Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

'Tyre-d' of the run around

Harry Dickins has been left fuming and has lost thousands of dollars in revenue after more than a week without phone service at his Yarrawonga business.

RACHEAL WILLETT May 13, 2014 3:23pm

Harry Dickins Tyre Service was reconnected over the weekend, without notice, restoring his usual phone number of 5744 3900.

The reconnection was a relief for Harry who last week faced the prospect of losing the business number he’d had for the past 14 years.

The business phone was disconnected without warning on May 1 when telecommunications wholesaler Conec2 had several companies in its control placed in administration.

His was one of an estimated 10,000 clients in Victoria alone that found themselves without service.

The Yarrawonga Chronicle had reports of some residential clients being impacted by the collapse, with few reports of other businesses being affected.

“I just picked up the phone and it was dead – no warning, nothing,” Harry said.

“Since then it’s been a run around trying to find out what I can do.”

All landline connections were lost, Harry’s eftpos connection remained for 24 hours before it was also disconnected and he had limited internet access.

Harry said he contacted Telstra, seeking to switch to their service, only to be told it would be at least a three working day wait.

“When I called back after the three days, they said that was incorrect and it would more likely be five to ten working days,” Harry said.

“In the meantime I had no phone service – I’d say I lost 99% of my normal business.

“We fitted one tyre in three days – you don’t realise how much you rely on people being able to call the business rather than dropping in.”

Harry relied on word of mouth to let people know he was still operating, as the recorded message received when the landline is called just said the phone number was disconnected.

“It didn’t say ‘temporarily’, just ‘disconnected’ so people probably thought we’d shut up shop,” he said.

Harry said he was informed initially by the telecommunications ombudsmen that even if he could get a new service connected, he would likely not get his old number back.

“I’ve had the same number here for 14 years, it was the number here before I bought the business,” he said.

“They said it belonged to the phone company and because they are in administration it is kept in contract with them – they somehow own my phone number.”

Thankfully, Harry’s landline was reconnected over the weekend. He is assuming the company was bought out by another, but as yet has not had any communication from the phone provider.

Harry Dickins Tyre Service can be contacted on 5744 3900.

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