Outraged customers have taken to forums and social media to voice dissatisfaction after Ovivo closed down without warning.
The Vodafone MVNO had offered subsidised prepay Sim-only plans in return for advertising, e-commerce and value added services, but its site and social media accounts shut down late night (19 March), with the company citing ‘reasons beyond our control’.
According to forums PayPal has started to issue refunds over the phone, while customers who want to keep their number must request a PAC code.
One unhappy customer took to the forum took to the forum to say: ‘Wow, thanks for letting us prepare Ovivo...how rude.’
Another added: ‘Good luck trying to get a refund. They didn’t even have the decency to tell people first.’
Ovivo could not be reached for comment.
Informa senior analyst Dario Talmesio told Mobile: 'Ovivo's MVNE Cognatel is not in a good shape off late, so it might be that the MVNO is losing the necessary support from the platform and they simply can’t operate. But if these guys (OVIVO) where strong and rich with plenty of customers they would have kept the platform happy and healthy. A very similar and recent case happened in Italy ( Bip Mobile MVNO, Telogic MVNE platform).
'But ultimately, OVIVO tried to do something where others failed before. (i.e. Advertising based MVNO Blyk, back few years ago). Unfortunately the amount of ad revenues is not enough to subsidise telephony. The economics of this have not changed. It might change in future but as it stands, the business model Is not viable and will not be a sustainable option for quite some time.'