Four days without access to the internet can make life very difficult for a small business owner but when service providers refer complaints to the wholesaler it is even more frustrating.
This was what Virginia Bower from the St Johns Foot Clinic in Legana experienced the past week.
“We came in on Monday morning and we had no NBN so no phone, no eftpos machine and no computer and when we spoke to the businesses along our road they were exactly the same,” she said.
“Everybody realised it was a major outage and it wasn’t just one of our shops so we rang our service providers to try and find solutions and all of them, except for one, were of no help.”
Mrs Bower said the different service providers told each of the businesse owners that as far as they were aware the internet was functioning.
“Our service provider refused to report it to the NBN … so I contacted (Bass MP) Ross Hart’s office to try and get help contacting the NBN on our behalf because as an individual I was told I could not contact the NBN,” she said. She also contacted the telecommunications ombudsman and was told she was not allowed to make a complaint about NBN and could only complain about her service provider.
Mrs Bower said the entire experience had been “horrendous” and she believed she had lost new patients.
“Also at no stage has the NBN registered the outage on their website which means that we have all got issues trying to get compensation because there is no proof that it ever occurred,” she said.
NBN state corporate affairs manager Russell Kelly said the outage was caused by a technical fault and work to restore services began as soon as possible.
“The best advice in an outage is to contact the retailer, because that's who you're paying for the service. They know their customers first-hand and will be able to report faults and give out any information on when services will be restored,” he said.
“NBN regularly communicates with retailers about outages so that they can pass this information directly to their customers.”