3 August, 2022
Community members may be saying ‘no’ to Optus, after some planned work left users without service for over nine days.
A message was sent out to
Optus customers on July 24, stating
that the service is “bringing faster network
speeds and more reliable service
The text message stated that “while
we work, your mobile service(s) may
experience some interruptions, but we
will do our best to try minimise that”.
However, since July 26, customers
have reported no service during the
day, and patchy quality from around
6pm onwards. This has left users vulnerable,
and without means of contacting
“My husband was out in Broken
Hill, and he rang in the evening and
four times the phone dropped out on us,
so we gave up,” said Lesley Meyers.
Other customers are concerned that
if something goes wrong while they are
alone, they will have no means of contacting
anyone for help.
“Our phones are our lifeline,” said
Amidst concerns for her own wellbeing,
Mrs Meyers is also concerned
she will miss crucial news.
“My granddaughter has been quite
sick, so I’ve been trying to stay in contact
with my daughter to see how she is.
But I can’t even message her to check.”
But it’s not just individuals that have
been affected. Businesses are being
made to adapt without internet, creating
an extra workload on top of an
already full day.
“I rely on everything through my
tablet, so all my appointments are
through my tablet. Now I can’t access
the online side things during the day, I
have to battle with it at night adding
extra hours,” said Jules Marchant,
owner of The Blonde Space.
Mrs Marchant relies on internet and
mobile service to book in customers,
and for them to pay for their services.
As she is with Optus, it was back to
“I have no telephone, no EFTPOS.
Luckily I had a memory of what was
happening each day otherwise I had no
idea who was coming in. But if people
were making online bookings I couldn’t
see them, or if people were calling
me, I didn’t know.
“I have to write appointments down on paper. I bought an appointment book; I haven’t used one of them in years!”
Relying on community trust, Mrs
Marchant has in some cases had to be
on layaway with customers, and others
have had to leave and get cash.
“It’s frustrating when you’re trying to have everything online. It’s been testing. Sometimes people have money, sometimes they don’t.”
While Mrs Marchant will be remining
with Optus as a service provider,
Mrs Meyers wants to see compensation.
“I can’t access my emails, that have
bills for me to pay in the inbox. If I
can’t access them, and I can’t pay them,
then I will have to pay overdue fees that
would be unnecessary if I had access.
Optus have even sent me their bill I
saw, but I can’t do anything about it,”
said Mrs Meyers.
Optus were contacted for comment and have not responded at time of writing. The service issues are set to cease later this week.