Tangled web of collapsed telcos causes customer confusion

A string of collapses in telecommunications companies has left customers in the lurch.

ITNews reports Melbourne-based telco Conec2 has collapsed after several of its subsidiaries themselves recently buckled and were sold off last week.

Conec2 acquired the remnants of failed former Smart50 finalist ispONE in September 2013, after it collapsed following  its lost court battle with its former wholesale partner Telstra.

Ferrier Hodgson’s John Ross Lindholm and Stewart Alexander McCallum were appointed administrators of Conec2’s subsidiaries on May 2.

The company acquired ispONE’s core assets including iBOSS, AsiaPAC and One Telecom for $1.7 million in controversial circumstances, after it was revealed three higher offers were made to secure the business.

CRN Australia last month reported the acquisition had actually been financed by former ispONE boss Zac Swindells, through a combination of cash, loans and a mortgage over the home of Swindells and his wife, as well as several other sources.

SmartCompany contacted Conec2 for comment, but its head office phone service is currently redirecting to voicemail.

It is currently unclear what will happen to Conec2’s 15 employees.

Vocus Communications last week acquired iBOSS and One Telecom, as well as Conec2’s ONEseniors customers, and on Friday released a statement saying it was working around the clock to restore the services of affected customers.

Matt Hollis, general manager of sales and marketing at Vocus, told SmartCompany it was impossible to reconnect the services of Conec2’s customers immediately because of the muddle of companies and contracts the telco had left behind.

“It was impossible to untangle the web within a reasonable period to get customers their service,” said Hollis.

He said by the time Vocus had acquired the customers, they had already missed out on six days of service and the process of untangling Conec2’s mess would have taken at least one to two weeks.

Customers have since been directed to sign up with new services from telco iPrimus.

SmartCompany understands Jirsch Sutherland has been appointed as administrators of Conec2, but the firm did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.

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