A TELSTRA manager has backed away from plans to disallow compo claim costs as businesses recover from an exchange fire.During a Hamilton forum last week Telstra's Surf Coast and Geelong area general manager Dwayne Dalton was criticised for the company's list of costs and losses that were not claimable.
These included profession fees to prepare a compensation claim, costs in contacting Telstra to report a fault, goodwill lost and, pain of mind and suffering.
But businessman Jeff Spencer said many of these elements were claimable.
"If you don't have business interruption insurance and you are offering this compensation I don't see how Telstra can actually exclude those components from a person's claim.
"I think what you are trying to do is narrow the scope of where that person can make a claim," he said.
He said unless issues like this were raised in open forums they could be "swept under the carpet".
"It's not that I don't trust Telstra, but I don't trust Telstra."
Mr Spencer said businesses should also be compensated for employee wages while they were unable to work during the communications disruptions caused by the fire.
Mr Dalton said the company as "taking nothing off the table" in assessing compensation for its clients and he urged people to document cost and loss items.
"The integrity of our company is at stake because of what's happened and part of that is rebuilding our brand."
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said he intended to hold Mr Dalton to include all elements in compensation "conservations" with Telstra clients.
Mr Tehan said Telstra needed to sort out its 1800 call centre number to deal with people's fault and compensation issues.
"That's the first serious take home message from tonight.
"The message that was loud and clear tonight is that if Telstra wants to show good faith with this community they have got to look at providing 4G," he said.
"The businesses here want to see their telecommunications upgraded."