'Telstra cost my business $1.5 million', Coast man claims
A FORMER Sunshine Coast business owner is attempting to sue a major telco for $1.5 million in damages after it published his company's phone number and address incorrectly.
According to court documents, Lee Giffin took legal action against Telstra and subsidiary Sensis for loss of business as the address listed for his store in the online Yellow Pages was 10 years old.
The phone numbers listed for his business were also outdated and belonged to a carpet sales company and veterinarian.
Mr Giffin's spare parts business, Japanese 4x4 Spares and Repairs, started in 1999 in Caboolture before moving to Burpengary in 2002, then to Maroochydore.
The business's phone number also changed several times due to the relocations.
Mr Giffin had subscribed and paid for a service with Sensis, which were owned by Telstra, whereby they agreed to advertise his business in the Yellow Pages book and Yellow Pages online.
After Mr Giffin moved his business to his home address south of Caboolture, his neighbour noticed two wrong addresses were listed for the business in the online Yellow Pages.
One was a Caboolture address, where Mr Giffin's business had been located a decade prior, and the second was in Burpengary which was also listed in the Yellow Pages book.
Mr Giffin claimed he noticed a decline in his business and concluded the advertising errors were to blame.
The documents state he obtained a calculation of his losses from an accountant who advised he had lost "in the order of $1.5 million".
Mr Giffin received a "modest offer of compensation" from Sensis, but after the company told him they were not liable for his loss he took matters to the Supreme Court.
He was unable secure a lawyer and drafted a claim and statement of claim in which he only named Telstra.
Both claims were eventually struck out in court as they failed to "reveal the nature of the claim" against Telstra.
"The claim did not show whether there was a term of a contract that was said to have been breached or whether the claim had some other basis," court documents read.
Mr Giffin then further applied for more time to appeal against his claims being struck out, but this was rejected by Justice Walter Sofronoff in late November.
Justice Sofronoff noted his decision did "not mean that Mr Giffin cannot start fresh proceedings if he is able, by some means, to prepare valid pleadings".
Mr Giffin was further ordered to pay costs to Telstra and Sensis.