Manilla has again been left in the communication darkness this week following a lightning strike taking out some Telstra equipment.
Hundreds of homes and many business owners were left fuming on Monday morning when almost all internet access for the town went down and wasn’t restored until Wednesday afternoon.
Just last year the town was thrown into mobile darkness for over two weeks after an unrelated Telstra fault took out the network and the locals have just about had enough.
While Steve Moore lost what could have been a $20 000 job with his kitchen business because he was unable to get a quote out, other businesses have not only lost customers and business but have now also lost patience.
Fruit and Veg shop owner Sonya Sevil said that it is the lack of communication from Telstra during these times that is the most frustrating aspect.
“For the last three or four months the internet is down at least once a week and the customer service has been terrible,” Mrs Sevil said.
“We have had no eftpos, we can’t make orders or access emails and we can’t talk to anybody from Telstra that can tell us what is happening. Small businesses are already doing it hard enough without this.”
That sentiment was echoed right down the main street and all over town.
Manilla Glass owner Tracey Arnold has also been left tearing her hair out after her business stumbled through three days unable to send quotes, make orders or receive invoices.
“These things can happen sometimes but the communication and runaround we get from Telstra is so frustrating,” Mrs Arnold said.
“I have heard that there are over 200 people that have been affected and they tell me to check my modem and then can’t tell me what has happened or when it will be fixed. There is just no communication from them.”
Telstra GM Mike Marom apologised to customers for the inconvenience caused by the service disruption.
“Equipment was damaged during severe weather and techs are on site today (Wednesday) working to restore services as quickly as possible,” Mr Maron said.
“We would ask any customers adversely impacted by the disruption to call us and discuss their concerns."
One business owner that is definitely planning on letting the company know about the disruption caused to his business is Royal Hotel publican Thomas Cocking.
The pub serves food seven nights a week and has not only lost internet services but also the landline phone.
“We can’t take any bookings in the restaurant or for accommodation” Mr Cocking said.
“We had the miners in here the other night at the end of shift and I had to write down everything they had to eat and drink and will have to chase them down for it next week. It is OK for those blokes because I know they will be back but I don’t understand how it can keep happening.”
“It’s a loss to the business that shouldn’t be happening.”
Telstra confirmed at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon that full services had been restored.