Telco bust leaves locals hanging

LOCAL businesses are haemorrhaging tens of thousands of dollars after the sudden collapse of a national phone company.

Among the hardest hit were two Tamworth Subway stores, which have lost EFTPOS facilities and seen business plummet more than 50 per cent.

It comes as the subsidiaries of Hong Kong-based cut-price provider Conec 2, AsiaPAC Communications, iBOSS and One Telecom, last week fell into receivership.

Subway co-franchisee Luke Fielding said he was stunned to receive a call on Saturday telling him all the business’s phone line and EFTPOS facilities had been cut at the East and South Tamworth stores.

“Our trade has halved and I don’t know how much goodwill we’ve lost,” Mr Fielding said.

“It’s extremely frustrating for customers and extremely frustrating for us. Our wages and food costs stay the same and we’ve lost tens of thousands of dollars.”

Calls to Conec 2 are being answered with “sorry you can’t leave a message for CONEC2, the mailbox is full. Goodbye”.

Matthew Hall from Healthy Balance Chiropractic, another local company stung, said losing internet and phone services had taken a heavy toll on his business.

“I only found out on Saturday that our business phones have been disconnected for both our Tamworth and Quirindi offices,” Mr Hall said. 

“This will be a huge inconvenience for people and very disruptive for the business. We are trading as normal though.”

Subway had a remote EFTPOS terminal installed late yesterday while both businesses are hoping to have phone services operational by the weekend. 

The Telecommunications Ombudsman has fielded thousands of complaints from businesses and individuals about the loss of services.

“We’ve learned our lesson,” Mr Fielding said.

“Conec 2 might be a lot cheaper than the big boys but it’s worth paying extra for the security.”

Last Friday, iBoss, One Telecom and AsiaPac Communications went into court-ordered receivership.

DISCONNECTED: Co-franchisee of Tamworth's Subway stores Luke Fielding says the businesses have been left tens of thousands out of pocket after its phone and internet lines were cut last week. Photo: Barry Smith 080514BSE03

DISCONNECTED: Co-franchisee of Tamworth's Subway stores Luke Fielding says the businesses have been left tens of thousands out of pocket after its phone and internet lines were cut last week. Photo: Barry Smith 080514BSE03

A bitter corporate legal battle between management at iBoss and AsiaPac Communications’ parent company Conec2 has forced the closure of the companies.

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