Australia Post owner slams nbn, Telstra after nine days with no internet

THE owner of a Newcastle post office that has been without phone and internet for nine days says he is out of pocket “thousands of dollars” and is sick of waiting.

Australia Post Edgeworth owner Paul Roddenby said his connection was fine until a national broadband network (nbn) technician visited on October 5 for work not requested by the shop.

"He did something, then he said he’d be back in five minutes, and he never came back. It hasn’t worked since,” Mr Roddenby said.

Since then, the Australia Post outlet has had no phone, not internet and no answers.

The Australia Post network operated largely online, meaning much of the regular business had been lost, he said. About 80 per cent of customers used eftpos, which was also unavailable, store manager Jacqueline Cotton said.

“Basically everybody that wants to pay with eftpos, when they can’t they leave by slamming the door,” Ms Cotton said.

She said she was working when the nbn technician arrived on October 5, saying he had to fix a fault with the line.

“At that time everything was working fine,” Ms Cotton said. “He said there was something wrong with the line. Then he did something, said he would be back and left.”

Mr Roddenby said the problem had been passed between Telstra and nbn in the days since, all the while he was losing money.

“Telstra came and said it was nbn, the nbn guy came and said it was a problem with Telstra,” he said.

“It’s costing me thousands. They’re sending me broke.

“I’ve got to pay rent, I’ve got to pay wages, I’ve got to pay insurances, everything, and I’m not making any money.

“This is bureaucracy gone mad. They can’t just walk into the post office and shut it down with no explanation.”

An nbn spokesperson said a technician visited the property yesterday and found the matter had been resolved and no further faults were found.

“We are however aware that there are multiple lines into the property to service the specific requirements of a post office and on this basis, we have escalated this matter,” the spokesperson said.

“nbn will continue to investigate and work with the proprietor to confirm the problem is resolved in full.”

Telstra area general manager Tricia Wilson said the telco had apologised to the customer.

“This is not the experience we want for our customers,” she said.  “Our technicians were unable to complete the work required to get the customer’s service back online until nbn co had fixed a fault in the network. nbn completed the work yesterday and we’ve arranged an appointment to get a technician onsite to complete the installation on Monday.”