The Sydney-based law firm investigating a potential class against Tyro is moving ahead with its claim on behalf of small businesses affected by a system outage which caused card payment terminals to be down for up to three weeks.
Bannister Law sent a legal notice to the financial technology company after the firm was approached by a large number of businesses at the height of the outage which began on January 5, The Age reports.
The firm is also considering any potential shareholder claims against the publicly listed company, following a share price fall after some terminals became ‘bricked’ from a configuration issue.
To resolve the outage, Tyro undertook a process of collecting or receiving the terminals by post and fixing them on-site in its office.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
The process of physically collecting the terminals and repairing them at Tyro’s headquarters meant small businesses went without Tyro card payment facilities for up to three weeks.
Peter Hawthorne, owner of Forestville Pharmacy in Sydney, whose two Tyro terminals became bricked earlier in January, says it is understandable that businesses are pursuing legal action.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if businesses are seeking compensation. It was stressful at the time, and the Square terminal really saved our bacon,” Hawthorne says.
“We might have lost a couple of hundred dollars, but in the scheme of things, we got off lightly,” he says.
Hawthorne was among several business owners who told SmartCompany he temporarily switched to using Square card readers while waiting for Tyro to fix his terminals.
After receiving an email from Tyro saying he could express post his terminals to the company’s Sydney office, Hawthorn says his business partner took the terminals to the headquarters herself.
“We didn’t really trust the post, so she went in and managed to get to the first floor where it was chaos and pandemonium,” he says.
“The logistics of doing what they were doing seemed to be chaos.”
Despite the chaos, Hathworn says his two terminals were fixed within several hours.
Tyro, which is the largest provider of eftpos services outside of the big four banks, committed in an email sent to customers that it would waive fees for the month of January and reimburse postage costs.
Robbie Cooke, chief executive at Tyro, also told SmartCompany last week that impacted customers would not be charged any terminal rental fees for January and for any terminals linked to an impacted merchant ID.
“The recovery process required terminals to be returned to our premise for repair. Our team worked around the clock to explore all options and do everything possible to expedite this process,” Cooke said.
“In our 18-year history we have never experienced anything like this and we are deeply sorry for the impact it has had on our impacted customer,” he added.