Vodafone dumps Crazy John’s brand



news Mobile telco Vodafone has confirmed it will shortly dump the Crazy John’s brand from its retail stores and re-brand them under the Vodafone master brand, in a move which will also see the closure of some Crazy John’s stores entirely.

The company bought a controlling share in Crazy John’s in late 2008, following the death of the chain’s founder John Ilhan. At that stage the plan was for the brand to remain a stand-alone brand within Vodafone and for new Crazy John’s stores to be opened. However, since that time Vodafone has sufferered greatly financially, with the company continuing to lose hundreds of thousands of customers and hundreds of millions of dollars each year due to the issues with its network which have come to be known under the ‘Vodafail’ banner.

Today, following a report on Ausdroid, a Vodafone spokesperson confirmed the company was “streamlining” its retail brand presence to one single brand — Vodafone. “As a result we will be closing or rebranding our Crazy John’s stores across Australia,” they said. “We will continue to support our Crazy John’s customers through our Vodafone stores and dealerships.”

The spokesperson added: “Some of our Crazy John’s locations will close, while others will be transformed into Vodafone branded stores over the coming months. Existing Crazy John’s customers will continue to enjoy the value and great service through the Vodafone store network, as well as online, customer care 13 22 99 and mobile MyAccount service.”

“We plan to exit Crazy John’s retail outlets on the 20 February 2013. During this transition period we are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for our customers and will do our best to redeploy as many Crazy John’s retail employees as possible to work in one of our many Vodafone stores. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but it is necessary to remain competitive and to ensure we focus our investment where our customers and people will benefit most.”

It’s not yet clear how many stores or staff will be affected by the change, but Crazy John’s site currently notes that the chain has some 400 staff across Australia. A search on the company’s site showed about a dozen stores in major retail locations across Sydney alone.

Vodafone’s move to ditch the Crazy John’s brand is not the first time it has gone through a major store and online re-branding process over the past several years. In mid-August, for example, the company ditched its ‘3’ brand which it inherited through its merger with early 3G entrant into Australia Hutchison. The news marked the end of one of the most persistent challenger brands in Australia’s mobile market, and the closure of Crazy John’s will do the same in the retail segment of the mobile market, with the company having been a prominent force in the market due to its rapid expansion and the enthusiasm of its founder John Ilhan.

This one’s been coming for a while, folks. Ausdroid first posted rumours about the closure of Crazy John’s stores in August 2012, and Vodafone’s poor financial performance and new managing director this year, it was only a matter of time before Crazy John’s went on the chopping board along with the ‘3’ brand. Personally I see this as a completely rational move for Vodafone.

I’ve never bought anything from Crazy John’s, personally. However, I want to say that I personally see this as quite a sad move — the same way I viewed the closure of the ‘3’ brand. Crazy John’s was such an Australian institution in Westfields around the nation. It’s sad to see it subsumed into the multinational Vodafone conglomerate. This happens all too often to Australian companies for my comfort. But then, that’s the way things go, I suppose.

Image credit: Crazy John’s


  1. Honestly it’s sad. I’m a current employee and crazy johns was a great employer to work for. Always looking for growth and the most profitable out come for the company. The staff at crazy johns have been like family. I loved going to work everyday. If they offer me a job a Vodafone I won’t be taking it.

    • You and I both Jenna. Was a phenomenal working environment. I made some of my best friends there. Its sad to see a business built by a melbourne man disappear so easily.

  2. Is it odd that I read this and I see Vodaphone as the EA of the mobile phone industry? xD

    Get profit, swallow up other decent medium size companies. Throw away money and close the business while in true borg fashion “assimilating” the original customers…

    Just my 2 cents xD

  3. Honestly, why is it sad? I always saw “crazy johns” as a brand I couldn’t trust. I would never want to spend my money with a company that had “crazy” in its name.

  4. I said also it was a great employer. The commission structure was really good. And honestly it kept jobs in Australia. Just cause you didn’t trust them doesn’t mean others won’t be affected. Crazy johns was the same as Vodafone just better prices. Your crazy for not even giving a company a chance based on a name. Don’t judge book by it cover.

  5. As a customer of 6 days… I am really disappointed. I signed up for the better prices. Does this mean that I become a Vodafone customer and subject to their rates? Not what I signed up for…. I will want to stay on the same or better contract. Customers can’t back out without great effort… neither should they? The Crazy Johns sales people were very helpful… but when I asked them if new data charges for Vodafone affects Crazys, they said they only use the Vodafone system… but they offer better prices. Why didn’t I know about the changes…. I’ve been living in the outback and just moved to the coast.

  6. You weren’t told because staff only found out This week on Monday. You plan will remain with crazy johns until the end of your contract. If you need assistance after the company’s closure you can go into a Vodafone store or call the crazy johns customer contact centre.

  7. Thanks Jenna… I hope you’re right. I also hope the Crazy Johns staff who helped me find the changes will be good for them.

  8. I could be an a-typical shareholder and say ‘good this was costing me money’ but i wont, because I really liked Crazy Johns. However it was losing relevance in the market space, purely because old John isnt around anymore. He was the driving force behind it and it really did become stale after he passed.

    Its a shame him and Telstra had such a big spat, he did some serious good for Telstra even if their shares are worth bugger all and they didnt see anything past dollarsigns.

    Still, personally this was costing the company money – One which needed to go. Such is business unfortunately =(

  9. Only been with ‘CJ’ 6 months, but that’s long enough to know – other companies would envy their fabulous ‘after-sales-service’! Thanx to everyone who helped make ‘Crazy Johns’ the sensational place it is / was. Will miss you heaps !!!

Comments are closed.