Kogan Mobile - Too good to be true?
- Is Kogan Mobile the best deal out there?
- Or is it too good to be true?
- Are there any alternatives to Kogan Mobile?
Wondering how Kogan stacks up? Check out our review here: Kogan Mobile: Review
Kogan Mobile: Too good to be true?
The recent surge of cheap, unlimited prepaid options have seemed like a happy ending to the long history of mobile telecommunication issues that the Australian public has become accustomed to. Starting in last December with Kogan Mobile before spreading to Boost and Aldi Supermarkets, these plans have has seen lots of popularity amongst the public. Unfortunately we may now be seeing the repercussions of sustaining these ultra-value plans.
A few days ago the Kogan Mobile website underwent a silent change. Two lines were added to the site’s plan page:“Max 400MB per day” and “Access30 and Data30 Plans can only be purchased once per 30 days per customer”. These two terms and conditions impact existing customers directly and have rendered a possibly great service almost unusable for a large majority of it users.
These new conditions were introduced by Kogan Mobile without so much as an email to the users of its service. The internet community on Whirlpool has blown up with complaints and anecdotes of users being cut-off and all sorts of horror stories. Whether or not these are true is one thing but the overwhelming negative response will nonetheless cast a shadow on Kogan’s reputability.
The main issue with these new conditions is the 400MB data limit per day. When Kogan introduced it’s extremely affordable mobile plans in December of last year, no such limit existed. Their terms and conditions explicitly state that changes may occur at will and whilst technically legal, there is a definite ethical issue here that many customers are disputing.
The problem with a daily data limit is it doesn’t allow for flexibility. Most user’s data usage will vary from day to day and most users will expect to use a service as they wish when paying a monthly fee for it. Despite the 400MB limit though, Kogan Mobile is still attractive choice. The real downside to this new limit is the consequence for going over: cancellation of service.
According to the users on Whirlpool, many have had their accounts cut-off for “business” usage of which Kogan’s terms and conditions strictly does not allow. These users claim they are not excessive in their phone usage with only a normal amount of calls and data usage. Some users speculate that the recent actions by Kogan is a motion to push higher usage users away from their service because it’s profitable for them to maintain. The obvious contradiction here lies between the advertised “unlimited” nature of these plans and how unlimited access is actually defined by Kogan.
Further research into the market reveals that the terms and conditions of Kogan Mobile is strikingly similar to it’s main competitor ALDI Supermarket’s who offer their own mobile plan. This information has fueled a theory that both companies are currently wholesaling through the provider ispONE. This wholesaler offers a pack for companies to adopt and rebrand their own mobile plans along with terms and conditions support. ispONE’s own conditions state that excessive usage constitutes:
“in excess of 4 times the “daily data average” of a PrePaid plan. PrePaid Plans with data included are designed for the total data consumption to be used over the expiry period of the plan to ensure network integrity and fair for all users on the PrePaid plans. For example, a 30 day 2GB data plan, has a “daily data average” of 68MB.”
This section of their T&C reflects that of Kogan’s new 400mb limit daily limit. This revelation has raised suspicion among Whirlpool users that ispONE are calling the shots behind the introduction of Kogan’s new terms and conditions and if Aldi are under the same terms, that service may be lead down a similar route.
The thought that came to all of our heads when these plans were released month ago was: “is it too good to be true?”. In Kogan’s case their service delivered exactly what it promised..for a while. Now it seems Kogan is going back on it’s initial claims and the old idiom of “too good to be true” stands strong. This debacle stands to once again break the trust between the Australian public and their mobile providers. Popularity for the alternatives like Aldi and Boost Mobile is already growing fast and for the hopeful out there like myself: let this incident remain the result of Kogan’s customer service rather than a conclusion to dream of an affordably priced mobile plan.