There is widespread discontent among Optus users in the shire after an outage lasting days disrupted business and family life earlier this month. The telecommunications company sought a major upgrade of its network, but conceded the work could have been better co-ordinated. A spokesperson told the Times it received considerable feedback from customers after the upgrade caused widespread outages, which affected ordinary phone users as well as businesses reliant on Optus for processing payments and reaching clients. “Optus deeply regrets the impacts of the recent outage on its customers in the Margaret River region,” the spokesperson said. “Optus is constantly striving to improve its network and undertook the work that led to the outage with a view to increase transmission capacity for a better customer experience. “Unfortunately, the work was delayed due to weather events we could not foresee — resulting in impacts to some customers’ services.” Optus customers took to social media to vent about the lack of service, while others lamented the difficulty in changing phone provider. FixBox Phone Repairs Margaret River owner Peter van den Hoogen said the outage was “a disgrace”. “We’ve seen so many heavily affected people at FixBox,” he said. “Unfathomable business decision.” Others said the short-notice outage paid little respect to consumers. Resident Robert Wardell said Optus “took a corporate position to put profit before the health and safety of a rural community”. Optus told the Times it would conduct “a retrospective analysis of the events that led to the issues and how Optus engaged with customers around this time so it can put measures in place to prevent situations like this in the future”. The upgrade project was complete. Telstra customers could be the next to face the pain, with network upgrades around Cowaramup from August 23.