Connection delays at business mean staff hours cut

A BALLARAT hairdresser may be waiting weeks before a landline phone and Wi-Fi are connected at her salon, with no date set for the installation of the NBN.

Hairdresser Lisa Ristrom-Gallimore opened her salon in April and is still without Wi-Fi and a working phone line.
PICTURE: KATE HEALY

Hairdresser Lisa Ristrom-Gallimore opened her salon in April and is still without Wi-Fi and a working phone line. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

On Wednesday, The Courier reported that delays in connecting to the NBN across Ballarat had sparked fears of a backlog which traders believe is costing them business.

The Courier also reported that Lisa Ristrom-Gallimore had opened the La Bella Donna hair salon in Lydiard Street in April, but her landline and internet remains disconnected.

All calls this week are being diverted to her mobile. 

Ms Ristrom-Gallimore is also using the Wi-Fi from her mobile to connect her business’ computer.

She said she has also been unable to start advertising her new business as she feared the number she was currently using might be changed following the installation of the NBN. 

In an email from Telstra sent to Ms Ristrom-Gallimore on Wednesday and seen by The Courier, Telstra’s Digital Office Team said her phone and internet service could not be reactivated for at least two months. 

It read that a “professional installation appointment” will be held for her between 8am and 12pm on September 29.

But adding to the confusion of the situation, Telstra Country Wide area general manager Bill Mundy apologised to Ms Ristrom-Gallimore and said there had been an “erroneous date” contained in the email.

He did not reveal what date NBN installation works would start but he said Telstra was working with the NBN Co to connect her premises. Ms Ristrom-Gallimore said the email had pushed her to “breaking point”. 

“It’s been an extremely difficult and stressful experience,” she said. 

“Local businesses are suffering because of this delay and they need to be made a priority by the NBN Co and Telstra.”

Ms Ristrom-Gallimore said she had been given no choice but to cut the hours of the three hairdressers she had working at the salon.

“This delay is having a flow-on effect,” she said. “The girls have been so understanding, but it has been so hard because we are a new business trying to establish ourselves without proper advertising.”

Ms Ristrom-Gallimore said while she didn’t blame Telstra for the delay, she could not understand why it could not reconnect the original copper line until the NBN was installed.

Mr Mundy said Telstra would continue to offer Ms Ristrom-Gallimore a mobile broadband service at no charge and provide her with an interim voice service and call diversion until she was connected to the NBN.

melissa.cunningham@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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