Rene Jacques Guillard has seen his business spiral downwards after his phone lines went down.
Rene Jacques Guillard has seen his business spiral downwards after his phone lines went down.

NBN switch glitch costs business owner

TOUTED as the future of telecommunications, the NBN has been nothing but a tangled web of miscommunication for a Blacks Beach businessman.

Rene Jacques Guillard switched over to the NBN three days before Christmas, but has spent much of his time since on the phone to Telstra trying to re-establish a lost connection with his customers.

The Blacks Beach Seafood owner says he lost about 50-60 per cent of his trade while the phone that had served him well for 18 years was left useless after the NBN upgrade.

After the Daily Mercury put questions to Telstra this week, it seemed there was a fix in sight, with the company confirming it had escalated the issue and was looking to solve the "configuration issue" as soon possible; however, by yesterday afternoon there had been no change.

"The issue with the account is on our end. He hasn't done anything wrong," a Telstra spokesman said.

The business is losing $4500 a week according to Mr Guillard's calculations.

"December and January are usually my best months of the year," he said, although, after paying for rent, stock and bills, the business has little, if anything, left over.

"I employ people and I have to pay them out of my old age pension," he said.

His employee, Kim Barr, says her "heart breaks" for the man she has worked with for 15 years and considers more of a friend than a boss.

We've called NBN and Telstra every day but they're not doing anything to help," she said. "On a Friday night I used to be run off my feet but now we'd get 10 or 15 (customers) tops," she said.

Ms Barr and Mr Guillard say customers had assumed the takeaway store at 10-15 Blacks Beach Rd was closed when they couldn't call through and gone elsewhere.

Mr Guillard hopes business will pick up when the phone line is finally restored and he won't have to be "scraping by."

An NBN spokesperson said "our role is to design, build and maintain the NBN access network. Anything regarding the provision of telephone numbers rests with the RSP."