Is Vodafone’s Red Hot rent-a-phone scheme really red hot?

Is Vodafone’s Red Hot rent-a-phone scheme really red hot?Things move crazy fast in the world of smartphones, and as such sticking with the same handset for 24 months is a really big ask. Sure, that iPhone 5 is the Best Thing Ever right now, but next year we’ll have an iPhone 5S with, uhm, a slightly faster processor.

Enter: Vodafone Red Hot, a spanking new scheme from Big Red that lets you rent a phone and swap it for the latest model after 12 months – avoiding the dreaded Early Upgrade Fee.

Sounds good in theory, but I’m not convinced Vodafone Red Hot is necessarily the most cost effective way to go about things. Let’s plug some figures into ye olde calculatrix, shall we?

The example given by Vodafone is a free Samsung Galaxy S III, at £47PM on a 12-month contract. It includes unlimited calls and texts, a meaty 2GB of data, and insurance. That’s £564 over the year.

Meanwhile, Vodafone’s bog standard Samsung Galaxy S III contract options include this: 1,200 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data. At £51PM over 12 months, and with an up-front cost of £99, that’s £711 total.

So, a higher cost for a more modest allowance (and no insurance), but crucially you get to keep – and sell/recycle – the phone. And that's just looking at Vodafone, never mind the plethora of other options out there.

Another downside of Vodafone Red Hot is the potential for charges when you return the handset. Grade B damage including “deep scratches, chips or dents” will set you back £75, while a "non-approved operating system" demands between £300 an £425. Yikes.

Not that impressive after all, but if any particularly sweet offers pop up, we’re sure the good people on HotUKDeals will send out the Bat-Signal.

Read more about: Vodafone

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10 comments

Pondlife  Nov. 16, 2012 at 14:32

Hard to see the market for it but guess we'll see.

Pondlife  Nov. 16, 2012 at 14:40

Interesting that they say it's insured then want to charge for cosmetic damage on return

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 16, 2012 at 15:08

Interesting that they say it's insured then want to charge for cosmetic damage on return
Yeah, if it was damaged you might as well "accidentally" drop it in the bath a week before it was due to go back and have them replace it for free.

AhmadCentral  Nov. 16, 2012 at 15:40

What's the difference between this and a 12 month contract, apart from the fact you have to return the phone after 12 months. I guess this is cheaper but i would still prefer a normal 12 month contract.

And yeh, weird how they charge for damage and everything.

Surely it'd be cheaper to get a 12 month contract and then sell the phone privately after the 12 months rather than give it back to vodafone in exchange for another phone?

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 16, 2012 at 15:47

Surely it'd be cheaper to get a 12 month contract and then sell the phone privately after the 12 months rather than give it back to vodafone in exchange for another phone?
Vodafone aren't out to be nice to people, they're out to make money. This (unless Vodafone happen to accidentally price a certain phone overly generously) will be a scheme for idiots who can't do the maths involved in getting a decent contract deal.

Pondlife  Nov. 16, 2012 at 15:53

Doubt many of them are looking at £40+/m contracts though.

CTPAHHIK  Nov. 16, 2012 at 17:16

Might work good for business due to insurance coverage and high phone turnover ratio.
Would definitely drown most of work phones before returning - they are already unusable after 6 month.

jaybear88  Nov. 17, 2012 at 13:05

£564 vs £711 = £147 difference. My note is just hitting the 12 month mark around now and Envirophone will give me £170. And that's forgetting about if it's scratched or not!

No thanks Voddy.

shuwaz  Nov. 18, 2012 at 16:06

£564 vs £711 = £147 difference. My note is just hitting the 12 month mark around now and Envirophone will give me £170. And that's forgetting about if it's scratched or not!

No thanks Voddy.


I'll give you £150 for it... :p

jaybear88  Nov. 20, 2012 at 11:27

Envirophone aren't getting it for £20 more so sure as sugar no-one else is either :p

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