Kogan offers compensation to dumped telco customers

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Kogan offers compensation to dumped telco customers
Ruslan Kogan.

Admits error, offers a store voucher.

Kogan Mobile has begun offering compensation to customers kicked off its network for ‘high-usage’, iTnews can reveal.

The online retailer forayed into telecommunications last December, launching Kogan Mobile and offering unlimited calls and texts and 6GB of data for $29 on its prepaid mobile plan. Customers were encouraged to sign up for a three month trial period.

Earlier this month Kogan came under fire for dumping customers deemed to be using too much of its mobile network, following a slew of complaints from customers unable to renew their service. 

Kogan Mobile blamed the offloading of customers on overuse by 200 customers, 0.2 percent of its 100,000-strong user base. The service's Acceptable Use Policy limits customers from using more that 400MB data a day for more than three occasions over a month.

Kogan Mobile operates its network through Telstra Wholesale prepaid mobile distributor ispONE. It pays the reseller on a per user basis, while ispOne pays Telstra for minutes and megabytes. 

Kogan Mobile last month told iTnews ispONE had acted independently of Kogan in preventing select customers from extending their access after the three month trial period. 

Today, Kogan said it was offering a $50 voucher for use on Kogan.com to affected customers. Kogan sells a range of consumer electronics ranging in price from a few dollars up to several thousand dollars.

One affected customer told iTnews he had been restricted from renewing with no warning or explanation, and after contacting Kogan, had been told via email to find a new service.

“Kogan Mobile has detected unreasonable use of your PrePaid Service, in material breach of the Terms and Conditions of Service you agreed to on activating your PrePaid Service, including the Kogan Mobile Acceptable Use Policy,” the email read.

“As a result, Kogan Mobile cannot renew your PrePaid Service, (and you will thereafter not be able to recharge your service). If you would like to keep your mobile telephone number, you should now without delay port your number to another supplier so as to ensure continuity of service: note that porting may take either hours or several days from when you request a new service provider to port your number.”

The customer took the complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), and soon afterwards received a phone call from a Kogan Mobile representative apologising ‘profusely’ for the issue and offloading blame to ispONE. 

According to the customer, the Kogan Mobile representative considered the ban an "error" and said the company was working with ispONE on a compensation package for affected users. 

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