What Happens To Kogan Mobile And ALDI Mobile Customers Now That ispONE Is Folding?

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here: that's the message Telstra is giving Kogan Mobile customers as it progressively makes plans to cancel services on the discount MVNO. Here's what's going to happen over the next 30 days.

ispONE administrators today cancelled the wholesale contract with Telstra, meaning that Kogan Mobile customers are about to be left in an uncomfortable lurch when it comes to their mobile service.

Telstra has jumped onto its wholesale website and assured AldiMobile customers that, thanks to its relationship with Medion which acts as a go-between, coverage and service will be uninterrupted. Kogan Mobile customers aren't so lucky, however. Quoting from the update:

Telstra Wholesale has entered into an interim agreement with Medion Australia for the supply of wholesale Pre-Paid Mobile services. Medion is the supplier to ALDImobile.
Because Medion has entered into a direct supply agreement with Telstra Wholesale, Telstra is able to continue to supply Medion to support their ALDImobile customers.
Given the Pre-Paid Mobile relationship with ispONE has ended, and in the absence of any direct contractual relationship with Kogan Mobile, Telstra will not be accepting new activations, number port-ins or processing credit recharges from ispONE on behalf of Kogan Mobile.

Over the next 30 days, Kogan customers will start to notice a few changes. The first and foremost is that they won't be able to recharge any of their credit on any account due to the contract cancellation. In the next few hours, Kogan Mobile customers will receive the following text:

An important message from Telstra Wholesale about your mobile service. Kogan Mobile services are no longer supported. You can't recharge but your number remains active for voice calls & SMS. Find out at [here] about how you can keep your number & transfer your mobile service to another provider. Contact Kogan Mobile for support

The transition plan will then take effect, which basically sees Kogan Mobile customers given 30 days to pick up their service and move it or risk losing their number forever in the abyss of deactivation. Over the next 30 days, Telstra will start to move customers onto what's known as a 7-Day plan to mitigate the load of customers moving onto other carriers via the nation's Mobile Number Porting Authority.

Here's how Telstra explains the transition plan:

Regardless of your plan’s expiry date, existing voice, SMS and data balances will be available for up to a maximum of 30 days from 19 August 2013. If your current plan adds a data allowance each month, this allowance will no longer be added.
Over the next 30 days, Telstra will progressively move all active Kogan Mobile services to a limited 7 Day Plan. There are limits to the whole industry’s capacity to implement mobile number porting requests. If large numbers of people try to port out at once there may be some delays.
The time you have left to consume any existing voice, SMS and data balances will depend on when you are moved to the 7 Day Plan. This could be any time during the next 30 days. We will prioritise those with no or low credit balances or time left on their plan, consistent with our aim to keep the mobile number porting process working efficiently.

Customers will be notified as they transition onto the 7-Day plan, which includes:

service will limited to 20 voice call minutes and 20 SMS messages to Australian numbers, while data services, international calls and MMS will be excluded. Voice call durations will be rounded up to the next whole minute and the 20 minutes allowance includes calls forwarded to voicemail.
Unplayed voicemail messages are held for 10 days. Played voicemail messages are held for 7 days. Played and stored messages are held for 10 days. Voicemails can be played until their expiry. Voicemail retrieval will not use up your 20 voice call minutes during the 7 Day Plan. Current voicemails cannot be retrieved after you transfer your mobile phone number to another service provider.

But what happens if you don't move after that?

After the 7 Day Plan, and for a period of 6 months, the service will no longer be able to make calls, although it will still receive calls and you’ll be able to make emergency 000 calls. If the service has not ported out after the 6 month period, the service will be cancelled and the number placed in quarantine.

It's worth noting that numbers are notoriously difficult to extract from quarantine, so get your arse in gear now if you want to keep it.

Telstra won't be offering support to Kogan Mobile customers. Instead they're left to call Kogan Mobile's support number with their questions. Kogan Mobile is offering customers pro-rata refunds based on the date they cancel their service. More info here.

Godspeed, Kogan Mobile. [Telstra]

Image: Shutterstock


Comments

    So does this mean that Kogan customers could simply port their number to Aldi? Obviously there's the question of Kogan refunds and it would need a new contract with Aldi, but I'm taking from the article that Aldi is still taking new customers... is that correct?

      Obviously there's the question of Kogan refunds

      This is my question! Mrs D just barely recharged on the 90 day plan. Does the other 60 days go begging?

      Last edited 19/08/13 3:48 pm

        Regardless of your plan’s expiry date, existing voice, SMS and data balances will be available for up to a maximum of 30 days from 19 August 2013.
        Any longer than 30 days and the service will be deactivated which means the number disappears. Basically, it's "port or else".

          But the number stays active for 180 days :) this was stated yesterday in the release Kogan gave.

        Crisis over, Full pro-rata refund of unused credit.

    The same thing is happening with dodo prepaid. It's ending this month. I think there is a bit of collusion happening here. The government should look into this

      Doesn't Dodo run off Optus?

        Yes it does. I think the three telcos have been chatting to each other and have decided to screw the customers. Smells like price fixing, but not fixing a price,just getting rid of the cheap 3rd party sellers. I have also noticed data allowances have reduced as well

          They will only go as far as competitors will go. This is old news. In true economics, companies will compete for the customer by offering a better product or a better price or both. In reality, companies will sort of limit off and will do just enough to retain customers and focus more on getting new customers.

          Once in a while a small challenger will do something out of the ordinary by either offering a lot of perks or lower than usual rates but the big incumbents usually win by having bigger economies of scale and better marketing presence.

    Just signed up for the year plan, do we get a refund?

      Yes.

      http://www.kogan.com/au/km/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20130819+AU+IMPORTANT+update+about+your+Kogan+Mobile+Service&utm_content=20130819+AU+IMPORTANT+update+about+your+Kogan+Mobile+Service+CID_711a499b504e80c80ae16b03746103ce&utm_source=MailList&utm_term=here

    whats been missed here is what it means for tier 3 isps and carriers. these are generally smaller carriers with a smaller workforce. they will be inundated with calls and work to wither switch quickly to a new carrier (the one i worked for also had optus in place - which i suspect a lot won't)

    also these carriers generally don't have shopfronts but do stuff through the mail. this means a massive amount of work to get out new sims (once again assuming an agreement with another carrier exists)

    also, anyone know how this effects voice lines? alot of carriers use ispone for voice and internet as well

    Think I just answered my own question:
    https://www.koganmobile.com.au/sitedocs/kogan_mobile_prepaid_plan_terms___conditions.pdf

    1. Subject to clause 4.3 below, credits cannot be converted into or redeemed as
    cash and cannot be applied against other services or accounts you have with
    us.
    2. We will transfer any existing credits:
    a. if your Kogan Mobile SIM card is lost, stolen or damaged and you purchase
    a new Kogan Mobile SIM card for use with the service; or
    b. where your phone number is changed in accordance with clauses 6.3 and
    6.5 below.
    3. If we cancel the Service for convenience or if you cancel the Service in accordance with clause 11 of the Kogan Mobile General Terms and Conditions, we
    will:
    a. refund any unexpired prepaid credits, not including any special offer credit
    that may have been applied; or

    b. with your consent, apply those credits for use on another service you have
    with us.
    4. If the Service is cancelled for any other reason than for convenience, any credits remaining on cancellation of the service are forfeited. For the avoidance of
    doubt, where the Service is cancelled under clause 12 below, any credits remaining on cancellation of the service are forfeited.
    5. Credits will be forfeited when a top-up is made, unless specified. Credit may
    also be forfeited when auto top-up is set up on your account.

    Last edited 19/08/13 4:04 pm

    There's still plenty of options to switch to:

    On Telstra, you have Telstra prepaid or Aldi or Boost.

    On Optus look at Vaya's $18 plan with $650 calls, unlimited text and 1.5Gb of data. Also Amaysim at $39 for unlimited calls/text + 4Gb. If you don't make many calls but still want 5Gb data there is Woolworths mobile.

    If Vodafone works ok for you, pennytel has endless light where $35 gets you unlimited calls/txt plus 5Gb data (or $45 includes unlimited international calls to 45 countries, or you can go right up to 7Gb data with unlimited international voice calls to 110 countries for $59)

    Last edited 19/08/13 4:07 pm

      This was massively helpful, thanks!!

      You're forgetting Boost mobile which is honestly the best value you can get on the telstra network - $40 gets you unlimited calls and texts and 3GB data and full nextG access, plus there's shorter recharge periods if necessary with slightly less data for your money.

        How is Boost better than Aldi? My MIL get more data and as much talk and text for thirty odd dollars by using two $15 recharges per month.

          As of right now, as far as I'm aware, Aldi is only the wholesale 3G network where Boost is the full NextG network - Although this might change now that Aldi are in an agreement directly with Telstra

      Hi, is any of these plans for 4G speeds?

        Yes, vaya, optus prepaid, Telstra prepaid, liveconnectrd (now owned by vaya), and iiNet all offer 4G Sims.

        Boost users have also managed to get 4G but eventually this loophole will be closed by Telstra.

    The trouble with arm-chair lawyers is they often miss things.

    Have you investigated what "convenience" means in terms of:

    "If the Service is cancelled for any other reason than for convenience, any credits remaining on cancellation of the service are forfeited."

    My understanding is that this termination forms a significant breach, and is therefore not a convenience.

    But, I am not a lawyer. Good luck all, but really do expect that your money pre-paid is lost. From past experience Insolvency firms are very cruel, harsh people.

      And you didn't even manage to blame the rampant Australian racism for this mess @Jayd. You're slipping.

      The trouble with arm-chair lawyers isn't that the often miss things. It is that they can't read commercial contracts and don't understand the law.

      The service is being cancelled for convenience by Kogan Mobile.

      The agreement you have referred to is between the mobile subscriber and Kogan Mobile. ispONE going into administration has nothing to do with the agreement between Kogan Mobile and their subscribers. If Kogan Mobile could have got an alternate provider to ispONE (which they attempted and can do, see section 1.2.c) then they would not be cancelling their agreements for "convenience".

      So yes, under everyone's agreement with Kogan Mobile you are legally entitled to a refund of remaining credits as they are terminating for convenience.

      That said the terms and conditions related to termination for convenience are very loose. It is only referred to in section 4.3 and 4.4. It doesn't indicate under what conditions Kogan Mobile can elect to terminate for convenience and it doesn't give a definition of convenience. If you wanted to push it you could probably get a full refund of your last top up amount regardless of credit used. Your claim would be that Kogan have breached the agreement as their termination rights are not specified.

    love how this post is "brought to you by Telstra"... lol

    I just got an email from Kogan that pointed to the below page. A least I'll get a refund... I pre-payed for a year!
    http://www.kogan.com/au/km/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20130819%20AU%20IMPORTANT%20update%20about%20your%20Kogan%20Mobile%20Service&utm_content=20130819%20AU%20IMPORTANT%20update%20about%20your%20Kogan%20Mobile%20Service+CID_711a499b504e80c80ae16b03746103ce&utm_source=MailList&utm_term=here

    As per information from Kogan, Kogan will be handeling refunds directly. All credit remaining at the time Telstra cancels your service will be refunded on a pro-rat rate.

    @jayd - Its not a matter for the insolvency firms as its ispONE calling in the administrators not Kogan. Kogan may attempt to recover some of their money back from ispONE but customer refunds are not going to be dependent on this.

    Time for a class action against Kogan?

    Some of the 1000's of Kogan customers inconvenienced by Telstra's actions
    are also Telstra customers (like me). If you are considering using any of Telstra's
    services in the future remember what they did today

      Pete, did you even read the article? Kogan is not at fault. In any way.

      Telstra and ispONE were the ones the were at fault (depends who you side with / what you believe), and Kogan was simply affected.

      Saying Kogan are to blame, and suggesting a class action against them, is the same as saying "Woolworths suck for not having any bananas in stock after the cyclone last week wiped out all the banana farms".

      For what it's worth, I'm a Kogan customer...

        Telstra are at fault here, I thought I made that clear.
        Emotion aside, Kogan sold a service which it can no longer deliver.
        The secure supply of that service, even through 3rd parties, is ultimately
        Kogan's responsibility. I must admit they've done a pretty good job of
        marketing the collapse so far, everyones looking at Telstra...

        Sorry, Kogan are entirely at fault from a legal perspective. They chose a partner would couldn't deliver the service they signed customers up to.

        Any significant business closely reviews their suppliers when signing up to an agreement of this nature. Kogan didn't do their background work and their subscribers are suffering for it.

        And your analogy regarding Woolworths is a little misleading. Let me put it to you this way; "Woolworths get you to pay for a months supply of bananas in advance and when you go to collect them they say the cyclone last week wiped out all the banana farms. You say, that's OK just import some from South America. They say, sorry we can't do that. They are too expensive and we would lose money."

        You see, Kogan could continue to provide the service. They could get any number of suppliers to provide it. They just won't, because it would be too expensive for them.

          Thanks James, well put, Telstra are bastards but Kogan have responsibilities. They sold me on the unlimited downloads then changed it to 400mg a day. Then they increased their prices by 30% and now they've discontinued the service. Just another Telco after all.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAJYolK0c-s

            WAAAAAAAAAAH

        Except Woolworths has no obligation to the consumer to stock bananas.

        I'd say it is more akin to a company, say LG in this case, selling an electronic appliance to consumers that consists of budget batteries made by Panasonic that have a high rate of catching on fire. If the device explodes in the customers face, LG is absolutely accountable to the consumer. Whether LG then goes and sues Panasonic for giving them crap batteries is another matter, but they can't claim that just because they didn't develop one component of a product or solution that they are off the hook for the consequences its use and failure has on end buyers. By taking the customers money, there is an obligation there.

        Last edited 20/08/13 11:21 pm

      No thanks I don't sue companies that are already offering me a refund of my money as soon as I port the number out.

      Completely rediculous call that. People like you make lawyers rich.

        The refund, although fair and reasonable, was the least they could do
        Really who's going to sue them anyway? That would be 'rediculous'

    For those looking for an alternative to Kogan, try Boost Mobile. Unlimited everything, 3GB data and no downstream cap. Much like Kogan, there's no 4G but DC-HSPA+ devices can still attain up to 24mbit which is still pretty damn good.

    One bit of warning though - Telstra to Telstra ports are a BITCH, so you'll need to order a blank sim from Boost (Telstra) support to port your number and the $2 sims won't do it

      One bit of warning though - Telstra to Telstra ports are a BITCH, so you'll need to order a blank sim from Boost (Telstra) support to port your number and the $2 sims won't do it

      Absolutely incorrect. Ported from Kogan last Friday using one of the $2 sim packs from Boost. Within an hour I was off Kogan and on Boost with the $40 recharge.

        He's referring to Telstra (not Telstra wholesale=kogan) if you move from standard Telstra to boost it is a long process. If moving from Kogan to boost it should be quick and simple.

    Surely this has to be investigated by the ACCC

    Telstra can go to hell

      ACCC conclusion: Aldi still exists at a similar price point.

      Case closed.

    It is a Disgrace, I too am with Kogan Mobile and was very happy with the service, but I knew in this greedy telco monopoly of Australia it wasn't going to last, I have just browsed around the offerings of the other big telcos to replace my Kogan service, and surprise, surprise, the equivalent service will cost 3 to 4 times more with them. This is the reason we have the highest cost of most services anywhere in the world, because they can get away with their greedy practices because anyone that comes along and offers any competition or value for money, just gets snuffed out. Can't have these value for money newcomers coming in and upsetting the status quo. Not surprised our illustrious Government with all it's quasi modo departments that are supposed to keep big bully business in check, are being awfully quiet, it's just like the rubbish fuel and power prices we are forced to pay to line these sob's pockets.

      Ever heard of aldimobile? They're cheaper than Kogan and also give you international access as well. I've been on both and aldi smash Kogan in terms of customer service. Kogan still owe me $29 which I've tried to chase up for a while now, but I guess I won't be getting that any more.

    Yah I signed up for a year with Kogan, and their coverage and service was quick and excellent. I really think Telstra has looked at this and seen the slice of the pie they could be charging more, and gracelessly pulling the plug. They must think we'll all fall straight back into their arms, but quoting Stubi, they really can go to hell. I'll never go back to Telstra.

      I think the issue here is iSPOne, they sell the service cheap to KOGAN thought that not all the user will be heavy users but they got slapped with the massive invoice that they couldn't pay.

      This is why TELSTRA took them to court (this is my assumption, TELSTRA uses this to cut off the cheap mobile plan)

    PeteM how can you suggest a class action against Kogan?

    I find it strange that Telstra is continuing to provide Aldi and Boost with network access yet it won't continue Kogans may it be because Kogan also sells Phone and Tablet products at discounted prices (I paid $379 for a phone that Telstra wanted $699) the ACCC (Toothless Guard Dog) need to have a look at this. I am not on Kogan service but I know a few people who switched from Optus (barely there network service) to Kogan because it was on the Telstra 3g network. I think it sucks that a competitor can be forced because they have been to successful.

      Kogan also sells Phone and Tablet products at discounted prices (I paid $379 for a phone that Telstra wanted $699)

      You paid for an imported model, which only comes with 12 months manufacturers warranty instead of 24, and may not be 100% compatible with available networks in Australia (the two prime ones being 850Mhz and 900Mhz, some phones support both, some will only support one frequency).

    I understand the refund of unused portion, but we have bought 6 kogan SIM cards at 5.00 each. Does kogan refund this cost too? I know they will say the sim was free and the $5 was for postage but i disagree because if the payment was truly for postage they wouldn't insist on 5 dollars for each sim even thought hey were ordered together.... Instead of six sims sent for 5 dollars, kogan insisted on a five dollar payment for each of them.
    Kogan service was poor when they didnt have a problem so i guess it will be impossible to reach them now. REMEMBER THIS WHEN CONSIDERING USING KOGAN FOR YOUR OTHER PURCHASES. i recall they tried to dis-honor the deal for customers using the service under the fair use policy too. Not too impressive mr kogan.

    The only question I have... Who in their right mind thought signing up to Kogan and Aldi phone plans would be a good idea?

    Cost on paper always looks nice, but come on people... at least give a company a few years to dabble into a new major market before signing up.

      Who in their right mind thought signing up to Kogan and Aldi phone plans would be a good idea?

      Pretty much anyone that likes to save money on their phone bill. As you can see from the comments, Kogan Mobile customers were mostly happy with the coverage/plan and are getting refunds for their unused credit so not a big deal for most people. They saved some money and just need to port to another service. Not that hard. Do you just like paying more than you need to or something?

      Not sure why you even mention Aldi considering they are still servicing customers as usual and will continue to do so.

      Last edited 20/08/13 10:12 am

      Aldi's long life expiry call structure is the same price as Telstra's prepaid simplicity offer. So a fair few obviously did. Also Aldi have taken appropriate actions to keep their service alive, so nothing wrong there with going to them.

      It sounds like ispONE are at fault here, because it sounds like they offered services to both too cheaply and couldn't afford the bill to Telstra.

      at least give a company a few years to dabble into a new major market before signing up.

      If everybody took that view, they would have no customers.

      Last edited 20/08/13 11:16 am

    Would a crowd-sourced wireless mesh network (as discussed here:http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/mesh-internet-privacy-nsa-isp) work as a potential low cost solution?

    I'm not understanding why everyone is trying to pass blame to Telstra or Kogan, I understand neither are very popular around the tech community, but Kogan are refunding their customers of any unused credit, to me that's what they should do and it's not their fault that their provider couldn't come to terms with Telstra.

    and as for Telstra, sure they're Telstra but did anyone stop to think that this may be caused mostly by ispONE agreeing to pay Telstra one sum and then signing up two cheap providers who together their bills couldn't cover the Telstra bill.

      Exactly. This comment from ispONE in the court case about sums it up...

      “The problem is that Telstra is charging ispONE substantially more than what ispONE is charging its customers.”

      I'm sorry but what ispONE decided to charge their customers is nothing to do with Telstra and this is entirely their fault.

        I guess everyone see's the name Telstra & or Kogan and defaults them to be the bad guy, rather than actually trying to see what is happening.

          quick to judge

      My thoughts exactly. Sure, Telstra are Telstra but no one seems to be pointing at ispONE here... When you don't pay your bills, your service get cut off. Simple as that.

      People are crying "conspiracy", but if there really was any truth to that, why would Telstra have made a deal to continue servicing Aldi, let alone Boost?

    I think a very important point is being missed here - in the forums and articles such as this. Optus and other telcos are already indeed eyeing Kogan custmers however, most of Kogan's customers would have 850Mhz phones, Opus and Vodafone and its resellers operate on 900Mhz - making switch for most consumers not so straight forward. How many (oblivious) customers will port only to find out that their phone is actually not supported. Many customers have no doubt used Telstra locked phones which may present problems and not to mention those who purchased phone from Kogan - mostly designed for Telstra frequency. I smell some major chaos brewing! Switching is one thing, this is something else...

    Ok so yes it is ISPone's fault. They could not pay the bill and in the process Kogan customers got the pointy end of the stick...

    The people we should be pointing the finger at is really all 3 major telcos. Simple, we pay more than any other developed country for telecommunications, when unlike other countries, that is deployed and established. So yes ISPone you guys are plonkers but Telstra, Optus and Voda need a reality check and realize that they are supporting us with 1s and 0s... WHY YOU COST SO MUCH!!!

    So is Aldi going under or not? Im with kogan at the moment, if I switch to Aldi will I just have the same problem in a couple of months?!
    And is there anything we (as the general public) can do to make it so that these cheap plans are still available? I've heard a couple of people on various forums say that these smaller and cheaper dealers will be bullied out of the arena. I'm a uni student and just can't afford stupidly expensive phone plans! Who can we contact? Is there any one who we can complain to so that people like me can actually afford to have a mobile?

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