The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has today announced that internet and phone consumers impacted by recent bushfire activity can now contact a dedicated helpline. The Natural Disasters helpline can be called on 03 8600 8308 and has opened today, November 21, 2019.
The TIO stated, “Staying connected through phone and internet services is important for the safety of residential consumers and small businesses in areas impacted by natural disasters.”
Bushfire Internet Helpline
Ombudsman Judi Jones said;
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. 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.
Anyone in a bushfire affected area that has attempted to resolve phone or internet issues with their service provider should contact the National Disasters line on 03 8600 8308 or visit the website to lodge a complaint.
Specific advice has also been issued for Telstra and Optus customers.
Telstra customers affected by bushfires should 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
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.