Southern Phone ‘overwhelmed’ by large number of calls

Southern Phone managing director David Joss said a high number of calls caused problems with their phone system, which led to customers being unable to get through. Picture: Dominic Lorrimer

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Southern Phone managing director David Joss said a high number of calls caused problems with their phone system, which led to customers being unable to get through. Picture: Dominic Lorrimer _KL_4030.jpeg

An influx of new business is the reason Southern Phone customers have not been able to reach the company via phone.

Managing director David Joss said that influx overwhelmed the Moruya-based company’s phone system, leading to customers constantly getting a busy signal when they rang.

He added it would be a further two weeks before a new phone system was installed and recommended customers contact the company via the chat line on their website in the interim.

On Thursday the Mercury ran a story in which Corrimal man Graham Edwards said he tried to ring the company at least 50 times since his internet went down almost two weeks ago but always got an engaged signal.

READ MORE: ‘Why won’t they answer the phone?’

Mr Joss said Southern Phone has increased its NBN business, which has contributed to the problems with the phone lines.

“What we’re finding is there’s a change in customer behaviour on the back of the NBN services, where they typically ring us a lot more and those calls have overwhelmed our phone system essentially,” Mr Joss said.

... those calls have overwhelmed our phone system.

Southern Phone managing director David Joss

“So we’re going through the process of upgrading that technology at the moment and we’re encouraging our customers to access us by chat in the meantime via our website.”

Mr Joss said the problems with the existing phone system were realised a week and a half ago, which is when work began on upgrading it.

He said it would be another two weeks before the new phone lines were operational.

“The point is that these things are complex,” he said.

“They can’t be done any faster than how we’re doing it and we’re working towards it as fast as we possibly can.”

The managing director said there was a notification of the phone problems on the Southern Phone website but a recent upgrade caused it to disappear.

A new notification was placed on the site on Wednesday night and a letter had been sent to customers.

Mr Joss admitted the issue has caused problems for customers.

“We absolutely acknowledge the inconvenience to our customers and we apologise for that,” he said.

He also refuted claims that Southern Phone’s calls had been offshored.

“Every single call that we answer is in regional Australia and in Moruya,” he said.