Optus response to outage for small businesses ‘inadequate’: ASBFEO

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson has criticised Optus’s response in the wake of the outage which occurred on 8 November, affecting many small businesses across the country.

“Telecommunications is an essential service and vital for so many small businesses and the absence of this service has a significant economic cost,” Billson said. “The response by Optus is inadequate and not sufficiently dealt with by an offer of extra data.”

Billson pointed out that small businesses have been poorly served by Optus throughout the event and has failed to take into account that some of its small-business customers have suffered a significant economic cost as a result.

“We reject suggestions by Optus that the loss for a small business is $2 a day,” the Ombudsman said. “This is what Optus charges for their services, not what the consequences and loss of that service has cost small businesses in lost income and customers. More needs to be done to acknowledge this impact on the livelihoods of our small and family businesses with a more tailored response.

The outage lasted 12 hours costing businesses millions in lost revenue.

“Australia’s 2.5 million small businesses provide jobs for 5.1 million people and employ 42 per cent of all apprentices and trainees in training – nearly double the amount supported by a big business,” Billson pointed out. “They deserve respect and not to be treated in such a shabby way by Optus.”