No love from your telecom provider? Ring the hotline to complain

Telecommunications Ombudsman sets up national disaster hotline

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HOTLINE: The Telecommunications Ombudsman has set up a national disaster hotline to help consumers impacted by bushfire to stay connected.

HOTLINE: The Telecommunications Ombudsman has set up a national disaster hotline to help consumers impacted by bushfire to stay connected.

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People with internet and phone outages due to bushfire urged to complain to hotline if their services aren't restored.

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Frustrated by your internet? Sick of remaining on-hold? If bushfires have affected your phone or internet connection and you don't feel your provider is helping you can now escalate the issue through a dedicated hotline.

Launched this week, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman's natural disasters help line is a fast way to escalate your telecommunications issue and have the problem fixed.

Issues with phone or internet? Call 03 8600 8308

Ombudsman Judi Jones said staying connected through phone and internet services is important for the safety of residential consumers and small businesses in areas impacted by natural disasters.

"For local residents, remaining connected to phone and internet services means being able to contact emergency services, stay connected to medical assistance, and remain in touch with friends, family and neighbours," she said.

"For small businesses it means being able to continue trading, supplying goods and providing a vital network for members of the community.

"Consumers should contact their provider first. Many telecommunications providers are offering specific relief packages or assistance for their customers affected by the bushfires.

"Our dedicated Natural Disasters phone line means consumers and small businesses can talk to someone who understands the issues and will assist in working out what can be done to resolve their phone or internet issue."

Ms Jones said if customers in a bushfire affected area had attempted to resolve a phone or internet issue with their provider and it remained unresolved, they could contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on the Natural Disasters phone line, 03 8600 8308, or visit the website www.tio.com.au to lodge a complaint.

Information from Telstra

A press release from the Ombudsman said information supplied by Telstra, requested that in the first instance, Telstra customers affected by bushfires call 132 203 and state they are in a bushfire impacted area, or visit Telstra Exchange online to access the disaster relief services.

"In addition to helping people on the ground, Telstra is giving access to free calls and free Telstra Air Wi-Fi through local payphones for everyone in areas affected by bushfires in NSW and Queensland," it said.

Information from Optus

The press release stated Optus customers affected by bushfires should call the dedicated phone line 1300 301 671.

"Optus is also working with local evacuation centres in the affected areas to provide support including pre-paid phones, pre-paid data packs and charging stations," it said.

Next steps

Ms Jones said if you have already attempted to resolve your phone or internet issue with your provider, and are in a bushfire or flood affected area, you should contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on the Natural Disasters phone line, 03 8600 8308, or visit our website www.tio.com.au to lodge a complaint.

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