Owners of Smythesdale’s Courthouse Hotel are hoping that more than just their trust is repaid after a Telstra outage over the weekend left them without an EFTPOS machine and with about $1600 in tabs run up in their bar and bistro.
Hotel owner Jo Kupisz said she would pursue Telstra for compensation after the outage severely impacted what is normally one of their biggest weekends of the year.
The hotel was one of thousands of businesses across Australia affected when a Telstra fault wiped out EFTPOS machines and ATMs from early Friday until early afternoon on Saturday, though the Courthouse Hotel’s system wasn’t back up until 10.20pm Saturday.
The outage was so widespread that Telstra was forced to advice people to carry cash instead of relying on ‘tap and go’ technology.
“We actually ran out of change on Saturday so we couldn’t serve anyone else at the end of the day. Earlier we had some fantastic people in the local community really help us out with change, we all worked together,” Ms Kupisz said.
“We’ve got $1600 of tabs still to be paid that we hope people will pay up, then there is the security risk of putting a cash-only sign in the window for two days.”
Ms Kupisz said many people, particularly on Friday, walked up to the hotel door, saw the sign and left.
“You can understand it being down maybe half a day, but when it’s a big bank and a big corporation you would think they’d be able to fix problem like that.”
Pubs, restaurants and retailers were among businesses impacted across Ballarat, losing valuable weekend trade.
In Smythesdale alone the Courthouse Hotel, butcher, Mingos take-away and One Stop Horse Shop were all left without service.
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The outage caused havoc in holiday towns across the state with many of those arriving for the long weekend unable to pay with card for accommodation and meals.
"Our team worked through the night on the fix and we are seeing the machine-to- machine traffic returning to normal," Telstra said in a statement just after 12.30pm on Saturday.
"All devices should now be capable of connecting."
"We sincerely apologise to customers for the impact it had,” the spokesman said.
The outage came days after an issue affected access to some Telstra apps and the company's website, including cloud services.
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