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]