Economy

Kogan trades blows with Telstra over ispONE collapse

Patrick Stafford /

An ugly battle in the telco sector has now been made public, with online retail veteran Ruslan Kogan targeting accusations at Telstra following the collapse of wholesale provider ispONE.

The collapse of the company and cancellation of its supplier agreements for prepaid services has now left tens of thousands of Kogan customers stranded.

After ispONE – a previous Smart50 finalist – was placed into receivership earlier this week, Kogan was unable to provide prepaid mobile services to its customers.

Earlier this week, Telstra said in a blog post it is prepared to enter into direct arrangements with Kogan on commercial terms. “To date, we have not been able to reach an agreement with Kogan,” it said.

However, yesterday, Ruslan Kogan said he hadn’t heard of this – and invited Telstra to come clean on a number of its claims.

“The reality is that to date, Kogan Mobile has not received even remotely ‘commercial’, let alone competitive, terms of direct supply,” Ruslan said.

“Kogan Mobile has done everything possible to protect its customers: if commercial terms of continued supply were available, of course Kogan Mobile would have taken them up, and still will.”

Kogan also says it never made a decision to “no longer provide services” to its customers, as the blog post suggests, and asks for specifics about a number of details regarding commercial terms.

“We hope and expect that Telstra will come clean with the Australian public, and Kogan Mobile’s 120,000 customers on these matters.”

“In the absence of public responses to the above questions, we respectfully say to Telstra that it cannot legitimately say that it is “concerned at the misinformation and confusion” surrounding these affairs.”

Telstra was contacted by SmartCompany this morning. The company repeated in a statement that it had “not been able to reach an agreement with Kogan”.

“An agreement requires two parties to agree and we have no intention of negotiating through the media.”

It has been a tumultuous year for ispONE. Earlier this year it lost a court case against Kogan regarding accusations of misleading and deceptive conduct. This week it was finally placed in administration after losing a court battle against Telstra.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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