Vodafone Killing Off Crazy John's: What Happens For Customers?

So long, Crazy John's. Vodafone is killing off the Crazy John's brand, with stores set to close by February 20. What happens if you're a customer and don't want to switch?

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A statement from Vodafone confirms the exit plan:

Some of our Crazy John's locations will close, while others will be transformed into Vodafone branded stores over the coming months. Existing Crazy John's customers will continue to enjoy the value and great service through the Vodafone store network.

Crazy John's offerings have always been quite distinct from Vodafone's, with different charging models (including options with per-KB data charges) and a range of unusual caps, including "twin plans" for couples. Lifehacker understands that existing customers will be able to remain on their existing plans, but no new sign-ups will be allowed.

Crazy John's originally operated as an MVNO reselling Telstra services, but switched to Vodafone following a series of legal battles. Founder John Ilhan died in 2007, and his widow sold the business to Vodafone in 2008. With Crazy John's disappearing, the most visible reseller of Vodafone services is Red Bull Mobile.

Vodafone's move to consolidate its brands mirrors Optus' recent decision to ditch Boost Mobile. Telstra is taking the opposite approach; it has taken over the licence for the Boost brand. Telstra also wants to acquire Adam Internet for use as a bargain-priced ISP, though that proposed takeover is currently being investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Republished from Lifehacker



    "Existing Crazy John’s customers will continue to enjoy the value and great service through the Vodafone store network."

    Is that meant to be a joke?

      The stores are great, it's the network that blows goats.

      I think they mean "value" as in it's cheap, and "service" as in decent in-store or phone support, but they neglect to mention their lack of reliable calls, strong reception or high-speed data...

      haahah I was just about to say the same thing ROFL.

      My wife and my mum on Vodafail... it's a joke. Even Optus now a days become really shit. I was thinking moving to Kogan mobile for the value and it's on part of 'TELSTRA' network.

    Great, I am a Crazy Johns customer and my plan offers better value then Vodafone so when my contract is up I get screwed with poor value AND a poor quality network. Time to Look at moving back to Virgin or Optus I think. Telstra are just too expensive.

      Telstra aint as bad as it used to be.. I had that mindset as well.. and it would have been accurate up to about 2 or 3 years ago. They were, and technically still are, the most expensive. What has changed recently though is that their offerings are much more generous for the amount you are paying..... and to be honest, paying that premium is actually getting you the best network in Australia.. so in fact you're not paying a premium for nothing. The other providers are actually selling for cheaper because their networks aren't comparable to Telstra's.

      I'm currently with Vodafone too.. but I will be switching to Telstra in July this year when my Vodafone contract expires.

        I wouldn't have my mobile with anyone other than Telstra. As much as I loathe them, I like having reception more.

        I have to agree. Telstra pricing has become better in recent times. Also, you just can't go past the reception advantages. Vodafone and Virgin... no thanks, reception is a nightmare.

        Well, as recently as last month I was looking at giving all the telcos a go before signing another contract and I gotta tell ya, Telstra were priced around 50% above the competition for the level of service I was looking for. i.e. What I'm getting for $29 on Virgin would cost me $45 on Telstra. I tmay be different if you spend more but not where I was looking. I took one look and decided I would not be giving them a go anytime soon.

        As for it being the best network, who cares if the others are good enough? e.g. Who cares if Telstra's 4G network works in 4 times as many places as Optus's when Optus works perfectly well everywhere I want to use it? And my brother travels all over country NSW with his job and he was surprised how often he can get a signal on his personal Optus phone when his work phone can't get coverage from Telstra.

          Yup.. it's true that you have to go with what you want.. just like anything, there's no point buying a Ferrari if you only need a Prius :) At the time I went with Vodafone, I wasn't a heavy internet user and still aren't.. but what annoys me with Vodafone is that when I do need it, like really need it, it's often unavailable or constantly dropping out... and meanwhile there are others at the same location with Telstra getting not only a stable connection but a fast one at that.

          So while I might not be a power user.. it's the ability to switch on the 3G/4G connectivity and get a connection in more places that I would pay extra for.

      Word is Virgin will be dropped by Optus within the year.

    When was crazy john's Vodafone? They use to be Telstra exclusive.

      Telstra's not as bad as it used to be. Have a look again. (Mind you I'm on Optus (TPG) at the moment :D )

      They used to be but switch to Vodafail several years ago now.

      The relationship broke down in about '03 and Telstra and CJ's spent the next few years sueing each other until their contract expired in '07. Crazy Johns has been Vodafone since then.

    I won't miss the TV ads and that jingle, but this takes out one of the last remaining major options for those unique niche groups.

    It's a pity - crazy had some very good value plans. If you want a families plan, now would be the time to go and contract for one at crazy johns!

    Vodafone will continue to lose customers as a result of this, all while charging the same prices as Telstra.

    This leaves Virgin and TPG as the only major bargain brands left, both using the same mobile network.

    Last edited 15/01/13 4:03 pm

    I always used to go with Crazy Johns when they were with Telstra, then they went Vodafone and the signal strength in my area was non-existent. Shame, they were great value. Now I'm just with Telstra. A little pricier, but at least I can make calls.

    Vodafone seems to be hell bent on losing its customers. No 4G, ditching the low end market, changing the prepay service to charge messages in 1Mb blocks. Yet it's service reception sucks and it has a crappy reseller market that has poor security controls and defrauds the company regularly (through gaming the sign-ups). The churn over there must be a tidal wave out the door.

    People keep asking me whether the Optus or Vodafone deals would be better to switch to, but I say go for it if you like call dropouts and having your personal details sifted through. I've got nothing to say but good things about Telstra, they've finally got it right when it comes to mobiles.

      ...changing the prepay service to charge messages in 1Mb blocks.

      Surely not... Who the hell would write 1MB messages (or even close to that)?

      We'll see. I was on Telstra for a few years. It's not the outrageous price-gouging contract I was on that gets me, since that was the price then and the prices now are what I judge on; it's the way they overcharged me by a thousand bucks and made me go through a half dozen calls (most of which involved the better part of an hour on hold) to get the bill fixed, that's what made me dump Telstra once my contract expired.

      I have nothing but good things to say about TPG as a provider and I haven't noticed any problems with the Optus network coverage compared to what I used to get with Telstra (keeping in mind I don't go out bush very much so Telstra's better coverage out there is irrelevant to me). The only reason for me to leave TPG is if they don't get 4G plans by the time I'm ready to get a 4G phone.

      4G launches soon and will be biggest in oz hence the delayed launch.
      Most prepay charge data in 1mb blocks these days except the ones who give u no data to start with.
      Vodafone released their resign numbers for 2012 and they only lost less than 2% compared with Optus's 4% so Voda mustn't be that bad after all.
      Disclaimer: I live in the bush so am therefore forced to be on Telstra :( but when I lived in Sydney i was on tpg got great coverage but rarely has 3G was always E or 2G only. I switched to Voda and always had 3-5 bars of coverage when in the city or suburbs.

    Interesting considering Crazy John's was the only Vodafone business making money, with a 30% increase in business last year alone...

    kogan=telstra3G for <$30 per month for unlimited ($26 for 3 month & $24 ish for 12 moth) unlimited+6gb all on telstra. Vaya.net.au have awesome $11 & $17 caps on Optus - either way its the death nell for Vodafone, mark my words!

    PS: 4G is awesome for benchmarks, i almost take a personal moment everytime i see 50-70mbs but i can stream just as well with a solid 3G 1mb signal, thats fast enough to be usefull and on (most) networks its pretty standard. well it is on telstra, and occasionally optus too these days

    This is the closure of.the stores not the brand. reading comprehension isn't so.good.around here.....

      Funny you would say that when you obviously didn't comprehend the article. The first sentence says that Vodafone is killing off the brand.

        Funny you would say that, you obviously didn't read the press release. Or the letter from the head of Crazy Johns on their website.

    Erm, it's just the stores that are closing? People currently on the Crazy Johns system will continue to be on the Crazy Johns system? Much like Three customers are still Three customers, despite there no longer being any Three stores in the country. I'm really not sure how you interpreted stores closing as existing customers being forced onto another brand...

    End of an era.

    No coincidence that both 3 and Crazy John's all but bite the dust once joining Voda.

    Glad I've never left Telstra in over 16 years.

    since we had no choice in the sale of crazy johns do we have the right to reject voda and leave without any penalty???????

    i need an used crazy johns prepaid sim card for my BLACKBERRY. please help. i live in central coast. i will pay for your used sim card.

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