Home - , , , , - Developing - Defense Mobile Reorganizing, Not Accepting New Activations

Developing - Defense Mobile Reorganizing, Not Accepting New Activations


Update 1: 3:45 PM PT 5/11/16; I have received an email from Defense Mobile CEO, Anthony V. Montoya stating that Defense Mobile is not shutting down. According to Mr. Montoya, "While we will no longer offer GSM service, we will attempt to maintain those customers effected." However, the Defense Mobile CS phone number still answers with a recording stating that that Defense Mobile is no longer able to remain in business and will be closing it's doors at the end of this month. I asked the CEO to explain the discrepancy between his statement and the CS message as well as for details about Defense Mobile service going forward. I will update this post if and when I hear back from him.

Update 2:  8:30 AM 5/12/16; I haven't back from the CEO but the recorded message that plays when you call Defense Mobile has changed. It now says that Defense Mobile is undergoing a business transformation and that only email support is currently available. SIMs and phones are showing as out of stock on the Defense Mobile site. A message on the website's phone sales page says that Defense Mobile is not accepting new orders at this time.

Update 3: 4:15 PM PT 5/12: Fierce Wireless is reporting that Defense Mobile is undergoing a business transformation and is not currently accepting new customers. Fierce Wireless quotes Defense Mobile COO Stan Simpliciano as saying," Defense Mobile is still operational and providing mobile services to its existing veteran, active military members and customers... We are going through a business transition and have temporarily stopped new activations and expect to resume activating new customers soon."

Update 4: 8:30 AM PT 7/1: Defense Mobile ended GSM (AT&T) service on June 15, 2016. On June 29, 2016 Defense Mobile CDMA V (Verizon) customers received an email stating that CDMA service was "winding down" and that customers should port their numbers to another provider ASAP. One day later, on June 30, 2016, multiple customers reported here and on Defense Mobile's Facebook page that their service has been suspended.

Original post from 11 AM 5/11/16: Yet another prepaid MVNO appears to be going out of business. Defense Mobile, a four year old operation that catered to military personnel, veterans and their families has stopped activating new accounts. Service to existing customers stops at the end of this month. Defense operated on the Sprint, Verizon and AT&T networks.

Defense notified its dealers of the shutdown yesterday. There's no mention of the impending closure of the Defense Mobile website. But if you call the Defense Mobile customer support number, 844-815-9223 you will hear a reported message confirming the shutdown. According to the recording, the only way customers can get support now is by clicking the "Open Support Ticket" button on the Defense Mobile website's Contact Us page. If you are a Defense Mobile customer and want to keep your number, I recommend using that button to get you account number and passcode as soon as possible for porting purposes.

Defense's demise follows that of PTel which shut down in February after 15 years in business, BYO Wireless and Solavei which both folded in December and Voyager Mobile which went out of business last September.

The prepaid MVNO business is a highly competitive and low margin one. MVNOs come and go, but I don't think I've ever seen so many go under in such a short time before. It seems to be harder and harder for traditional MVNOs to compete. At the $30/month price point and up, carrier owned Boost, MetroPCS and Cricket, have have added lots of data to their plans The operators don't seem to have lowered the wholesale data prices they charge their MVNOs sufficiently to allow the MVNOs to offer comparable plans. MVNOs are now only competitive at the low margin, sub $30 price point. Even at the low end, traditional MVNOs now have to compete with freemium MVNOs like RingPlus and FreedomPop, which I suspect are subsidized by Sprint in effort to maintain market share.

These are tough days for MVNOs. Based on recent history I believe that any MVNO can fail. TracFone which is huge and thus has considerable bargaining power with the mobile operators probably won't, but the others all seem vulnerable.

MVNOs still offer some of the best values at sub-$30/month price points. I wouldn't be afraid to use a MVNO but be prepared for change. Now might be a good time to port important numbers to Google Voice so that you can easily hop from carrier to carrier without the number porting hassle every time.

35 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. "#1 Mobile Service For Those Who Served"

    Such things can be verified... I'd be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that our veterans prefer T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon... and maybe even US Cellular to this fly-by-night.

    It's verifiably NOT Number 1 among veterans, but some number comfortably in the double digits I'm sure...

    When you say something is Number 1. it had better be Number 1. Just like if an ad says a movie is the "Number One Movie in America", it had better be that and not some flop that was in 6 screens for two weeks and vanished.

    Good riddance to them for their blatantly false tagline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have no imagination, so don't quit you day job (if you have a job) for a career in marketing.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I'd refuse to work for a marketing company that would make the main advertising slogan be a huge fib like this.

      Delete
    3. As a vet who has (soon to be "had" I guess) Defense Mobile, this is very unfortunate. I have Verizon's service for a lot less and really enjoyed the effort their vet customer service staff put in.

      To the original commentor, I would say it is the #1 service for veterans. Since you didn't have it and are presumably not a vet, I'm not sure why you think you are entitled to that opinion.

      Delete
    4. Vet: So, really, more veterans have this service than any other carrier or company?

      Delete
    5. I don't think #1 refers to the amount of people on the service. I think it means that it is the best for them in terms of value and service. They should probably change it to "Best" then I guess.

      Delete
    6. That would be better. Because the number one claim is so easily disproven.

      Delete
  2. "Now might be a good time to port important numbers to Google Voice so that you can easily hop from carrier to carrier without the number porting hassle every time. "

    Any specifics on how to create a Google Voice number? I've tried, and every single number I select from their list of available numbers says it is in use and can't be used.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. if you want to port you cannot you from the list of numbers. after you signed into google voice . clik get a voice number. then click " i want a new number " or " i want to use my mobile number " . if you want to port your number to google voice choose i wan to use my mobile number. then click port.

      Delete
    2. If you are porting a number to Google Voice there's an option for that on the Google Voice signup page. It costs $20 by doesn't involve selecting a number.

      If you aren't porting and want to get a new number from Google Voice that should be possible. The problem you are having sounds like a browser issue. Try clearing your browser's cache and/or cookies or using a different browser. If that still doesn't work post your issue on Google's Google Voice Help Forum. The users and moderators there are pretty good at solving problems.

      Delete
  3. Unluckily, Defense Mobile hooked up with Radio Shack as their prime retailer in late 2014 -- just before Radio Shack called it quits. (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/radioshack-launches-defense-mobile-service-for-veterans-military-service-members-and-their-families-281817001.html)

    Their website doesn't have any shutdown notice, but their plans are all "out of stock" and there is a notice at the top of their phones page that they aren't accepting new orders.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sadly our veterans that received the service and the ones that did their best to provide "White Glove Service" will be paying the price. RIP DMC.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Their plans are uncompetitive and their military-only focus ignores all the other people in this country who are also having a tough time.

    I'd miss them more if their charity was based on economic hardship rather than profession.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because what, the hardship of being laid off is no less that what those who have laid their lives on the line in defense of our nation have suffered?

      Delete
    2. It's been at least 70 years since there was a credible threat of this country being invaded.

      Delete
    3. Afghanistan invaded the US and killed thousands of Americans a mere 15 years ago. And there,have been countless real and credible threats over the last 70 years which were kept as threats (and not actual invasions) by our brave men and women in the armed services.

      How soon the Millennials forget.

      Delete
  6. Appreciate you staying on top of this, Dennis.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Afghanistan invaded the US? Huh? Are you sure you don't have that backwards? I mean..you could make a case for Saudi Arabia, but Afghanistan?

    Anyway...the point of Defense Mobile seemed to be to target a niche market. And they aren't the only MVNO to do this. Consumer Cellular is arguably for older people, Univision Mobile and Telcel America target Mexicans, etc. Hell...Project Fi you could say has a target customer base too: Nexus owners.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Again, basic history. Afghanistan invaded and attacked the US on 9/11, 2001. With a group of terrorists who were hosted, funded, and trained with the blessing of the government of Afghanistan inside Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia did not attack the US. Let's stick with what happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know why the moderator lets you spew your hate and lies but it doesn't reflect well.

      Delete
  9. So, they're dropping service on AT&T but will continue to offer service on Verizon and Sprint, or did I misunderstand that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so but I really don't know. Defense has been really unclear on their communications to everyone. I suspect they encountered some sort of financial or operational difficulties but hope to continue to offer Verizon and Sprint. But offering email only support suggests they laid off their call center staff which is not a good sign

      Delete
  10. I don't know what people are thinking is so expensive for DM. I pay 36.84/mo for 1GB data on the V network. Now I am a member of VFW and get that discount but no other carrier offers it and it is cheap for me. V carrier was 65.00 which would wind up being 70 after taxes/fees. Beat that guys and quit hating on a veteran owned/veteran served company that worked with me till the end on issues and did it with a smile. Verizon never does that. Hope they come back with better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. > I pay 36.84/mo for 1GB data on the V network.

      Not anymore! Welcome to the fantastic world of gimmick businesses. Looks like Defense Mobile used veterans and active duty to make a bunch of money and run!

      Delete
    2. That sounds rather pejorative. But if you look at their actions, that is what you see.

      Delete
  11. How are you feeling now Anonymous: Yesterday Defense Mobile stated they would be ending their V service. Less then 24 Hours later i am up $h#7S creek without service and they are taking a awful long time to port me away. This was my only communication line, I am currently an unemployed VET.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You need to get back on this. Tuesday (June 28 2016) All Defense Mobile CDMA customers were told to find a new provider. Defense Mobile suggested Total Wireless. Thursday (June 30 2016) many, if not all CDMA customers lost their service and were sent another email apologizing (half heartedly) and reiterating the push to a new provider under threat of losing their phone number. I'm still waiting for SIM cards from the provider they suggested and I now have no service on either of my phones. This is my only mode of communication beyond the internet. Defense Mobile has left my wife and I without any communications. I feel a lawsuit needs to be filed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walmart has total wireless sim cards... If you want to port your number they say that were given access from DM.. It didn't work for my wife's number.. I just got a new number and was operating in an hour. They have good plans as long as it lasts.

      Delete
  13. There are so many stories like this. Never trust the fly-by-nights!

    Unless companies like Selectel, h20, Kitty Wireless/Cyberwings, give their absolute assurance they will give months in advance notice time if they shut down (and make porting easy), I would transfer out of them to a big-company MVNO or division (Boost, MetroPCS, Cricket, Virgin, TracFone) as soon as you can.

    This is terrible way to do business.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We stuck with DMC when they said they were not going out of business. Big mistake. We have lost our numbers we have had for over 10 years. My husband's number, that is connected to our business and is on 1000s of business cards. Everyone connected to this company should be ashamed.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So is there any update to this story without all the bitching and griping?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They ran away with people's money and phone numbers, and engaged in a deceptive/fraudulent business model toward the end. They have rightfully angered so many of their former customers. It is not fair to characterize the legitimate objections over the Defense Mobile scam as you have.

      Delete
  16. The quick and dirty- The CEO never listened to his people, COO Had not a clue. Bills where not being paid, and one at a time the networks pulled the plug

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sad end of the story especially for all of their customers who had to migrate to other companies.

      Delete
Comment Page :