Small business owners reconsider Telstra contracts after second major outage in two months
Friday, March 18, 2016/
Telstra has issued a grovelling apology to customers after its services were down for the second time in two months.
Millions of Telstra customers were unable to make or receive calls yesterday afternoon, with the telco’s chief executive Andy Penn labelling the outage as unacceptable.
The Telstra boss has promised to give customers a day of free data as compensation.
The latest data blackout follows an severe outage last month, which Telstra says was due to human error.
“One outage is not good enough,” Penn told reporters yesterday, according to Fairfax.
“Two is absolutely unacceptable. All I can do is apologise. On a personal level, I am deeply disappointed and I want to apologise to our customers.”
Small business owners are losing patience
Gary Bunker, the owner of interface design agency The Fore, told SmartCompany he has been with Telstra for about six years thanks to the scope of its coverage and reliability.
However after yesterday’s outage, Bunker is seriously considering his options.
He had to stay up working until 2am last night, in part to catch up on the work he was unable to do thanks to the outage.
“I’m not too happy about it this morning,” Bunker says.
“We’re a consultancy, so we’re a very people driven business. Our customers contact us when they need us to plug into projects. It’s also a very time driven industry, so if they can’t get hold of me in a short period of time, they will go onto somebody else.”
I’ve long justified staying with @Telstra as a business because of coverage and reliability. Equations being redrawn big-time.
— Gary Bunker (@garybunker) March 17, 2016
Bunker says his company mobile is the equivalent of a brick and mortar store’s shopfront, and therefore outages have a disastrous impact on his business.
“It’s the equivalent of someone walking up and putting a padlock on your business and saying, I’ll take that off tomorrow,” he says.
“Telstra have always charged a premium. I know I can get quite dramatically lower prices elsewhere… but the reason we pay that premium is the coverage and availability of Telstra. But at the moment, that feels like a false promise.”
Nathan Williams, a new dad who is trying to get an accounting business up and running from home, told SmartCompany he is not too angry with Telstra, but the outage was an inconvenience nonetheless.
“This one wasn’t so bad because of the time of day that it happened, but I’ve got clients calling me all the time,” Williams says.
“I’ve got no idea if someone tried to contact me or there are new clients I’m going to miss out on now because I didn’t take the call. My biggest problem is where I live – a few people I know struggle to get coverage with anyone else. That’s the main reason we’ve always stuck with Telstra. But you sort of can’t keep affording to have your phone dropping off.”