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Telecommunications outages happen from time to time. Recently (Feb 2-7) Telstra has reported outages due to a fire at one of its exchanges. This follows a number of outages last year (on both mobile and fixed networks) with services from iiNet, Virgin Mobile and Telstra.

Last year Telstra offered its mobile customers free data days as compensation. For the NBN/ADSL outage, Telstra has offered a $25 credit to consumers and a $50 credit to businesses who were offline for an extended period of time. This was applied automatically to customer accounts. Depending on your circumstances, a day of free mobile data or a $25/$50 credit may not be adequate compensation. If you or your business was affected and suffered losses due to an outage, you may be entitled to seek more compensation from your telco. 

General Consumers See the ACCAN blog article 

Small business consumers

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) provides guidance on the types of losses small businesses can claim compensation for. This includes a “business/income loss arising from lack of service due to a connection delay and/or fault on a network.”

Claims must be based on actual monetary losses suffered that are a direct result of an action or inaction of a telco. The TIO provides guidance on how lost revenue is calculated. You may also be entitled to the cost of steps you took to minimise your loss during an outage, for example buying an interim service.

If you are planning to claim compensation for an outage you will need to provide relevant documents to your telco to support your claim. If your telco refuses your claim, you can escalate your complaint to the TIO. Supporting documents may include: records such as bank statements, figures that show income or profit fell short of predicted forecasts and call data that shows the number of incoming calls was reduced during the outage.

For further information see ACCAN's How to make a complaint that gets heard

If you have a problem with your phone or internet provider, you have a right to complain. Making a successful complaint is pretty straightforward, especially when you know your rights.