have posted on HowardForums that they have not been able make calls or retrieve voicemail since Tuesday Nov 6. When they try, users get a recording that says that their account is not authorized to make calls. I imagine the happy Mingo customers in the ad at right are no loner smiling.
Mingo's website is still up with no indication of an outage. The 800 Mingo number answers with a recording saying that no one is available to take your call and to leave a message. Multiple users say they have left messages but no one has reported getting a call back. Mingo's Facebook page and Mingo co-founder Douglas Chung's Linkedin profile were deleted this week, suggesting that Mingo management is in hiding.
The prepaid MVNO business is a tough one. There's a lot of competition and MVNOs are caught in the middle between users looking for the best deal and operators who want to maximize their own bottom line. If Mingo is gone it's at the least the third MVNO to fail this year. T-Mobile MVNO Tuyo shut down in April and Sprint MVNO Zapp folded in August. The Tuyo shut down was orderly with customers notified in advance and allowed to port out and unused balances were refunded. On the other hand Zapp disappeared without a trace one day and customers lost both their numbers and their balances.
I suspect Mingo is another Zapp and users can kiss their phone numbers and balances good by. Those who paid with a credit card or PayPal have a good chance of getting a pro-rated refund by disputing the charge with their credit card company or PayPal.
Small, obscure MVNOs can be a good deal, but as the Mingo experience shows there are risks. If you have any doubts about a provider stay away or least don't keep money in your account at a minimum and don't trust the provider with a number you care about.
Update: It appears that it is still possible to port a Mingo number to another operator. PrepaYd and PlatinumTel dealer ACRS has posted that he has ported Mingo numbers to both PlatinumTel and PrepaYd. According to ACRS for a successful port you will need to provide the following information (* indicates a required item).
- Mingo Number to port *
- First Name *
- Last Name *
- Alt Contact Phone *
- Address *
- City *
- State *
- Zip *
- Mingo Account ID
- Mingo Password
ACRS also says that there's a 30 day window to do the port, after the 30 days, which presumably started Nov.6 when Mingo shut down. After the 30 days is up your number will be lost and your Mingo handset will be blacklisted. There's more information on the ACRS Forum. In addition a couple of HowardForums users have reported successfully porting to EcoMobile and Page Plus.