AN Albury gourmet food supplier fears he will lose vital holiday customers after a telecommunications stuff-up.
Anthony Ainsworth from Butt’s Gourmet Smokehouse in Albury had no idea their landline had effectively been cut off until a customer visited their store last Friday and told them.
The specialist trader is fuming that the interruption has occurred right at the busiest time of year for his niche business.
“We basically run the business for nothing for most of the year, then Christmas is the time where we really get busy,” he said.
“There are customers from Sydney and Melbourne who only ring once a year – it’s caused a lot of confusion.
“We’ve been told the earliest we can get the landline back is December 5.
“There’s no internet access at the store at the moment, but we can at least do that at home.
“It means we can’t print off order and dispatch forms, which is a problem given we need to start shipping things this week.”
While the landline has been redirected to a mobile phone sooner than expected, Mr Ainsworth said there had been a knock-on effect with their advertising and ordering.
Mr Ainsworth pays the business’s phone and internet bill to Commander Communications, a business telecommunications provider who secure internet and phone line access through Telstra.
Frustratingly, neither Commander or Telstra can figure out why his service was interrupted – nor can they decide who is at fault.
When contacted by the Border Mail, Commander said their first priority was to restore Mr Ainsworth’s connection.
“Like any other provider, we work off the Telstra network,” they said.
“Ordinarily, any change to the service would have had to be requested through us.
“We’re unsure how this has happened at this point.”
Telstra on the other hand, say that despite Mr Ainsworth phone using one of their lines, his connection is Commander's problem.
“We can only act on what we're instructed to do, since he’s Commander's customer,” a Telstra spokesman told The Border Mail.
“Nothing has been initiated from our end, and the structural separation that exists between Commander and our network business makes it difficult to find out exactly what is behind the outage.”
In the meantime, all Mr Ainsworth can do is wait.
“I'm not sure if it's incompetence or of they just don't care,” he said.
“We’re trying to grow our business, but it isn’t much good if customers can’t contact us.”