Vodafone, Optus outages frustrate users

WA Vodafone users might not have felt so powerful this morning. Main pic for Vodafone story

Vodafone and Optus customers are back online today after country-wide outages left them unable to make calls, send text messages or use data for hours on Thursday.

According to a statement from Vodafone, services in Western Australia were originally affected by a “transmission network failure” at 11am, despite reports that some customers were having issues as early as 9am.

As the network team attempted to alleviate the issues at around 1pm, Vodafone says “problems occurred which had an impact on the network nationally”.

The telco says those national services were restored by 4.10pm, but data services in Western Australia remained affected until 6.30pm.

In a blog post Thursday night Vodafone’s Chief Technology Officer Benoit Hanssen promised all customers a free weekend of mobile data in apology.

“We know our customers had a less than perfect network experience today and we want them to know we’re sorry. We want to make good by offering them unlimited data access all weekend,” Hanssen said.

The unlimited data will be available to Vodafone customers from midnight Friday until 3am Monday.

Optus customers were also affected by the outage from around 3pm, and were still reporting issues as late as 7pm. Optus is yet to issue an official statement, but took to twitter to apologise for “any inconvenience caused”.

The issue also affected customers who use telcos linked to Optus’ network, such as Amaysim and Virgin Mobile.

Neither Optus nor Vodafone were able say to say how many people were affected by the outages.

Customers reported not being to make or receive phone calls, experiencing poor quality and not being able to use data.

An Optus spokeswoman at the time said it was unclear what had caused the network to go down.

“We’re still trying to make sure everyone is being look after. That’s the priority and at this point we’re not entirely sure when it will all be fixed and wrapped up.”

Hundreds of frustrated users took to social media to express their annoyance.

Vodafone’s Twitter help page responded to users by telling them the company was working hard to “get it fixed up ASAP so sit tight”.

Mother of two children Fran Rimrod said she was at home with a sick baby when she discovered her Vodafone mobile was not working.

“To just lose your service without being told – that’s appalling. People rely on that,” Ms Rimrod said.

“My other daughter’s on the way to hospital with my partner and it would have been nice to call them to see how they are going.”

Ms Rimrod tried to contact Vodafone and was frustrated when she did not receive a response.

“What’s the problem with sending people an email or a message on Twitter or Facebook? We live in an information age, there are ways to tell people,” she said.

Did you have issues with Vodafone or Optus? Email or comment on this story to let us know about it.

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