Level 1: Cadet

Repair of landline fault


I would like some advice on understanding the dynamics of a landline fault, and the roles and responsibilities of the technician to rectify the fault.

The fault has been reported. There have been three instances of technicians visiting the premises. Technician A has attended the premises twice while we have been on site. Technician B has attended the premises while we were not on site, but spoke to me on telephone to discuss options.

There have been conflicting reports on how to resolve the fault.

Technician A had attended the site initially to assess the fault. He was not equipped with the machinery to enable him to find the pit to our premises. His assessment was inconclusive and he arranged for his colleague to attend at a later date to locate the pit.

Technician B arrived at the premises the next day with machinery to enable him to find the pit. He deducted that the fault was under the house. As we were not on the premises he was not able to venture underneath the house to gather further intelligence. He informed me to contact the fault help desk to arrange a booking at a more convenient time.

On booking I requested Technician B, but unfortunately due to communication breakdown Technician A returned to the site on the day of the appointment. Technician A did not agree to investigating underneath the house and recommended a temporary solution that was not 100% safe. As we did not wish to expose ourselves to unnecessary risk, we refused this option. He also recommended getting the wiring of the house investigated by an electrician.

I am now enveloped in the following quandary. What advice should I act on? The help desk has further complicated my decision making process by suggesting I hire a contractor to dig a trench.

I requested the Fault Help desk have the local technician contact me to confirm next steps that I should take to assist with resolving the situation, in view of the multiple options provided. The Help Desk arranged a telephone call and another appointment (if necessary) but alas the local technicians have not contacted me within the relevant timeframes to discuss next steps.

I would also like advice on the general recommended action on a landline fault. Is it preferable to repair an existing line or install a new line? And, are technicians, in general, reluctant to investigate underneath the house? Also, in general, what is the more cost effective option?

In addition, what are the householders rights in relation if the fault is within the limits of the first point network boundary?

Please note: Although, Technician A has provided advice on the matter, his credibility as a technician was called into question by comments made by Technician B to me on the telephone. His comments disparaged Technician A on the basis that Technician A had refused to investigate under the house and had failed to locate the pit. This has altered my ability to trust the options presented to me by Technician A (I would be interested in hearing people's thoughts on whether my bias is founded).

Also, I am amicable to the idea of hiring private contractors if necessary, but in order to do so I would require justification from the technician on the benefit of this approach. I am also pondering of whether there is any benefit in hiring a private contractor to diagnose the source of the damage (I had assumed this was within Telstra's remit, but happy to be advised otherwise).

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