Launceston business left with limited landline after switching providers

PHONE ISSUE: From left are Shannan Lee Rice, Sarah Lee Jessup, Donna Millwood and Craig Hislop. Ms Millwood's business was left with limited landline for more than two months after switching from Telstra to Optus.

PHONE ISSUE: From left are Shannan Lee Rice, Sarah Lee Jessup, Donna Millwood and Craig Hislop. Ms Millwood's business was left with limited landline for more than two months after switching from Telstra to Optus.

A Launceston business was left with limited landline service for more than two months after switching providers.

Not only was the problem first identified via Facebook, but the social media site also played a part in the issue finally being fixed.

It all started when Chic Hair and Beauty owner Donna Millwood decided to make the switch from Telstra to Optus, a move she believed was confirmed on June 20, when she visited an Optus store to sign the necessary paperwork.

Of her five phone services, three were already with Optus, with her home phone/internet and business phone/internet all that was left to transfer over. 

After a couple of weeks, Ms Millwood noticed a problem with her internet, which was solved through Optus in “two or three days.”

Ms Millwood then began to notice a reduction in the number of phone bookings her salon was receiving. 

When she received an indignant Facebook message from one of her customers, a month after making the switch, Ms Millwood realised something was wrong.

“I had just come back from being away, and the message said ‘if you can’t respond to your phone messages, don’t bother contacting me again’,” she said.

“I replied to her on Facebook, but then I had other people coming in asking why I wasn’t replying to their messages, and telling me that it was going straight to voicemail when they called.”

After getting her clients to demonstrate while they were in her salon, Ms Millwood made calls to both providers to notify them of the issue.

She said her landline was not the only problem.

“I was still receiving bills from Telstra, even though I wasn’t with them anymore,” she said.

“Telstra was saying I was still with them, while Optus were saying I was with them.”

It was only when Ms Millwood tagged Telstra in a post on August 11 did a representative from the provider call her and ask how they could fix the issue.  

It was followed up with a visit from a technician on August 15, who solved what turned out to be a porting problem.

In a statement, Telstra area general manager Michael Patterson said the company was sorry for the inconvenience.

“The request can take some time to complete and we are sorry for the lengthy delay and disruption to service that has occurred on this occasion,” he said

Ms Millwood’s new provider has also weighed in on the issue, with a spokeswoman explaining the company’s intention to make amends for the problem.

“We apologised to Ms Millwood for the inconvenience and provided a two month credit to her account,” she said

Ms Millwood has taken he case to the ombudsman.

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