Intro – 60 second guide
Here are the key findings for both comparing Kogan and Lebara services & coverage, there are more details in the article which follows below.
The primary differences between offerings from Lebara and Kogan are:
- Lebara Australia have a longer and better record when it comes to being the better of the two MVNO‘s, as they look after their prepaid customers and provide better online support.
- Both Kogan and Lebara resell access to the Vodafone 3G network, with Kogan saying they will also provide consumers with the Vodafone 4G network in 2016.
- Kogan failed last time with their prepaid mobile plans and left a lot of unhappy customers without service.
Lebara is the clear winner – here, we show you why:
While Kogan does have slightly better mobile data allowances on their two prepaid plans, which are comparative in pricing when you compare them to the equal plans on Lebara.
It’s important to keep in mind that Lebara is a more established player in the MVNO scene and that in the past Kogan offered prepaid mobile plans and ended up closing down their company.
What happened to Kogan last time?
A few years ago Kogan launched and ran until it failed, a MVNO company which offered prepaid deals using the Telstra network. But, unlike others who resold the major carriers directly, Kogan used a middle man (ispONE) as their wholesale provider.
By using a middle man it left Kogan in a situation where they had a large active customer base, who relied on them for prepaid mobile services and as a company, Kogan ended up being unable to negotiate a deal directly with Telstra.
In a recent interview with The Australian newspaper, discussing the launch of their Vodafone Australia partnership, Kogan was quoted as saying, last time was “very upsetting” but that disappointment drove him to sign a new deal that would cut out the middleman”.
“At the time we had a lot of critics in the industry around Kogan’s prices but there’s only one critic I care about and that’s our customer,” he said. “We did everything right by the customer, we gave everyone a refund and the overwhelming feedback was people were still happy. We reflected on it and realised it wasn’t something we were willing to walk away from.”
Lebara 3G or Kogan 3G?
Both Lebara Australia and Kogan are operating on the Vodafone 3G network, so no matter which MVNO you choose, you will be getting access to the same quality Vodafone network and coverage.
The difference between Kogan and Lebara is service, prepaid plan pricing and the details of the respective plans. When it comes to service Lebara is a much longer established company so you know that you won’t have any problems.
Lebara Australia as an MVNO service provider offers their customers prepaid smartphone plans for Australian consumers who want to receive fair value for money, as well as access to the Australian Vodafone 3G network.
In doing so this allows Australian consumers access to the world class Vodafone network, which features excellent Australia wide coverage, allowing people to receive service in rural areas and as well as in the city areas.
Who offers the better customer service?
While both Lebara and Kogan are resellers of the Vodafone Australia network, both MVNO’s provide different methods of being contacted, should customers have an issue or require support with their prepaid plans.
They both provide convenient ways for Australian customers to contact them for support and help, a few of the different methods include: online website chat, telephone customer support, email support, and you can even send them a letter should the need arise.
MVNO provider Lebara and Kogan, offer the above contact choices for their prepaid plan users, both also have detailed knowledge posts on their websites, which customers can use as a self help reference point before contacting customer support.
When it comes to social media Lebara provides the better social media support experience, via their Facebook social media page. The Lebara Facebook business page is another point of contact which their competitor Kogan doesn’t offer to their customers, it’s the small things like this which you should take into consideration when shopping around for the best prepaid deals.
How can MVNOs save you money
MVNOs save their customers money by leasing network access ‘in bulk’ from the three, major Australian phone companies. Then they sell it, to customers like you, at a significant discount.
With MVNOs, you can take advantage of lower rates, and SIMs that are contract-free. They almost always offer better deals than the major phone companies. They don’t have the same marketing spends to pass on in the costs they charge you. They don’t spend nearly as much on advertising their brand as the others. By keeping their business models simple, they reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you. They also need to charge less because they’re not as well known as their multinational competitors.
By keeping their business models simple, MVNOs reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you in their SIM Only plans.
It’s important to realize that the network coverage component of the ‘product’ the MVNOs sell is very often exactly the same thing being sold by Optus or Vodafone. The coverage you’ll get from an Optus MVNO is exactly the same as the coverage you’ll get from Optus itself. There are a few exceptions and ‘gotchas’ to think about. We’ve covered those in detail, below.
Myths about MVNOs: Prioritization
Some shoppers suspect that MVNOs are getting low quality network bandwidth. For example, minutes that aren’t used by carriers during peak activity. That’s just not true. In many ways, network access is like electricity. It’s a utility which is the same whomever or whichever company you buy it from. You will not get a lower priority on the network if you go with an MVNO.
Why are MVNO deals cheaper?
The MVNOs marketplace is highly competitive. The competition is focused where you want it. MVNOs have an agreed charter with the major phone companies. Each MVNO is set up to focus on servicing ( selling to ) a particular segment.
A segment is just a group of users. Here are a couple of our favorite MVNOs and the segments they are designed to address.