Skip to Navigation Skip to Content Read about Accessibility on the Telecommunications Ombudsman website

Case study – landline fault in a remote area

23 October 2015

A man and his dog stand in a paddock with telephone lines in the backgroundWally, who lives in a remote town in Western Australia, contacted us about a problem with his landline. 

He told us that at first the line was noisy during calls, and some months later, it stopped working altogether. He reported the fault to his provider, which told him it needed to lay 40 metres of cable in his town to restore the service. 

Wally called the provider to get an update after waiting for three months with an unusable phone. The provider told him it was waiting for their wholesaler – a power company – to lay the cable.

When we referred Wally’s complaint back to the provider, it offered him a mobile phone, which didn’t work because reception in the area was poor.   

Wally’s complaint could not be resolved by conciliation with the provider, so we investigated the complaint. In the meantime, the provider gave Wally a temporary satellite phone. 

The provider restored Wally’s service almost a year after he first contacted us. It liaised with the power company to lay new cable and cut down some trees to clear the interference on the line. It also applied an electronic filter to reduce an underlying hum on Wally’s line. 

The provider waived almost $1,400 in service fees it charged Wally during the time the phone did not work, and provided him with another $1,400 as a goodwill gesture.   

Recent Posts:

Billing dispute and suspended service

Case Study Small Business

A small business had their internet services deactivated due to a misunderstanding on billing.

Next step?              

  • make an online complaint
  • 1800 062 058                
  • Write PO Box 276
    Collins Street West Vic 8007                            
  • National Relay Service Call on 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 062 058            
  • Fax our consumer complaint form to 1800 630 614