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7 April, 2021

Telstra outage causes four day outrage

Gilgandra residents and businesses were left without mobile phone service for a full weekend following an outage caused by rodent damage.

By Emily Middleton

Owner of Gil News and Gifts Caitlynn King says the Telstra outages are happening too often and the lack of communcation from the telecom provider only make it worse.

From Friday, March 26 to roughly 1:30pm Monday, March 29, Telstra phone service was out for large portions of the Gilgandra township.

Of particular concern was the fact that a number of EFTPOS machines were taken out of commission without mobile phone service.

Local business owners expressed concern at the lack of details regarding the outage and the unclear wait time on when it would be resolved.

Owner of Gil News and Gifts Caitlynn King said that outages are occurring too often and that “maybe it’s time to reconsider being with Telstra”.

“It’s such a nuisance and the biggest thing is not knowing when it’s coming back on. If we could just plan like okay it’s going to be back on Monday, we just need to get enough change, but you just don’t know. Is it all week? I just don’t know,” said Ms King.

“This just happens too much, never this long, but there have been plenty of times where it’s been out all day. It’s too often.” Wes Morris of 3D’s Butchery said the uncertainty of when the service would return only added to the financial concerns.          

“It’s probably halved our business since Friday, our income is probably at 25 per cent. We now have money owing rather than people paying us,” said 3D’s Butchery’s Wes Morris. “We were led to believe it was only going to be for a day, then another day and here we are four days and we’re still not back,” said Mr Morris.

“They should be ashamed of themselves, to be able to create such mayhem over maintenance, it’s just nowhere near good enough. They’ve really created heartache for us, so thanks Telstra.”

Manager of Gilgandra Services Club Jeff Jones said the outage caused the club to lose at least half their weekend income.

“It’s more than halved our business for the weekend. No EFTPOS, no ATM. People couldn’t get money out or pay for food or drinks.

“It’s terrible, they’re trying to go to a cashless society and then this happens and we’ve got four or five days where people can’t spend money or get money out,” said Mr Jones.  When contacted for comment on the outages, regional general manager for Telstra services NSW said the provider “apologises for those impacted during this time”.

“This issue was related to damage to a transmission cable within the Telstra exchange. The cause of the damage were rodents chewing on a number of cables.”

Mr Marom said that should Telstra customers have any issues with their connections that the Telstra outage site is the best place to receive up to date information. “In terms of restoration times, we resolve faults as quickly as possible. With extensive flooding across NSW at the moment, we are very busy providing and restoring services to flood impacted communities. We apologise to those customers impacted during this time.”

Mr Marom said that any compensation claims will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and that customers should contact Telstra and request a compensation pack.

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