Though Telstra's widespread outage on Tuesday caused inconvenience and frustration for thousands of people, the damage was biggest — and most calculable — for those relying on the network to run their business, with one start-up entrepreneur reportedly down $15,000 in missed productivity.
The three-hour outage — which the telco is putting down to human error — interrupted calls and data services for a large number of Telstra mobile customers, putting any businesses that rely on mobile communications at risk of losing at least three hours of trade.
Ironically, many people see Telstra as the premium choice among the many providers — one with services that cost more but will save in the long run because of their resilience and reliability — but in this case that choice may have backfired.
Entrepreneur Michael Jankie is one of these people, specifically choosing Telstra for his Wi-Fi start-up PoweredLocal as a message to his staff that he wouldn't skimp on quality.
"Our PoweredLocal relationships team operate as a network of on-the-ground account managers. So essentially, sales ground to a screeching halt", Mr Jankie told the Australian Financial Review.
"We're down about $14,850 in productivity. It's been a day we want to forget."
Also among the many businesses affected was AirService, a mobile payment company which relies on people ordering coffee and lunch through their phone. In this case the issue was the customers' loss of connectivity, with the business claiming to have suffered a 14-15 per cent drop in orders.
The interruption to customers' ability to make phone calls made an impact as well, with Studio C Bridal owner Caitlyn Maree Newbury telling the AFR he had been unable to stay in contact with her suppliers and set up meetings that were crucial to her business.
Big Datr co-founder Avrill D'Costa was visiting Sydney from Melbourne during the outage, and had "back-to-back" meetings around the city that he struggled to make.
"I was relying on my phone for directions. I had to jump into two or three coffee shops to use their internet connections and download the maps," he told the AFR.
"It's been a frantic day . . . and it's had a domino affect, I've been late to each meeting ... I've had to constantly apologise which isn't a good way to start off with someone new."
For its part Telstra has announced that it will provide a day of free data on Sunday to all customers to make reparations for the issues, but it's unlikely this will help those who rely on the service for business recoup their losses.
Mr Jankie, however, stands by his decision to go with Telstra over its competition.
"I think we must take a moment to appreciate the productivity gains we get overall when it is working the other 99.99 per cent of the time", he said.