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Kogan Mobile customers disconnected after Telstra contract is terminated

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kogansim2Kogan Mobile will refund outstanding fees to customers after the pre-paid provider was forced to shut down after its wholesaler’s contract with Telstra was suddenly cancelled.

More than 100,000 customers will now have to take their number to another service provider after the contract between Kogan Mobile’s supplier ispONE and Telstra was torn up today following a dispute.

Telstra has already contacted Kogan Mobile and notified them it will be terminating the supply of 3G mobile services to its wholesaler ispONE within 24 hours.

Kogan Mobile’s has negotiated arrangements for customers which will be allowed by Telstra.

Services will cease within 60 days with customers having up to 180 days to port their number to another carrier.

In an extraordinary day the following events unfolded:

* The contract between telco wholesaler ispONE and Telstra was abruptly cancelled and placed in the hands of administrator Ferrier Hodgson.

* Telstra entered into an interim agreement with Medion – a supplier for Aldi Mobile – which assures continued service for Aldi’s pre-paid customers.

* Kogan Mobile announces it will shut down and remaining credit will be paid back to customers as a pro-rata amount.

* Optus offers special deals to Kogan Mobile and Aldi customers who want to port their number.

In a statement to Kogan Mobile customers the company conceded “there are forces at play beyond our control, very powerful and impossible to ignore”.

“Unfortunately and frustratingly, it appears like the telco heavyweights may be determined to take their former customers back and they may be prepared to do so by force,” the Kogan Mobile statement read.

“We believe that fair and open competition is great for consumers, but unfortunately that competition is being forcefully limited today.”

So what does this mean for Kogan Mobile customers? Here’s a rundown of what you can do.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY NUMBER?

Kogan Mobile customers’ mobile numbers will stay active for 180 days from today by which time they can move it to another provider.

If your number is not ported within this 180-day period the service will be cancelled by Telstra.

WHAT CAN I DO NEXT?

Customers will receive a text from Telstra advising that their service will cease within a limited period of up to 60 days but not before they receive a second SMS advising that there are 7 days to port their number to an alternate provider.

During this time (up to 60 days) customers will be able to use their existing service and credit as they normally would.

The second SMS from Telstra received in the 60-day transition period will advise customers they have 20 minutes of calls and 20 text messages and no data to use on a 7-day plan.

Kogan Mobile says it will try and negotiate deals with other mobile service providers.

WHAT HAPPENS TO MY UNUSED CREDIT?

Kogan Mobile has promised to refund any unused credit in a pro-rata amount once your number is ported to another carrier.

Refunds will be deposited back into the PayPal account or credit card you originally paid with.

Optus was quick to move in and offer Kogan Mobile and Aldi customers favourable deals within hours of the contract between wholesaler ispONE and Telstra was terminated.

The limited edition deal included double the talk time and double the data on the first three pre-paid recharges of $30 or more.

“No-one like uncertainty with their mobile service and we feel for the people who are currently worrying about it,” said Ben White, Optus’s vice president of mobile marketing.

“We’re hoping to make things better by offering an easy way for you to come to Optus, keep your existing number and continue using your mobile service.”

The Optus special offer pre-paid plans can be viewed here.

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