People Are Still Buying Kogan Mobile

People Are Still Buying Kogan Mobile

Our report earlier this week about how Kogan Mobile is enforcing its acceptable usage policy triggered a wave of mainstream media coverage and lots of complaints from angry customers. However, it doesn’t seem to have stopped people signing up for the service.

Kogan founder Ruslan Kogan took to Twitter this morning to boast that weekly signups for Kogan Mobile have reached higher levels than ever before in the wake of all the stories:

You might conclude that this means “all publicity is good publicity”. I’m going to be optimistic and assume this means customers are signing up with an improved awareness that the conditions on an unlimited plan do allow the contract to be terminated. Again, that’s true of all providers with this kind of offering, not just Kogan, so always read the acceptable usage policy (sometimes labelled a fair use policy).

If that doesn’t happen and the service meets your need, enjoy the choice — and remember that as it’s no contract, you can change down the line if it stops being suitable.

Update: Several commenters have pointed out that the service currently has a 6-8 week delivery delay. That doesn’t affect the number of signups, but it does perhaps suggest not everyone is looking at all the small print.


  • This whole thing was a non-story, “fair-use” policies have been a (stupid) part of the Australian telecoms landscape for well over a decade now, and “unlimited” plans have always included some form of bullshit equivocation in the T&C’s. It’s sneaky and dishonest, but consumer law reform is the only way to fix it. Manufactured outrage and faux surprise over a new dog performing old tricks is just Today Tonight-esque clickbait.

    I’ll be signing up with Kogan the moment my Vodafail contract is up next month. If they suck I’ll move to Boost. If they suck I’ll see if anyone else has decent offerings on the Telstra network. If no one does then I’ll hold my nose and get on a Telstra BYO plan. Business as usual.

    • I did exactly that and haven’t looked back… I think it would be a rare case that they would ask someone to move on when they are using the service in a normal manner… I see only spotty reports of people even being asked.

      As soon as the missus contract is up she will also be moving over.

  • “”If that doesn’t happen and the service meets your need, enjoy the choice — and remember that as it’s no contract, you can change down the line if it stops being suitable.””

    This comment doesn’t really sit well with me. Being cut mid-term is no good. It’s no good if that’s on a month to month basis, and extremely bad if on an annual basis.

    It seems to me that this article is saying something like – look, people are happy to ignore Kogans lack of clarity in their Ts & Cs so perhaps we should all ignore this issue and move on. Why bother addressing the loss of a service and deceptive marketing when it’s easier to pretend the issue doesn’t exist in the first place.

    • That seems a perverse reading to me. My point is (and always has been) that everyone should read the T&Cs for any supplier. (As I understand also, there’s not a loss of service that has been paid for — just a refusal to continue supplying it.)

      • I don’t think that “As I understand also, there’s not a loss of service that has been paid for — just a refusal to continue supplying it” is correct.

        People have been, as far as I understand from the other thread, cut off mid-term. If you pay for a 30 day service, and are cut off after 2 weeks, you not only suffer the embarrassment and inconvenience of the unexpected (and arguably unwarranted) penalty, but you also suffer a financial loss.

        Sure, perhaps we should all allow Kogan to deny us 2 weeks of paid for service, afterall why be a whingey customer when we could allow the service provider to walk all over us, but being cut off mid term on an annual service would be, to me, a significant financial loss.

  • Our report earlier this week about how Kogan Mobile is enforcing its acceptable usage policy triggered a wave of mainstream media coverage and lots of complaints from angry customers. However, it doesn’t seem to have stopped people signing up for the service.

    Well… my guess is that not everyone reads lifehacker! Did you really think that writing an article about it on lifehacker means the entire australian population will know about it?

    Besides, I read the article and it wouldn’t stop me using them. The other customer was simply abusing the service, using too much, if Kogan or any telecom co. accepts that kind of abuse will cause their whole network to slow down for everyone else.

  • I wonder where all these record new signups are getting their sims when the KoganMobile website quotes 6-8 weeks delivery for sims and has done for awhile.

  • And why is KM refusing to continue supply for people who are simply using a service they have paid for? There is nothing in the T&Cs specifying limits, even the newly-listed on the front page 400MB per day is not in the T&Cs.

    Come April 6 when the first Aldi customers reach the end of their first month, it will interesting to see how they handle renewals – similar plans, same wholesaler, and the same type of clients. My bet is you will not see a similar situation that we are seeing at KM.

    Kogan can’t even get the phones right with the recently released Agora 5 (what a piece of junk) not even working on their own network on 850Mhz!

  • What a pack of lies…… Kogans own website has been listing simcards as a 6-8 week delay before shipping. So how can he have record signups when users can’t get simcards!?

    This is just kogan putting PR spin on it, and here he was on Q&A saying he wasn’t media trained and couldn’t say one thing while thinking another….. we clearly can see he has been ‘media trained’ as he puts it, cause he can lie like no tomorrow!

      • On the tweet you posted he only refers to new customers. If he is counting the number of SIM cards shipped then, yes, it appears this publicity has been good for his business. If he is referring to the number of people activating the new SIM cards, then he is counting his chickens. If it is the latter he is, once again, being deceptive. Charging for FREE shipping; placing limits on a service advertised as unlimited; suggesting recent new SIM activations is the result of last weeks bad publicity … All deceptive.

        How many customers have they lost in that same time period? Or, how many will they lose in the coming weeks and months as unhappy customers bin their Kogan SIM cards rather than recharging them? I was keeping one Kogan SIM card aside and planning to transfer my mobile number to them when my Telstra prepaid runs out. I think I’ll hold off a little while and see how this all pans out. I can’t risk having my number not work based on the whim of someone who thinks I am using it for business purposes.

        Kogan needs to demonstrate that they can provide a reliable/predictable service. That doesn’t just apply to network coverage, but also to their willingness to continue to provide the service. They need to clearly define what constitutes “business use” or “fair use.” Or, at least, narrow it down a more.

  • If you don’t like it – don’t use it. Whether you like Kogan or not, he’s out there making a success of himself – something more Australians should have a go at doing instead of throwing criticisms from the sidelines.

  • I have been using Kogan Mobile for 3 months and I make A LOT of calls. I barely send any SMS. I use plenty of data because half my friends are overseas and we skype alot. I have not had any issues with Kogan Mobile. It’s been perfect and my data speeds have been great. The only problem is that initially my sim card took a couple of weeks to arrive but they said it is because people were signing up faster than they could make sim cards and I see now they offer a “priority” service where you can pay a little bit extra to receive s sim card straight away. When I ported my number it also took a little longer than usual but that was due to Telstra problems rather than Kogan. Apart from that, I’ve saving a lot of money and getting a great service.

    • Lisa, I’d be interested to know how much data you go through on Skype. How much time would you spend on Skype in a typical month, and what does that equate to in mb/gb? Are you using voice only, or video?

  • I completely agree. Have been with Kogan 2.5 months now and everything has been smooth and easy. I make plenty of calls, use my data and make more calls than previously when on Vodafone. I now actually get reception everywhere and I haven’t had a single call dropped, yet with Vodafone it was several a day some times. I’m very pleased I switched to Kogan. I went into this knowing it was a prepaid and cheaper solution. I don’t spend 6 hours a day on the phone and I wouldn’t expect to be able to get away with that on a $29 monthly fee. I use my internet, make a reasonable amount of calls and have zero problems.

    Kogan are a business starting with a new product and still very much in its early days of selling. They’re trying to make sure they don’t lose money in the process by keeping customers who use more than their fair share and cost them more than they’re earning.

    When did everyone become so entitled? You’re not entitled to pay so little and get however much you want. Be fair and respectful people. The guy is trying to run a business and make a success of himself. He’s not charging excess to people, he’s simply saying “You’re not playing fair, you’re not being respectful, you’re trying to take advantage.” And what people are throwing a dummy spit at him? Everyone needs to understand that businesses are trying to make money, that’s the nature of business. Wanting everything for nothing is what’s ruined our economy, lost people their jobs and sent a lot of future jobs overseas where we give our money to someone who’s paying people scraps so that we can have our cake, eat it too and all for $0.99.

  • Yes you are entitled to pay so little for an unlimited plan and use whatever you want. Its not called a somewhat limited plan, or a use as much as you want but don’t exceed our idea of limits plan. Its an unlimited plan.

    The customers getting booted are not getting anything for free, they are not gettong anything extra. They are paying for a service called unlimited and using it that way. If they use their allowed data they have to pay for more. How is that excessive usage. Paying for and then using what you paid for?

    Kogan support has told them if they run out of data before the 30 period runs out to purchase another 30 period. They are inconsistent in their information.

    • Everyone knows unlimited, fair use policy applies, does not truly mean unlimited. When I signed up there were terms that stated it was not for business use and I assumed that indicated that a lot of hours every single day would be comparable to business use. Should Telcos state what unlimited access actually gets limited to? Sure, but y father’s got unlimited on Telstra and he gets charged all the time for going over. Difference here is that Kogan aren’t charging extra. If you want that then go with one of the other providers.

      If anyone is going to sign up to something they should clearly read the policies that apply. You can see them here If people are going to sign up for something they should read the terms and conditions and if they don’t think they’re fair then simple choose someone else. Don’t go taking advantage when you’re only paying $29 and then whinge on forums afterwards.
      Kogan is purchasing a bundle off Telstra and trying to redistribute that out to their customers. They have to find a way to make this stretch to cover all customers otherwise people won’t be getting connection.

      • I don’t think the issue is that people are “taking advantage” of the $29 deal. I think the issue is the difference between the promised “unlimited” calls, and the ambiguous “fair use” policy. Why don’t Kogan simply offer $500 worth of calls a month, or $300, or $75! Then customers would know for sure what they are getting. The term “unlimited” is being used as bait to lure customers who probably wouldn’t sign up if they knew there was a hard cap. In other words, it’s misleading advertising. By using the term “unlimited” Kogan are appealing to people who are obviously high volume users, then cutting them off for using too much! I hear people saying that you get what you pay for: well Kogan are getting the customers they are advertising for. They need to accept responsibility and stop blaming customers.

        If Kogan can’t access wholesale supplies at a price, or volume, needed to fulfill the service they are offering (and still make a profit), then they shouldn’t be in business. It’s as simple as that.

  • Hey thats the problem, if you are advertising it as unlimited, thats what it should be! regardless of what the terms say. just be honest to many Australians lie in business just to suit themselves and the might dollar.

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