If you’re a Kogan Mobile customer, you’ve been to hell and back over the last few weeks. After launching with great fanfare, then having disconnection dramas ending in court, and then just this week having to shut down totally, you’d think it couldn’t get much worse for Kogan Mobile customers. Well, it appears that it can – with an announcement implying that some Kogan Mobile customers will possibly miss out on a full refund, simply due to the fact that they took their own action, by reacting promptly to move off the network.
Since the announcement that ispONE had entered voluntary administration and that Kogan Mobile services would cease, customers in their thousands have been buying new SIM cards and porting their number away to a new carrier with the confidence it seemed that a refund for unused service was coming their way.
Now – there’s a catch. Kogan have updated their announcement page to advise customers not to port their numbers away from Kogan until the very last-minute.
That “last-minute” happens when Telstra sends a message to the customer advising them they have been moved to a 7 day plan with Telstra and have a limited ability to use calls and texts and have no data access.
The reason for this, EFTM understands, is that this is the date that Telstra will advise Kogan of the “disconnection” and therefore it is the date by which Kogan plans to pay customers a refund for any unpaid days of usage.
However, it fails to take into account the need for customers to have an assurance of service, and to manage their move away from Kogan/Telstra at a time that suits them, not at an unknown date in the future to be determined by Telstra.
This is an example of poor planning and bad customer relationship management on the part of Kogan.
UPDATE: EFTM has spoken to sources close to Kogan mobile who have told us this advice does not impact on payment of refunds. Customers will still be entitled to a refund based on their date of porting. It seems Kogan released this statement to assist in the staggering of the porting requests, with delays already being experienced, however it’s a lesson in dealing with customers as this message is widely being misinterpreted and customers confused about their entitlements as a result
Kogan should immediately advise customers that if they can provide proof of porting away from the Kogan network on a specific date they will pay a refund based on that date – otherwise, it seems, you may be forfeiting your ability to get a refund for the full unused amount if at all.
The full Kogan announcement is on their website, and is reproduced below.
21 August 2013
IMPORTANT: To ensure you get maximum value for your Kogan Mobile service and to be eligible for your optimal pro-rata refund, we recommend that you do not transfer/port your service to another provider until you receive a second text message from Telstra.
Your service will stay active and fully functional until you receive a second text message from Telstra advising that you have been placed on the “7 Day Plan”. We do not recommend that you transfer/port your service until you receive this second message from Telstra.
Based on constraints applied by Telstra on the transition process, to get maximum value out of your service, we recommend the following:
- Decide which service provider you wish to transfer your service to and acquire a sim card from that service provider and have it ready to go.
- Continue to use your service as per usual until you receive the second text message from Telstra.
- The second text message from Telstra advising you have been placed on a “7 Day Plan” will read like this:
“Telstra Wholesale sent you a message that Kogan Mobile services are no longer supported. You have 20 voice mins & 20 SMS to Australian numbers for the next 7 days, then your service will end. Data, international calls, MMS are not available. More info http://goo.gl/9qYEEO. Contact Kogan for support.”
- When you receive the second text message (above) from Telstra advising you are now on the “7 Day Plan”, you should immediately start to transfer your service. The transfer/porting process usually takes 1-2 hours but can sometimes take 24-72 hours if there is congestion in Australia’s Telecommunication System.
The above recommendations will ensure that you get maximum value for your Kogan Mobile service within the constraints applied by Telstra on the transition process.
Please note: The following message you may have received from Telstra does not yet affect your service. Your Kogan Mobile service will continue to function as per normal. The first SMS you receive from Telstra will look like this:
“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 http://goo.gl/9qYEEO about how you can keep your number & transfer your mobile service to another provider. Contact Kogan Mobile for support.”You do not have to take any action after receiving the message above.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.