News : No Phones and Kept in the Dark, Complain Residents
Wanganui, New Zealand, June 26, 2015 -- Some Spark customers are frustrated the telecommunications company is not keeping them informed about the loss of landline and internet services.
A customer on St Johns Hill, who did not wish to be named, said her landline went out on Saturday and it still had not been restored.
"We knew there was something amiss with the weather, and no one minds if the phone is out for 24 hours, but this is day four."
The woman said she and her neighbours were all without their landlines and, while she had her calls directed through to her cellphone, that was not possible for those without such phones.
She had called Spark's call centre twice. "The first time they couldn't tell me anything. The second time they said it was due to flooding but they could give me no indication of when we can expect to have our phones back on," the woman said.
"We'd just like more concrete information from Spark about what's going on."
A Spark spokesperson said about 5000 customers in Wanganui and Rangitikei were without phone and internet services over the weekend, because of a broken fibre duct near Marton that was damaged by the flooding.
There were also some cellphone problems when power to towers failed and the fuel supply for generators ran out, Mr Paris said.
He said there was no current damage to the Spark network in Wanganui but slips meant power loss was still affecting lines company Chorus' network in the area.
Nathan Beaumont from Chorus said there were three outages caused by the flooding.
Further ones could show up as the flood waters receded and the ground shifted.
"These outages potentially impact up to 1000 households. We have several crews on the ground, working as fast as they can to repair the faults," Mr Beaumont said.
Meanwhile, Spark is offering some assistance to people displaced by the floods.
Between today and July 1, calls from payphones in the region will be free.
For those forced to evacuate their homes, customers can choose to divert their current landline calls to another nominated landline or mobile number.
Or they can get all calls diverted to a call minder service, which will take messages for the customer. This service will be free for six months.
Or the reconnection fee can be waived for customers needing to reconnect their landline to another house.
People affected can call Spark on 123.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, June 26, 2015