Could you call 111 in an emergency? If you use a newer home phone technology you might need an alternative means.

A customer representing a body corporate contacted TDR seeking an alternative solution for the emergency telephone in their lifts. The body corporate had copper-based landlines in their lifts for emergencies allowing people to summon assistance if they became trapped. As copper-based telecommunication services are being withdrawn in favour of fibre in areas where fibre is available, this would mean the lift phones would cease to operate.

The customer had contacted their provider asking for them to contribute to the cost of upgrading the lift’s emergency phone system as they felt that if a person became trapped in a lift, they would then be considered a vulnerable person.

The provider advised TDR that they were unable to reach a resolution with the customer for the following reasons.

  • They didn’t believe a person trapped in a lift was defined under the 111 Contact Code definition as a vulnerable person
  • The Copper Withdrawal Code did not require Chorus to contribute to the costs of a customer upgrading their equipment. Instead, they felt this responsibility lay with the lift operators
  • Finally, as the customer is a body corporate, they argued they were defined as a Corporate Customer and are not covered under TDR’s jurisdiction.

As such the case reached deadlock. For Customer Complaints Code matters, deadlock is when a complaint has been raised with a telecommunications company and has come to the end of the company’s internal complaints procedure without being resolved, or when it’s been six weeks or more since the customer contacted the company and the customer still doesn’t have a resolution they are happy with, whichever comes first. For 111 Contact Code matters, that period is reduced to five working days. When deadlock is reached, the matter enters the formal TDR process.

To decide if TDR had jurisdiction to consider the matter, the TDR Resolution Practitioner considered the information the parties provided and the legislation. They concluded that as the customer was a body corporate made up of several individuals they were considered a Corporate Customer. Furthermore, the equipment (the lift) was owned by the customer and was supported by using other technologies that required electricity which was not supported by the provider.

The Practitioner found there was no jurisdiction to hear the matter and the case was dismissed.