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Kogan Mobile Cuts Off..Optus Picks Up

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 21/08/2013

As Kogan Mobile supplier ispOne goes under, Optus scrambles to pick up.

As the fallout from the ispOne collapse continues, the real winners appear to be the telcos, vindicated by Kogan Mobile's seemingly too good to be true "unlimited" offer. 

On Tuesday, Optus began offering a 'special deal' for abandoned Kogan and Aldi mobile users. However, neither Vodafone nor Telstra, who supplied the wholesale service to the now insolvent ispOne, are looking to attract Kogan's data hungry users, whose cut price "unlimited" mobile service is now defunct.  

An Optus spokesperson told CN it has received a "positive" response for providing a solution to Kogan Mobile users so fast, in what appears to be a clear move to gain new customers from arch rival Telstra, who are currently shifting Kogan users to a limited 7 Day Plan, after which their service is gone.  

More than 280,000 users are said to be affected by ispOne's collapse. 

Kogan confirmed its mobile customers who have remaining credit will have their entire balance refunded to them, calculated as the pro-rata amount

A Kogan spokesperson said they are making "no further statement" on the issue, when contacted by CN. This is a far cry from the massive deal the e-tailer made about the mobile deal launched last year. 

The cut off of its mobile service is a massive PR nightmare for Kogan, now faced with the fallout from ispOne's collapse.  

Some Kogan Mobile customers complained on Whirlpool they only received a email notifying them of the termination of service, and were not happy. 

However, Melbourne-based Kogan doesn't have too many friends in the industry either, having ruffled some feathers with their cut price smartphones.  

The demise of Kogan Mobile "unlimited" mobile service is not a surprise to many within the telco industry. 

One industry source told Smarthouse "clearly the [unlimited] model is not sustainable" adding "customers need to realise they have to pay more for data." 

Telstra Wholesale, who were forced to cease the ispOne contract after they failed to pay their bills, have washed their hands of Kogan Mobile and ispOne, a statement confirmed. 

The telco "will not be accepting new activations, number port-ins or processing credit recharges from ispONE on behalf of Kogan Mobile." 

"People who have services through ispONE and its retail partners, such as Kogan Mobile, are not customers of Telstra." 

An interim service will be available for a fixed period of time while users "choose their next steps." Many appear to have joined Boost Mobile.   

Optus, Australia's telco no. 2 says is "providing certainty" for Kogan and Aldi customers "unclear" about their current mobile service, and are even doubling ex-Koganers data allowance for the first three months.  

However, Vodafone wont be following suit, a spokesperson told Smarthouse. 

"We don't believe its right to make a special offer better than that given to existing customers" a spokesperson said. 

"Our plans are already very competitive" and Voda are about to launch new plans that are "very different", and include $5-a day international roaming. 

However, Aldimobile, also an ispOne customer, was saved from the fate as Kogan. 

Telstra Wholesale confirmed it has entered into an interim agreement with Medion Australia to supply prepaid mobile services. Medion is the supplier to AldiMobile.

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