Telstra's coverage meltdown costs horse ride $12k
LEFT crippled by a major Telstra coverage meltdown on the weekend, the organisers of the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride estimate the event lost up to $12,000 in the dropout.
While the financial cost is obvious, organisers and business owners fear the reputational damage to the town is even greater.
"The above estimate of loss does not take into account the loss of credibility and goodwill with our stakeholders, the public, our sponsors, stallholders, trade shows and the riders and their horses," Kilkivan Great Horse Ride Association treasurer Robert Thompson said.
"Regretfully our greatest loss was letting down our small town in their major event for the year. We can only say sorry."
He said the Friday night bar sales were non-existent as guests were unable to access their money.
"The widely advertised ATM was on site for the three main days of the festival and could not even issue a single $10 or $20 note," he said.
"It was returned to the supplier with a 'No Transaction' report."
Katy McCallum, owner of Kilkivan's General and Rural stores, said they lost at least $2500 in direct sales before finding a workaround.
How much more they potentially lost was impossible to determine, though.
"There was a lot of angry people who just up and left," she said.
"If these people don't come back here next year, we cop this."
Telstra area general manager May Boisen said the provider was working to improve service, and had upgraded a number of mobile sites in and around Gympie.
"We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this caused and assure them we worked as quickly as possible to identify the issue and restore their services," she said.