The War For Kogan Mobile

Kogan Mobile and its Telstra wholesaler, ISPOne, are locked in an intense court battle right now over the alleged unauthorised suspension of customers for infringing on the wholesalers acceptable use policy. Court documents reveal, however, that the feud between Kogan and ISPOne goes deeper than we ever knew.

Court documents we obtained this morning reveal a mess of backroom meetings, emails and phone calls between Kogan Mobile staff and ISPOne.

The two affidavits allege that Kogan Mobile was at the mercy of ISPOne after the wholesaler allegedly wandered into the telco's retail systems and started "flagging" customers in breach of the acceptable use policy, preventing them from recharging.

Kogan Mobile alleges that between March and April, approximately 2000 customers of the telco's 60,000-odd customer base were "in breach" of the acceptable use policy, which mandates that anyone using over 400MB of data or 12 hours of total calls in one day would be in breach.

These flags were allegedly added without the approval of Kogan Mobile. Kogan Mobile staff decided it was time to take action, and attempted to access ISPOne's own systems to remove the flags. It was a futile attempt, however, when they discovered that they weren't allowed to remove the flags.

You can find the two affidavits here and here. They're well worth a read to find out exactly what's going on behind the scenes.



    And this is why Telstra outsourced the wholesaling of its network rather than doing it in-house.

    The only winner here is Telstra. They get to tap into a market without damaging their "premium" branded products while their exclusive wholesale provider acts without regard to the consumer market.

    I can only imagine this will drive consumers back to the premium end of the market where they dominate.

    Win win.

    So who runs Kogan Mobile's support?

    I have contacted them a few times now because I haven't been allowed to top-up my Data only plan due to my account having been flagged. I frequently go over my 400 MB daily limit, and I recharge more that twice a month.

    The support staff are friendly and understanding (I use the Internet for online studies and for job search), and it only takes a matter of minutes for them to "un-flag" my account. I have never had the impression that this is a difficult task for them.

    If Kogan run their own support, then it is not as difficult for them to access ISPOne's system as they make out. However, if ISPOne handle the support, should it be any surprise to Kogan that they can easily flag, and lock out, suspect users?

    Kogan obviously went into this with little forethought and research.

      ... Or ISPOne realised they had no right to disallow the Kogan staff to change this status.. Doesn't mean Kogan won't sue them for that too..

      I would say though that the two companies allowing access to each others systems does seem like very poor planning and like something like this was bound to occur. Need clear divisions in such things.

      I don't even understand why a reseller, buys off another reseller, who buy off telstra.. Like.. What the? Maybe there's some unwritten rule that the more resellers in the chain the more profit you make? Especially on budget carriers? /sarcasm

      Last edited 12/04/13 11:58 am

    It's a lot of BS, time to go back to norml telcos. Aldi Mobile seemed so much better than Kogan Mobile, their T and C ( more reasonable ) yet both are from the same mob. ISPOne had better be found guilty and fined. Kogan Mobile had better refund money back to customers.

    Last edited 12/04/13 12:42 pm

      I wonder if there's been any negative experience with Aldi Mobile anywhere as bad as the ones on Kogan mobile has encountered.

        Most likely yes, however, I'd imagine Kogan mobile would get a lot more, how you say, 'tech savvy' traffic than Aldi mobile, Thus a higher percentage of people using large chunks of data and being flagged.

    read the T and C for aldi mobile, no such condition as no more than 400 megs a day happening 3 times in any 30 day period, no such thing as unable to recharge twice in 30 days who the hell talk on the phone for 12 hous a day anyways. With so many apps and games and music and things to do online, even a 12 year old can use more than 400 megs a day 3 times a month, and that 12 year old would be considered conducting a business on a private residential account according to ISPOne. You be the judge.

    How dare ISPOne tells you you cannot use your entitledment that you already paid for with your own money. And they do it by going behind your back to disconnect your service altogether so it serves as an element of surprise and smells smack of a punishment with no warning for the customer. My understanding is even people who do not pay their bills are given numerous warnings before the service is cut altogether. This mob just cuts your service without just so much as a courtesy call because they must think they are above the law.

    Is ISPOne also a collection agency by any chance? They sure behave like one, without regard to the law of course. Who owns ISPOne? Goldman Sachs?

    I'd like to know which part of any legislation protects them from any lawsuit. Their lawyers must be sleeping the whole time.

    Last edited 13/04/13 7:37 pm

    Doesn't matter what Kogan product you're talking about, and I've bought a lot over the years, if the product (large sized like a TV) goes faulty, Kogan are hopeless in handllng the matter. Be very wary of Kogan's service. I'm still chasing an answer after 28 exchanged e-mails over 20 days!! Now asking NSW Fair Trading.

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