FURY AT TEL­STRA FOR NET OUT­AGE

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHAR­LIE PEEL char­lie. peel@ news. com. au

A DOU­GLAS busi­ness­woman is fu­ri­ous af­ter be­ing told her new hair and beauty sa­lon could not be con­nected with a promised in­ter­net ser­vice just one week out from its open­ing.

A Tel­stra sales­per­son told Brenda- Anne Parfitt six weeks ear­lier that a much- needed EFTPOS con­nec­tion would be pos­si­ble and that the nec­es­sary lines were avail­able.

“When I or­dered a new mo­dem off Tel­stra, all was fine,” Ms Parfitt said. “I pre­pared to have an EFTPOS in­stalled and set up my busi­ness, ex­pect­ing it would be OK.

“Then I re­ceived a call say­ing there were no lines avail­able and wouldn’t be for at least three months.”

Ms Parfitt, who owns sev­eral busi­nesses in Townsville, said she was fu­ri­ous that such a ba­sic ser­vice was not avail­able in a “rel­a­tively new sub­urb” in Queens­land’s third- largest city. She es­ti­mates nearly 75 per cent of cus­tomers in her other stores use EFTPOS.

The Riverview Hair, Beauty and Day Spa opened this week with­out an in­ter­net con­nec­tion – and with the added se­cu­rity risk of hav­ing cash on the premises.

“I’m in one of the newer sub­urbs in Townsville, in a rel­a­tively new shop­ping precinct, with the NBN ( Na­tional Broad­band Net­work) prac­ti­cally go­ing past my front door, but I can’t pro­vide EFTPOS,” Ms Parfitt said.

If ba­sic ser­vices like in­ter­net con­nec­tions are un­avail­able in 2015

we are re­ally go­ing back­wards

in Aus­tralia BRENDA- ANNE PARFITT

“It doesn’t mat­ter what lo­cal, state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments might think they are do­ing to sup­port small busi­ness, if ba­sic ser­vices like in­ter­net con­nec­tions are un­avail­able in 2015 we are re­ally go­ing back­wards in Aus­tralia. It’s ter­ri­bly short­sighted and in­di­cates poor plan­ning on Tel­stra’s be­half.”

A Tel­stra spokesman said the com­pany was try­ing to fix the prob­lem.

“We are work­ing with the cus­tomer to pro­vide an in­terim so­lu­tion un­til a port be­comes avail­able,” the spokesman said.

“Her lo­cal ex­change area has also been flagged for con­sid­er­a­tion to be up­graded for other fu­ture con­nec­tions.

“Pro­vid­ing a good cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence is a key driver in our in­vest­ment de­ci­sions and Tel­stra con­tin­ues to look at ex­pand­ing cov­er­age and im­prov­ing ca­pac­ity on a case- by- case ba­sis. The avail­abil­ity of con­nec­tions to our broad­band net­work changes over time with both de­mand and with up­grades to the net­work.”

Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

IN­TER­NET IRE: Riverview Hair, Beauty and Day Spa owner Brenda- Anne Parfitt with man­ager Danni Keogh.

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