Iconic Australian mobile phone retailer, Crazy John’s, will cease to exist on September 30 after more than 23 years of business.
The decision is at the hands of Vodafone, which began to reform the subsidiary under its own brand in January 2013. The move was cemented by the closure of Crazy John’s physical stores, which were reopened as Vodafone outlets. Vodafone said this is the “next step.”
The telecommunications provider did the same to 3 Mobile, which was shut down in August last year.
Once operations are cut, all Crazy John’s post-paid services will be deactivated. Vodafone sales director, Ben McIntosh, told ARN that Crazy John’s currently has about 100,000 customers, a number that is dropping daily as voluntary transitions occur.
While unable to disclose the number or percentage of these customers it aims to move over to Vodafone, McIntosh said the telco is “confident we will be able to transition a large volume.”
Crazy John’s was established by John Ilhan in 1991, originally as Mobileworld before being renamed to match its dynamic challenger approach to the local market.
Turkish-born Ilhan passed away unexpectedly in October 2007, aged 42, in the Victorian suburb of Brighton.
Vodafone purchased a controlling, 75 per cent stake in the company in 2008 from Ilhan’s widow, Patricia. About 200 staff were reported to have been made redundant following the acquisition.
McIntosh said the closure of Crazy John’s marks the end of an era.
“Vodafone is also a company that made its name challenging the status quo to benefit customers, and we have a great deal of respect and admiration for the company John Ilhan founded 23 years ago.”
“Over the course of our seven-year association, Vodafone has learned a lot about retail and customer service excellence from Crazy John’s and its staff.”
“We understand we need to respect this legacy and we’ll always seek to be the brand that pulls the mobile phone industry closer to the customer’s needs, not the other way around.”