Ovivo Mobile, the MVNO that offered free minutes, calls, and data for absolutely nothing per month, appears to have closed its doors in the past couple of hours. In a statement posted on its website, the company said:
Dear OVIVO Customers,
We are very sad to announce that for reasons beyond our control, OVIVO Mobile is closing down on the evening of Wednesday 19th March 2014.
We’d like to thank each and every one of you for your support and friendship over the last two years.
The company was taking SIM card orders (at a cost of £20 per SIM card) up until the announcement was posted this evening, and existing credit on the system cannot be accessed – leaving both new and existing customers out of pocket. Even worse is that mobile signal for the MVNO’s customers has reportedly been shut off, leaving customers high and dry without phone signal.
The closure looks to have been enforced by the company simply running out of cash – the latest figures on Duedil says that the company had liabilities clocking in at -£511,527. More tellingly, the company only had £10,000 to its name as cash. As Simon Osborne points out, however, the company tried a £3m funding round earlier this month: so these figures may not reflect the true nature of the business financials.
It seems, then, that the termination of service wasn’t entirely unexpected: quite why they didn’t give their customers enough notice to find an alternate network, and stop selling the SIM cards to unsuspecting customers, I do not know.
The company’s social media accounts have been deactivated, and no method of contact has been left on the Ovivo website. Consumers can, however, request a PAC code at ovivomobile.com. At time of press, calls to Ovivo’s office went unreturned.