Tel­stra leaves shop in limbo

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­DREW BACKHOUSE an­drew. back­house1@ news. com. au

A TOWNSVILLE busi­ness has been left in limbo af­ter its tele­phone num­ber was given to some­one else.

And it is the sec­ond time it has hap­pened.

Crank’D Cy­cles own­ers Matt and Jen Jurss have now con­tacted the Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions In­dus­try Om­buds­man to try to force Tel­stra to fix the prob­lem.

On July 14, the phone stopped work­ing. The fol­low­ing Mon­day, they learned their phone was be­ing di­verted to a com­plete stranger.

Mr Jurss said it would be funny if it was not so se­ri­ous.

“I’d rather the phone not work than this. Cus­tomers likely ring and think we couldn’t be both­ered to re­turn their calls,” he said.

He sus­pects Tel­stra, which re­solved the is­sue just be­fore a dead­line set by the Om­buds­man dur­ing the last episode, did not fix it prop­erly.

Mrs Jurss said it was un­clear how many cus­tomers the busi­ness had lost.

“We still con­nect to cus­tomers through Face­book and we’re for­tu­nate that a lot of peo­ple were able to see our mo­bile num­ber,” she said. “But peo­ple who look us up in the phone book can’t reach us.”

Mrs Jurss said hav­ing a work­ing phone num­ber was fun­da­men­tal to the busi­ness.

“It’s not just cus­tomers but also sup­pli­ers and I don’t know how many calls we’ve missed,” she said. “We pay for ad­ver­tis­ing for a rea­son and it’s frus­trat­ing there’s no sense of ur­gency from Tel­stra.

“That’s the hard­est part. They don’t grasp the con­cept it’s our liveli­hood. We’re a small busi­ness and ev­ery dol­lar counts.

“Tel­stra in­sists its in­ves­ti­gat­ing but we haven’t heard from them since Thurs­day night.”

Mrs Jurss, who is preg­nant, said she be­came irate when she spoke with Tel­stra staff.

Mr Jurss said chang­ing the phone num­ber was not a vi­able op­tion for the busi­ness.

“We’ve had it for seven years and peo­ple know our phone num­ber,” he said. “I’ve just paid to have it in next year’s phone book.”

Tel­stra area gen­eral man­ager James Hobbs said there was an er­ror with an NBN order “placed by the cus­tomer of an­other provider, and it ap­pears our cus­tomer’s phone num­ber was in­cor­rectly as­signed to them”.

“This is not the ex­pe­ri­ence we want our cus­tomers to have,” he said. “We have been in con­tact with our cus­tomer to rec­tify the is­sue and we are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing how the er­ror was made.”

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