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New Figures Reveal Optus Outage Hit to SMBs

New figures have revealed the hit to small businesses from Optus’s outage late last year, showing that some lost as much as $10,000 after the outage crippled their operations.

According to the Australian Business Review, many small business have rejected the telco’s offer of free data, stating that it is “not enough” to compensate for lost profits.

Last week the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman released its latest quarterly data which showed telco complaints soared in the aftermath of Optus’s outage last November.

It was revealed that in the three months to December 31, complaints surged 13.4 per cent compared with the previous quarter, and 919 people lodged grievances against the nation’s second biggest telco.

The Australian Business Review reported that small businesses accounted for 20 per cent of Optus complaints. Most sought financial compensations, credits, a refund or discounted services, or to exit from their contracts early.

It said that the outage impacted small businesses’ profits with some losing as much as $10,000 due to crippled operations, and almost 2700 Australians were unable to dial triple-0 for emergency services

Optus offer of $100 of free sparked criticism and anger.

The company suffered further damage when former chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, who resigned after a Senate inquiry into the outage, did not appear to fully grasp the consequences of the outage on small businesses.

Although complaints surged quarter on quarter, overall they fell 17.9 per cent year on year, cited the Australian Business Review, revealing that the biggest increase in complaint was from people lodging a grievance about a delay in establishing a telecommunications service, which rose 25.8 per cent.

Overall, it was confirmed that small businesses accounted for 12 per cent of all complaints – an increase of 7.2 per cent compared with the previous quarter.

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