Terang co-op counts cost of Telstra chaos

TERANG’S Co-op store has been left with losses estimated at more than $50,000 from the Telstra exchange blackout.

Without internet for phone lines for 11 days and internet for eight, the co-op’s supermarket, rural store, hardware and timber outlet and dairy services were hit hard with losses estimated at least $5000 a day in sales.

“It has had a terrible impact on the business, but we’re now back on full service,” manager Charlie Duynhoven said.

“Because we had no EFTPOS service people were only spending cash on essentials.

“And because we had no communications, people couldn’t contact us and we couldn’t get quotes out to customers.”

 Co-op staff  used mobile phones during the crisis, but this was limited to areas east of Terang.

He said a compensation claim would be lodged with Telstra.

“People were naturally annoyed, but were really understanding about the situation,” he said.

“Our customers realise it was an issue with Telstra and their lack of a contingency plan and there was nothing we could do about it. They understand we were doing what we could to get Telstra to restore our services.”

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