We wrote in early October about the failure of Yatango Mobile and its lapse into voluntary administration, and we kind of stopped following the story; sadly, the failure of MVNOs really isn’t as uncommon as it should be, and when another bit the dust, we wrote about it and forgot about it.
However, it seems there’s more to the story. You see, towards the end of October, quite a number of the other Yatango companies fell into voluntary administration too. In fact, as it now stands, most of Yatango is under administration, and as of last week, it looks as if some of the companies will be liquidated.
This is relevant for Ausdroid readers for a number of reasons, but first and foremost, if you’ve ordered products from Yatango, or Yatango Shopping, and you’ve not received it, you’d be well advised to lodge a chargeback with your bank today if you haven’t already. This is your best bet at getting your money back, because from what we’ve heard from our source, Yatango won’t be shipping anything to its customers anymore.
Our source has told us other damning things about the business, which makes its fall into administration and now liquidation entirely unsurprising, and in fact, predictable. Some of the things we’ve seen in the administrator’s report, and been told by our source, include:
- The Yatango group may have been insolvent (i.e. having insufficient funds to meet its debts) for months, going back as far as around April this year.
- Yatango Shopping hasn’t shipped orders to customers for some months, with some customers having ordered in August and not received anything.
- Optus (Yatango’s underlying carrier) threatened to cut their services off around September for racking up almost a million dollars in debt, which does not seem to have been paid since.
- One of Yatango’s directors was paying himself a salary in the order of $200k per year or more, while at the same time, Yatango’s staff were not being paid their entitlements, and others were being made redundant.
- This same director is said to have taken out a car loan for a prestige European vehicle, even though the business was failing.
- The administrators of Yatango Mobile (Australia) have recommended that Yatango’s two directors, Andy Taylor and John Wilkinson, be investigated for insolvent trading and other offences as part of any subsequent liquidation.
The administrators have reported that Yatango Mobile (Australia) failed owing almost $10 million to its creditors, including $2.3m to Optus, and $1.75m to Acquire Client Services (which provided outsourced customer service to the company).
Sadly, the likelihood of Yatango’s creditors seeing anything from the failed business seems nonexistent, with administrators predicting zero return. Staff are unlikely to see entitlements paid, and foreign staff (who are paid on different terms) unlikely to see anything.
We’ve heard further allegations about what’s gone on within Yatango, including some allegations about particular staff, but we do not consider it necessary to publish that information.
Again, the message we have for any of Yatango’s customers who are awaiting orders being fulfilled is that you should consider acting now; you can call your bank, request a chargeback against the insolvent business, and try to claw back your money that way.
It’s always sad when our local businesses fail, but it’s even more sad when they fail because of the alleged behaviour of directors and those in positions of influence.
What about Yomojo’s acquisition of Yatango Mobile’s customers?
Yatango Mobile (Australia)’s customer base of approximately 20,000 subscribers has been sold to Yomojo, a company about which rather little is known, except that their website seems to have been hastily put together. We’ve heard that Scott Stavretis is behind the new company, who has had a hand in a number of successful telecommunications ventures in Australia, including Dodo.
We’ve received tips from affected users advising that they’re having difficulty recharging their services, and those who’ve decided to port away have faced difficulties as well. Yomojo appears to have had no existing customers prior to the acquisition of Yatango’s customer base.
While we don’t know enough at this stage, the feedback we’ve had from affected customers is pretty clear; the service isn’t great, and whether that will improve is a great unknown. As we noted earlier last week, if your service has been transferred to Yomojo and you’re not happy, you should look to port your service elsewhere.