An incredible specialist in punchlines, Xavier Niel unveiled just a few days in the past – with acid formulations in opposition to his rivals – Free Flex, a new smartphone rental offer.
The precept of Free Flex may be very easy: facilitate the buy of a smartphone by renting it, in order to unfold the price over a number of month-to-month funds. The system stays somewhat extra complicated than a easy division of the value over X months.
Rather, Free Flex takes the kind of an LOA (rental with choice to buy). The buyer pays a primary quantity then pays his month-to-month installments. At the finish of the rental interval, he can completely purchase the smartphone by paying the steadiness. So we are able to afford the latest iPhone 12 for 259 euros + 19.99 € / month + 100 euros, for a complete of 839 euros.
The particularity of Free Flex is that the closing value of the smartphone is the identical than the spot value. In this, Free’s offer differs from the LOA provides that automotive producers offer since on this sector the value after the rental interval is considerably larger than the value of the automobile.
On paper, Free Flex has all the pieces the ultimate offer to afford a model new smartphone with out making a dent in your money move. On paper…
Free Flex: the UFC-Que Choisir raises a number of risks
UFC-Que Choisir has analyzed intimately the rental contract for the Free Flex offer. If this system is certainly very attention-grabbing, just a few factors require a sure vigilance.
First, Free Flex is totally impartial of the cell plan. The fee is unfold over 24 months, even if you happen to cancel your cell subscription. Free Flex is subsequently a binding offer, like a client credit score. If you want to break the rental contract, you’ll subsequently should pay the remaining month-to-month installments in addition to the closing steadiness.
In addition, if you don’t notify Free that you just want to change into the proprietor of the smartphone at the finish of the 24 months of rental, the operator will proceed to gather the month-to-month fundss even you probably have already paid the equal of the value of the smartphone.
Mostly, this rental offer has drawbacks in the occasion of breakdown, loss or theft. “As long as you have not exercised the option to purchase, Free Mobile remains the owner of the phone. In the event of a breakdown, it is therefore up to him to carry out the repairs ” explains the UFC-Que Choisir. Regarding loss or theft, “The damage will be at your expense” insists the affiliation of customers.
Finally, a giant vagueness exists in the occasion of restitution of the smartphone. Free signifies that it’s entitled to use expenses if the smartphone is broken. However, the quantity of these prices is just not indicated prematurely and the idea of “damaged smartphone” is just not specific.
The UFC-Que Choisir recollects that “Consumers who subscribed to the old Free Mobile smartphone rental offer found themselves paying fees of up to 250 euros” on the pretext that the smartphone was broken when it was not. So watch out.