from now 'if' I want to keep the phone doesn't seem smart. I personally don't resell my old phones. If anything they go to a relative. So i've held off on this 'deal'.

Financing the regular way where you keep the phone calculates to something like $160/month (base 20gb plan)
I dunno, I don't really need a phone right. My 8+ is still running fine (knock on wood). But the 2nd Gen Airpods thrown in appears to be an 'ok' deal. But the resale market right now has em at like $150 bnib. Obviously leasing something only really works if you're not looking to keep your current car/phone. My only issue is that 2 years down the line, what are the chances of getting the newest phone with a similar deal and before/during your 2yrs is up.
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2016
1261 posts
Waterloo Region
The only reason the Carriers can get away with this is because Apple Canada doesn't offer financing for iPhones. You can only get an iPhone by forking out the huge sum upfront, or taking whatever deal your carrier offers.

Wish they would set up a similar program here.
Sr. Member
Jun 4, 2013
952 posts
I usually just buy my phone outright and not have to worry. If you financial a phone with a carrier you are paying more over all. If you lease it you are paying more in the end if you want to keep it.

Beside I don't buy flashship phone so the cost is that bad.