Ask LH: Can I Cancel My Crazy John's Contract?

Hi Lifehacker, I am currently a Crazy John's customer for mobile phone and mobile internet (with 18 months to run on a 24 month contract), and with the news that the brand will be absorbed by Vodafone in the coming weeks, I am wondering what my contractual rights may be should I wish to terminate my service given my past experiences with Vodafone have been less than satisfactory! I didn't sign up to deal with Vodafone — are there any outs here? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks, Not So Crazy

Dear NSC,

Vodafone's reputation (for both network availability and customer service) has certainly taken a battering in the last few years. Given that, the news that Vodafone was planning to get rid of the Crazy John's brand was something of a surprise in reputational terms, though presumably Vodafone's local management think the savings involved with not running multiple brands and paying for multiple points of real estate in shopping centres will make up for it.

That said, we can't act as if Vodafone's involvement is shocking. Vodafone has actually owned Crazy John's as a brand since 2008, and the company has used the Vodafone network for even longer. As such, it's difficult to argue that as a Crazy John's customer who signed up six months ago you could should automatically expect a service that was radically different simply because the brand name has changed.

It certainly seems unlikely you could challenge your contract on that basis; there will be terms in that document which detail the right of the provider to make changes if needed. More to the point, you can't actually demonstrate that anything has changed yet. "I think this will go wrong" isn't a reasonable basis to take a complaint to the TIO *or anyone else).

Vodafone has said that it will maintain existing Crazy John's contracts on current terms, and provide support through its existing channels. If Vodafone contacted you and suggested your plan was about to change, you would have room for renegotiation. Similarly, if you experienced ongoing problems and Vodafone failed to resolve them, you could certainly complain to the TIO. But the changeover hasn't actually happened yet.

Having said all that, it never hurts to ask. Ringing and requesting to be let out of your contract might not result in its termination, but you might well find that Vodafone is willing to sweeten the deal with extra credit or other goodies in order to retain a customer. Just remember: be polite, not aggressive. Screaming about how you expect the service to go downhill doesn't give the customer service staff much of an incentive to try and help you.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but Vodafone is really not that bad. I switched to Vodafone from virgin about 18 months ago, and I am really glad I did! I have had nothing but positive customer service experiences, and I get reception at home now which I didn't before (Telstra doesn't even cover my house). When my plan is up, I will definitely be re-signing.

      I agree - I've always, always, always had excellent experiences with Vodafone. I take issue with people complaining about Voda's customer service; I was a Vodafone customer for at least 8 years before switching to Telstra a few months ago, and that was ONLY because I needed 4G coverage, as I was travelling in rural areas for work.

      On top of that, I've had a few smart phones and I live in a non-metro (well, not CBD-metro, anyway) suburb, and the service disruptions I've had were minimal.

      .../derail. Sorry, Lifehacker.

    my wife and I managed to escape our crazy John contract by logging numerous complaint calls as to the appalling mobile reception we were having in our house. on the fourth call or so she pleaded for us to be released from our contract and they gave in and fortunately waived the cancellation fee.

    I've just switched from Voda to TPG (Optus). The plan costs less, I get way more value (talk time, data) and most importantly iMessage works properly. I can't tell you how often someone would send me an iMessage and it would be delayed like 10-20 minutes and then come through as an iMessage and an SMS. It wasn't the configuration of my phone either, whilst on a trip overseas recently iMessage worked properly on that network and now with TPG/Optus. 3G speeds are much faster and reliable. The only downside has been the loss of visual voicemail, but I can deal with that. So long Vodafone, may you burn in hell.

      I think iMessage just does that after a while. Restart your phone and it works again.

        Trust me, I've tried restarting, restoring, updating iOS upgrading from a 3GS to a 4S.. It just kept happening, the only constant was Vodafone. And it's not like it happened for a few days here and there, it happened almost every day.

    I don't understand why any CJ's customers would complain about switching to Voda. You get the exact same plan, but move onto the MUCH better 850mhz network with DC-HSPA+ capabilities that you do not get on CJ's.

      Such a shame that CJ customers already have access to both then ..!

      Really though NSC chas no grounds to try and get out of the contract besides not wanting to associate with the Vodafone brand. Well you will continue to be billed by CJ's for a while yet, and you'll even be able to upgrade to a new phone on CJ's until May provided you're an existing customer

      Just like 3 customers STILL get billed by 3 and by Vodafone Hutchison Australia, CJ's customers will continue to be billed by Crazy John's/Mobileworld Operating Pty Ltd. For now nothing changes and the reality is NSC will see out their contract before CJ's is given the boot altogether

      No you don't understand and are misinformed. Our letter came which said that Vodafone could not offer anything comparable. Now we are shopping around and looking to pay an extra $30-$50 per month. We never had it so good since moving to Crazy Johns and now will lose 3 months value of a really competitive plan. We have been to Vodafone, Virgin, Optus & Telstra - none of them keen for our business.

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