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‘End Of An Era’: Vodafone Shut Crazy John

It was the phone store with the catchiest jingle ever. But now, Crazy John’s will shut down its service completely, following a decision made by owners Vodafone to shut down operations, reports suggest. 

Last year, Voda announced it would shut Crazy John stores to streamline the retail brand into one, closing or rebranding all stores. 
But now the final nail in the coffin hit today and the mobile operator founded in 1991, will close completely at the end of September. 
Crazy John’s 100,000 remaining customers have been given until 30 September 2014, to swap their current SIM for a new Vodafone one by the allocated transfer date, or have their service terminated.
In 2008, Vodafone acquired a majority stake in mobile phone retailer from Patricia Ilhan, wife of Crazy John founder John Ilhan, for $150 -$200 million.
Mr Ilhan passed away of a heart condition in 2007, aged just 42. 
”It is a sad day and it’s certainly the end of an era in name,” said Vodafone Australia director of sales Ben McIntosh. 
“Crazy John’s was a dynamic, energetic company that generated goodwill by putting the customer first. 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.”
Over the coming weeks, Vodafone will be writing to Crazy John’s customers reminding them of the final closure and their options for the future.
“We look forward to welcoming those Crazy John’s customers who are coming over to Vodafone, and we say goodbye to those who are leaving and thank them for their loyalty,” McIntosh said.
The red telco are offering migrating Crazy John customers “some exclusive plans, plus, you get to choose a shiny new phone to play with.” 
Crazy John’s made its name as an innovative and irreverent retailer unafraid to challenge the big operators. 

Starting out as ‘Mobileworld’, Ilhan soon changed the name to ‘Crazy John’s’, embracing the moniker given to his company by rivals who were astounded at his strategy of $1 mobile phones, ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ offers and cash-back incentives.

The company became a well-known backer of Aussie Rules, sponsoring the AFL Footy Show for nearly two decades, and once caused a stir when it tried to buy the naming rights to Perth’s Subiaco Oval, an attempt thwarted by the local council.

Crazy John’s was an active sponsor of many amateur and professional clubs and sporting associations. John Ilhan, together with his wife started the Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation to help find a cure for anaphylaxis.

In 2007, Crazy John’s began offering mobile phone connectivity through the Vodafone network. 
Image credit: Brisbane Times