Optus services are gradually returning after a frustrating eight-hour outage left millions around the country in the lurch, bringing both public transport and essential services to a standstill.
The government has revealed the cause, but Optus has remained tight lipped and with its devastating 2022 cyber attack still fresh in the minds of many, the timing for yet another, major incident couldn't be worse for the troubled telecommunications provider.
Despite services slowly returning throughout the day to some customers' devices, for many fed-up Aussies, it appears this is the "final straw". Dozens of photos taken from all over the country and uploaded to social media have shown people queuing outside branches of competitors Vodafone and Telstra.
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The images suggest those queuing were happy to wait in line just to rid themselves of the services of the troubled provider. One woman even offered $150 for a $2 non-Optus SIM.
Speaking to Yahoo Finance, consumer expert Joel Gibson earlier said "Australians are rightly fuming".
“This is awful timing for Optus, which has spent the last year trying to rebuild trust after the data of around one in two Australians was stolen on their watch,” Gibson told Yahoo Finance.
“Optus customers will be fuming, and fair enough. Although they could swap notes with Telstra customers who suffer regular outages.”
'Mass exodus' expected in wake of crash
Meanwhile, Finder tech guru Angus Kidman said today's latest meltdown would likely lead to a mass exodus.
“This could be a case of ‘two strikes and you’re out’ for Optus – customer loyalty is already on shaky ground following the data breach in 2022,” Kidman said.
“Optus could be facing a customer exodus as the outage may be the final straw for some who have only just finished dealing with the leak. The fear of being stuck without mobile phone connectivity is very real, especially for those who rely on their phone for directions and work."
Optus outage: What you need to know
Who is impacted? Up to 10 million mobile, landline and broadband customers have been without service since early Wednesday morning.
What caused the outage: Optus hasn't said but the government revealed a core network fault.
Is it a cyber attack? All signs point to no.
How long will it last? Some services have come back but it could "take hours" before everyone has service again.
Could I call triple-0? On mobiles, yes because you will be transferred to an alternate network but, on landlines, no.
Does it matter if I am not with Optus? You could argue the vast majority of Australia has been impacted in one way or another. There’s been a trickle-down from direct customers to bigger businesses or services that use Optus, from hospitals and public transport to Uber drivers or the local cafe.