Wednesday, 07 May 2014 13:37

Vocus picks up ONEseniors, iBOSS, One Telecom Featured

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The businesses and customers of iBOSS International and One Telecom, including the ONEseniors customers, have been acquired by the Vocus Communications group.

The companies were placed into administration last Friday. They are assets that were formerly part of telco ispONE, which spectacularly failed last year

Vocus CEO James Spenceley said there have been significant delays in acquiring the assets, due to protracted negotiations between the administrator and secured parties to One Telecom and iBoss, by which he meant CONEC2.

“Vocus is now undertaking the difficult task of unravelling the complex ownership and supply relationships previously in place, and corporate structure,” said Spenceley. “Although Vocus is working hard to expedite the process, there is no guarantee all services can be reactivated.”

Tens of thousands of customers were affected, including many businesses and households on Phillip Island and members of ONEseniors, most of them over 55.

“The disconnection of retail customers of ONEseniors and One Telecom is a blight on an otherwise strong and competitive telecommunications industry. The decision to place these companies into administration arises from court proceedings to resolve personal disputes between the owners and has resulted in a worst case outcome for their customers, especially the ONEseniors customers.”

Spenceley was referring to the legal action taken by former ispONE owner Zac Swindells, who took CONEC2 and its CEO Cameron Adams to court claiming they had reneged on a deal to give him half the business they had acquired form him after ispONE’s collapse.

“Vocus is keen to assure customers of One Telecom and iBoss that it understands the pain they are currently suffering,” said Spenceley. “Since the appointment of administrators on Friday last week, Vocus has worked tirelessly to expedite restoring services to as many customers as possible, as quickly as possible.”

Spenceley said Vocus has been working proactively with wholesalers and resellers of IBoss and has contracted and restored close to 10,000 services. He said affected wholesale customers should contact Vocus directly.

In further recognition of the hardships caused by having phone and internet services disconnected Spenceley has assured One Telecom and ONEseniors customers that they have all options available to seek an alternative supplier without fear of any contract breach.

“We understand that not having a telephone or Internet service is difficult and we can assure you there will be no contract termination penalties for those who find an alternate provider.” Affected customers of One Telecom and ONEseniors can call 133 001.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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