Ah, capitalism. Is it better to own property or rent it? Now, this is a sentiment mostly thrown around for houses but in the case of next-gen consoles… well, they’re not as expensive as a house but they’re certainly up there as investments that require a fairly substantial cash sink. While plenty of folks are taking up an extra job or working overtime to afford one of either the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X, Vox Telecoms has suggested that all the extra work is unnecessary because all you actually need to do is rent an Xbox from them.
Of course, we at Stuff like to ensure that what we purchase is worth the cost of admission, even if it is just for a rental, and we’re here to tell you that renting any kind of new Xbox from Vox (or anyone, really) is an awful idea that will see you spending up to double what the console is worth only to eventually hand the device back at the end of the contract.
To rent an Xbox Series S/X from Vox, you’ll be paying a load of cash on a monthly payment to use the console that will remain their property. According to a Vox press release this morning, for a Series X you’ll pay R1,620 per month for a 12 month rental, R900 per month over 24 months and R720 per month over 36 months. Now, what this gets you is… just the console. No games and no extra peripherals beyond the first controller. So let’s see how those numbers add up.
The Xbox Series X retails for R12,000 so if you want to rent it for 12 months from Vox, you’ll be paying R19,440 to just use the device. It doesn’t get much better as over 24 months you’ll pay R21 600, which is an even worse deal. Worst of all, for a 36 month rental you’ll pay R25 920, over double what the Xbox Series X is actually worth.
The Xbox Series S isn’t much better. Retailing at R7,000, a very respectable price, for a 12 month contract from Vox you’ll end up paying R11,400. For a 24 month contract your payments will amount to R12,480 and, as expected, the 36 month deal is the worst contender, coming in at R15,120. Which is just a mind-bogglingly terrible investment.
It’s not even an investment because you don’t even get to keep the console. The wording in the release was a touch ambiguous so we reached out to Vox to provide some clarity and it confirmed that it was not a “rent to own” system and that once the contract ends the Xbox remains the property of Vox, forcing you to take up another contract or give the device back. That’s also evident in the Ts&Cs for the offer.
Please don’t be tempted by those lower (monthly) numbers. There are more efficient ways to acquire an Xbox Series X that don’t involve paying double the price over three years. You could take a personal loan or you could use your Foschini Group Account card to purchase one from Sportscene. There’ll be interest on your purchase if you do but the payment will be cheaper in the long run and you’ll actually own the damn thing when you’re done paying it off.