I came across this company recently and thought it was worth sharing. Especially with all ... Smartphone News forum
Wanna "Try" Before You Buy???
I came across this company recently and thought it was worth sharing. Especially with all our pockets tightening due to the worldwide economic crisis...this is a good way to stay on top of the latest and greatest and not shell out a bundle for new "gadgets."
It's called Rentobile and the simple premise is this...rent a phone (smartphone etc) from select carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile & Verizon) and try it before you buy it. Something like Netflix whereas you can keep the phone as long as you like (while paying the monthly premiums) or send it back and try something else. Here's the official verbiage from the site itself:
Your first hottest and latest mobile device is just a few steps away!
Browse for the hottest, latest mobile device, then click "RENT".
- You can rent as a Guest or become a Member and save on renting rates. (See "Member benefits" for additional privileges.)
- Your rented mobile device will be carefully packaged and delivered to you in like-new condition.
Keep it as long as you wish.
- Rent by the month, or for as long as you'd like.
- There's never a late fee.
Do you want to try another hottest and lastest mobile device? Simply return your current device and get your new device. Returns are easy and return shipping is FREE!
Many different brand names are included (Blackberry, Samsung, HTC, Apple, LG, Palm, Motorola...). You can even rent "Unlocked" versions of popular phones as well.
- Simply repack device in a return box with pre-paid return label. (There's no added shipping cost!)
- Bring the box to any UPS drop-off location.
Right now, it seems the trouble is finding devices that are in stock...but I am sure as demand increases so will supply. The price per month for rental seems to go up or down depending on the model you wish to choose.
To become a member you have to provide the ususal information: username, password, e-mail, home address, telephone etc., etc. Also you'll have to provide a credit card for purchases/rental. If you're not sure if you want to particiapte, you can sign up as a guest, but you'll still have to provide a credit card (something I am not too fond of).
But check it out for yourself!
Here's a pull from their Q&A page:
How does it work?
At RENTOBILE we make it simple for you to rent lastest hot mobile devices - so you can always enjoy the most popular, sleek gadgets!
- Decide if you'd like to become a RENTOBILE member OR rent as a Guest. (Members enjoy our lowest rental rates plus other privileges outlined below.)
- Browse our exciting collections and click the borrow button on the items you'd like to rent.
- Rent by the month or for as long as you'd like!
- When you're ready for something new, just return the item and tell us what to send next!
What are the benefits of membership?
There are MANY reasons to become a RENTOBILE member!
NOT SURE ABOUT BECOMING A MEMBER? Remember, you can rent from us as a Guest for as long as you wish. Membership is available whenever you're ready to start enjoying the benefits listed above.
- You'll save on rental fees. Members pay our lowest rates.
- When we receive brand new mobile devices, you'll hear about it first!
- You'll enjoy our mobile device accessories - where you can save up to 50% of original price!
How much does membership cost?
There are three options for enjoying the benefits of RENTOBILE membership.
Membership will be billed in one easy payment. You'll be billed separately for each item you rent.
- * 1 MONTH for $9.95
- * Save 33%! 3 MONTHS for $19.95 (Only $6.65 per month)
- * Save 50%! 1 YEAR for $59.95. (Only $5 a month)
REMEMBER: joining RENTOBILE at any level assures you of the lowest rental rates.
Do you offer insurance?
Yes. coverage against excessive wear and crack is mandatory. Rates vary by item, and are provided when you check out.
How long can I BORROW an item?
There is no time limit on your borrowing needs. Keep it for a month. Keep it for 6 months. Or, keep it for a year! As long as your account is in good standing, the frequency of your item rotation is completely up to you.
How do I return my mobile device?
Returning the mobile device you've enjoyed is quick and easy. Follow the simple steps below to return a device:
* If you lost shipping label, give us a call at 1-201-654-4215 and we'll email your a label you need.
- Visit the MY PROFILE page and click on RENT HISTORY.
- Click on RETURN ITEM button.
- Pack device, original accessories, CDs and manuals in a return box.
- Place the Return Receipt in the box and affix the Shipping Label to the outside.*
- Drop your package off at any UPS location. Borrowing fees will be suspended once the shipping label is scanned, indicating the package is in transit.
- We'll let you know when we receive your package.
How do I cancel a return?
You can cancel a return and hold on to that hot device a little longer by emailing us. We'll resume billing the day you cancel the return.
Once you drop a package off at UPS and the shipping label has been scanned, the return can no longer be cancelled.
Can I BORROW more than one device at once?
Certainly. We know that some users has family plan and need to borrow more than one device.
When is my credit card charged for membership fees?
Membership billing occurs on the day you sign up for service and then each month on the anniversary date of the day you signed up. If your anniversary date is the 29th, 30th or 31st, billing will occur on the 28th. You will continue to be billed on a monthly basis. If you should choose to cancel, you may do so at anytime by contacting customer service.
When is my credit card charged for item rental?
Item rental, shipping and insurance fees occur on the date an item is shipped. If an item is not returned within the one month period selected, you will continue to be billed on the renewal date of the item (one month accordingly). When you request to borrow an item, we pre-authorize your credit card or debit card for the amount of the transaction (item fee, S&H and insurance). This charge will not go through until the item is shipped. Monthly rental fees are charged on the day an item ships and there is a 6-12 day grace period for the initial rental term to cover delivery times both to you as well as back to our processing center.
How do I cancel my membership?
You can cancel your membership by contacting our customer service department at 1-201-654-4215 or by visiting MY PROFILE page.
Do you accept checks or money orders?
Sorry, at this time we are not accepting checks or money orders.
Who pays for shipping and handling?
There is a $9.95 round trip ticket charge assessed to your account each time you borrow a device. The item ships to you via UPS. When you're ready to borrow a device, simply browse our site and make your selection. When you're ready to return an item you are currently borrowing, send it back using the return box and label. Shipping fees include insurance for the item during its journey. $9.95 will automatically be billed to your account each time you choose to borrow a device. A signature will be required for receipt of shipments.
How long will it take to receive my item after you receive my request?
As soon we receive your request, we check our inventory to confirm the availability of the device you requested to borrow. If it is available, you will receive your item within 4-5 business days for our standard shipping option. You can expedite your delivery by selecting Overnight or Two-Day shipping options at the time you place your request.
Can I get my requested item sooner?
Yes! We offer four shipping options for each borrow request: Overnight, Two-Day, Three-Day and Standard shipping. Simply select your shipping option at the time you place your request.
Shipping OptionArrival TimeFeeOvernightArrives the next business day when order is placed before 12pm CST.$36.95Two-DayArrives within 3 days when order is placed before 12pm CST.$29.95Three-DayArrives within 4 business days when order is placed before 12pm CST.$24.95StandardArrives within 5-6 business days.$9.95
The shipping option for an item on your Wait List can be changed at anytime before the item becomes available by changing the shipping selection on your Wait List page. Currently, we are not able to ship to P.O. boxes, APOs or international addresses.
What, if any, taxes apply to my order?
Taxes apply to all residents of New Jersey.
Are these NEW device? What condition are the devices in?
All of our items are either "new" or in "like new" condition. We have very high standards at RENTOBILE. Each device goes through an elaborate process of quality control before we allow it to be "like new" by one of our members.
What are some advantages to borrowing instead of buying?
There are lots of advantages. Here are just a few:
We could go on, and on, and on!
- You can have latest mobile device in your hand.
- You do not have to wait til your contract is over to get a new device.
- Keep a device as long as you want. When it's time for something new, simply return the device and borrow another.
- Save money by borrow expensive devices - but are quickly outdated.
What if the device I'm borrowing gets cracks or breaks?
We hope you care for our device and that you'll return the item in much the same way you received it. We understand that there will be everyday wear and scratches and there is no additional fee assessed in these instances. However, if the device is abused, broken beyond everyday wear and scratches or lost, your account will be charged a reasonable repair or replacement fee. Some devices, however, are not easily replaceable and a fee, up to full retail replacement, may be charged.
How do I update my email address?
Simply login to your RENTOBILE account and click on ACCOUNT INFO under MY PROFILE. Then click on the UPDATE link, enter your new address, and click Save.
How does the point program work?
We know that as a RENTOBIL member, you've got a passion lastest mobile devices. That's why we've created a new member benefit that rewards you each and every time you keep spend a dollar with us on borrowing, shipping and purchase. And those points can be redeemed for a reward toward your next borrowing request. So keep up with the latest in mobile devices, because every dollar gets you closer to your new favorite gadget.
For more information, check out: http://www.rentobile.com
Sounds neat. I wish this was around when I was going through all the phones I went through in the last 2-3 years.
Update: I signed up as a free member. Now I don't have to call T-Mobile every time I need a temporary phone.
Last edited by EricaJ1073; 01-02-2009 at 01:44 AM.
Not a bad idea actually.~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
I know...you can't beat the concept at all. Now, lets just see how long they are able to operate!!!
Originally Posted by EricaJ1073
This is comes in handy when choosing between phones. Very good site. Though the selection on phones is a bit slim.
yeah ... theoretically brilliant, lets see actualization. Sounds like a great idea.... another one of those "wish i had thunka that one!!!" heheheheh
"Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." ~BLAISE PASCAL
~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
When I saw this on BGR yesterday, my initial reaction was to question the viability and longevity of the business plan, and wonder if I were inclined to give an open-ended credit card authorization to an unknown entity. I'll take a wait and see attitude on this one!
Thank you for the post, Michael. Get home safe
Sounds like a very good concept. I will wait a little longer to see how well its carrying out.
..........SHAKE N BAKE..........
A smartphone junkies dream~via 8310 C (wap.pinstack.com)~
Soundlike like something that may work. Now it was a lot of reading and I must say I did skim through some of it; but here's my questions: This is just the Device right, not the Service?~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
Very different concept, it may be a good way to check out a new device since not all carriers have a 30 day exchange period. Not sure if I would do it though........it will be interesting to see if this really takes off or not.
This is great I'm telling everybody about this one~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
When you sign up for the free account, did it charge your account anything, like the 1.00 thingy?
It takes many professionals versed in many different area's to help the masses, I am just a single drop in that pool.
I'll be interested to see how this works with BB's that are unlocked. If BIS accounts aren't cleared from the previous carrier properly and a device is put on another network you usually run into an error since the PIN and IMEI are registered to a different carrier. So many people who've bought used BB's on ebay or pay retail to use them in another country where that model isn't available run into trouble with this.
This sounds like a Great idea! ~via BB Bold (wap.pinstack.com)~
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