LOCAL retailers, fast food restaurants and supermarkets were left to operate in chaos after a Telstra outage left businesses without EFTPOS facilities last week.
Telstra blamed "an unusually large volume of traffic" in NSW for the national outage that left customers and retailers on its network without funds transfers on Thursday afternoon.
The outage, which impacted ATM and EFTPOS machines nationally, was resolved shortly after 7pm the same day.
A number of businesses were impacted by the outage in the Swan Hill region, including Woolworths.
Swan Hill Woolworths assistant floor manager Sharon Lakey told The Guardian that the local store suffered from the outage for approximately four hours.
"From about 3.30pm until roughly 7.30pm we were affected by the outage," she said.
"It slowed down all our registers and we actually couldn't process any EFTPOS transactions over $150.
"Because it was like we were moving in slow motion, we opened up as many registers as we could, but at the end of the day this was a nationwide issue and essentially out of our control."
Ms Lakey also said that while it was an inconvenience to customers, even those trying to pick-up online orders, the public were "very understanding and tried to be as patient as they could".
"It was a hassle for our in store shoppers as well as our customers who pick-up online orders in-store, as their shopping lists didn't process properly," she said.
"Again, they were understanding and either came back at a later time or the next morning."
It was the same for Blue Sky Outdoor Swan Hill as they also became impacted from the outage, but told The Guardian their customers were "inconvenienced, but really good about the issue".
"We were probably down from around 2.30pm and had our EFTPOS back and running roughly around 4pm," Blue Sky Outdoor owner and manager Luke Kelly said.
"It was an inconvenience for all of us, we had some customers needing to go and get cash because they didn't have any on them, but everyone was pretty understanding and good about it.
"Luckily, we only had one major purchase needing EFTPOS on Thursday afternoon and he was happy to come back on Friday morning and sort it all out."
Meanwhile, Marraboor Pharmacy told The Guardian that there was a "very short lived" issue, but it did not impact their customers.
Telstra issued a statement shortly before 7pm, saying most services were now back online.
National Retail Association chief executive officer Dominique Lamb told The Sydney Morning Herald that the fallout from Thursday's outage "could cost the industry up to $100 million".
"In July 2018, $837 million was spent each day," she said.
"We know that basically, they were finding it very difficult to trade for the second half of that day which is ultimately going to have an impact...we're predicting it's going to be up to $100 million."