After Aliya damaged a cable, WorkNet incorrectly charged her $3,900 | The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
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After Aliya damaged a cable, WorkNet incorrectly charged her $3,900

The complaint
Consumer damaged a cable on their property and was being billed for the repair and the replacement of the cable.
The outcome
Bill for the repair was paid, bill for the replacement was waived.

The issue

Telecommunications tower

WorkNet* provided Aliya* with her landline and internet service.

In October 2018, while building a shed on her property, Aliya damaged a telecommunications cable. She was still able to use her services and did not tell WorkNet about the damage.

In December, Aliya’s services stopped working and she called WorkNet to report a fault.

A technician from WorkNet completed temporary work on the damaged cable to reconnect Aliya’s services. The technician said permanent repair of the cable would cost Aliya around $500.

Later, another technician from WorkNet told Aliya repairing the damaged section would not fix her service problem because the whole cable was old and needed replacing.

After replacing the cable, WorkNet sent Aliya a bill for $3,900. Aliya told WorkNet she would pay the repair costs for the damaged section of cable, not the cost of replacing the whole cable. WorkNet said it could reduce the bill to $1,900, but withdrew its offer when Aliya said the amount was still too high. Aliya did not pay the bill and WorkNet sold the charges of $3,900 to a debt collection agency.

The investigation

Aliya called us and said she wanted WorkNet to reduce the charges to the cost of repairing the damage she had caused.

The outcome

We asked WorkNet to show us the cost of repairing the damage Aliya caused. WorkNet offered to reduce the bill to $800. Aliya accepted WorkNet’s offer and we closed the complaint.

*Names of individuals, organisations and companies have been changed.