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Telstra SOS alert fails again

Fay Craigie was found 12 hours after calling for help.
Fay Craigie was found 12 hours after calling for help.

A THIRD person has come forward with evidence that Telstra's outage on the Australia Day long weekend affected their elderly parent's home alert system.

Lance Lane, who lives on a property near Marian, said since the Telstra communication breakdown his mother's home alert system had stopped sending an instant message to his mobile when it was pressed.

Mr Lane said on February 10, his mother Lois Lane used her button to contact 000.

But the alert message usually sent to his phone came through on his Telstra mobile hours later.

Mr Lane is the third Telstra customer to come forward in the past few weeks with a complaint about the service to home alert systems.

Anne-Marie Rankmore's elderly mother Fay Craigie was found unconscious on the floor of her home up to 12 hours after she tried to activate her home alert button during the Australia Day long-weekend outage.

Yvonne Smith's father Colin Gray's home alert system also failed him when he used it to contact 000 on January 27, while having a heart attack.

Ms Craigie and Mr Gray both died after they were taken to hospital.

Ms Rankmore and Mrs Smith joined together last week in their fight to petition for better 000 back-up services.

"I made a very long call to Telstra about it, to their call centre," Mr Lane said.

"I got a text message back a few hours after I called with a reference number and a brief explanation of my complaint, but it was clear the person didn't get the gist of what I was saying."

Mr Lane said his mum's neighbours tried to get in touch with him when the ambulance arrived to take her to hospital but their messages took hours to come through to his phone.

"It's been happening on and off ever since the long weekend when Telstra lines went down," he said.

"The phone shows medium service but I can't make or receive calls.

"Telstra called me today (Friday) and it seems like I've finally got their attention but they still don't know what's causing it. This is a major worry for me, not being able to contact mum."

A Telstra spokeswoman said the company was working to find the fault in Mr Lane's service.

"At this point we do believe it's an individual fault," the spokeswoman said.

"We're trying to work out where the fault actually is."

Member for Dawson George Christensen will meet with Telstra management tomorrow.

His list of questions for the company included:

  • What current measures have Telstra put in place to avoid a repeat of the 000 outage to customers?
  • During the telecommunications breakdown many Telstra mobile phones indicated that users could still make SOS calls, why then couldn't they access 000?

Reader poll

Are you happy with your phone service provider?

This poll ended on 25 February 2013.

No - 45%

Yes - 54%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  home alert, telstra, triple 0


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