TPG Telecom's AAPT and Vocus' M2 seek $1.8m from shuttered Queensland company Buzz Telco

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TPG Telecom's AAPT and Vocus' M2 seek $1.8m from shuttered Queensland company Buzz Telco

AAPT and Vocus are claiming a combined $1.8 million in debts from the shuttered Buzz Telco, which closed its doors in April following difficulties with the wholesale providers.

Speaking to CRN in May, Buzz Telco general manager Jeremy Chequer said the company had switched to Vocus in 2017 following a billing dispute with former wholesaler AAPT, but that Vocus then terminated Buzz Telco's wholesale arrangement after AAPT issued a winding-up order against the company. Chequer then ceased trading the business.

Now, a liquidator’s report prepared by Andrew Barnden of Rodgers Reidy has revealed that AAPT, a subsidiary of TPG Telecom, has claimed debts of $1.22 million from the company. Vocus business M2 is also listed as a creditor, claiming $563,000.  

Chequer had in February wrote on tech forum Whirlpool that the AAPT dispute was actually over a $20,000 debt "and that discussions regarding the disputed amounts fell through".

The liquidator’s report also noted debts claimed by NetComm Wireless ($50,856), Telcoinabox ($32,968), the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman ($43,830) and Vocus itself, which claims $35,399.

The liquidator is continuing to make investigations pertaining to company accounts and outstanding debts from customers. Creditors, including AAPT and M2, have been asked to supply proof of debt to the liquidator and provide documentation to substantiate their claims.

Barnden noted debts owed to the company by customers existed in the range of between $5500 and $7000. The liquidator expects the company’s clients, however, may assert a right to set off against the debts due to the interruption of their services caused by the insolvency of the company.

Chequer first told customers about the closure by email and via a post on Whirlpool's forums in April.

"As a result of this [Vocus] termination, I am forced to announce that, effective immediately, Buzz Telco will cease trading. I have worked with a number of other providers to get arrangements in place to ensure that customers are not left without service during these unfortunate times," he wrote.

Chequer directed customers toward deals with three alternative suppliers, Mungi Internet, Dodo and Aussie Broadband.

CRN has reached out to Chequer for additional comment.

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