Thousands of Aussies have gone into meltdown at Optus after being embroiled in one of the biggest communications outages in the nation’s history.
More than 10 million people and businesses were thrown into disarray on Wednesday when the telco’s network dropped out at about 4 am AEDT, preventing customers from connecting to the internet or making or receiving calls.
Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, 46, then suffered a public relations disaster of her own making when she went missing in action for seven hours while essential services and businesses struggled to cope.
And now, Ms Bayer Rosmarin and managing director of customer solutions Matt Williams have told media that compensating customers for the outage period is off the table because ‘refunding people for one day is probably less than $2.’
Many Aussies have been affected by the outage and lack of compensation, including Perth yoga teacher Eve, who detailed her time-consuming and costly efforts to get to the airport to catch a flight after she could not book an Uber.
She estimates Optus now owes her $1,000 after forking out for parking and rebooking her missed flight to Melbourne.
‘So I booked an Uber this morning and my home network is also on Optus,’ Eve explained.
‘So I had to walk to a cafe with wi-fi and of course, they were with Optus, so I had to walk to another cafe to use their wi-fi, which they weren’t happy about, so I had to say “look I have a flight to catch”.
‘I ended up driving myself (to the airport) and ended up in long term parking, which I’d never done before.
‘The long-term carpark is ages away from the airport so I had to get on a shuttle bus and this shuttle bus was the slowest one I’ve ever been on in my life.
‘It stopped at every single car park . I know it sounds ignorant but I’ve never used long-term parking before.
‘Anyway, I missed my flight.’
Meanwhile, one young man was filled with rage because of the outage.
‘I’m literally under house arrest as I have no network. It’s literally SOS! I’m actually going to kill someone!’ he said.
He added it’s not the first time he’s been impacted by an Optus outage.
‘Optus, sort your s*** out bro! This is cooked. If I’m not going to get paid, I’m going to sue!’
The outage had a significant impact on student Chole Bella, who expressed her frustration, saying: ‘I woke up, and Optus decided to ruin my day.’
The government announced on Thursday that it will undertake a review into the Optus outage.
‘While we welcome that Optus services were restored over the course of the day, it is critical the government conducts a process to identify lessons to be learned from yesterday’s outage,’ Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said.
‘It is critical that industry and governments take stock following large-scale outages, given no network is immune.’