Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Network connection problems frustrate phone users

Vodafone users in Echuca faced about eight days of no connection recently following two failed attempts at rectifying network issues.

RUTH CLAYTON November 29, 2012 4:39am

Echuca Vodafone users were left irate and without a network connection for close to eight days due to technological issues.

The network was planned to be reinstated on two occasions since it failed — on Friday and Monday — but engineers failed to get the network back up and running on both occasions.

It was eventually rectified on Tuesday afternoon.

The initial plan to restore the line on Friday fell through when engineers discovered faulty equipment.

‘‘On Friday they went to restore the site and they realised there was another issue, equipment that need to be replaced,’’ a Vodafone spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said equipment arrived on Monday morning and workers tried to replace it to repair the transmission line, promising to have the network up and running on Monday afternoon.

Engineers identified another issue on top of the transmission link on Monday and needed to gain access to an external site, such as a local hospital, before services could be restored.

Echuca resident Bruce Williams said this was the second Vodafone network failure in Echuca in the past year.

He said he was forced to use Skype to contact the Riverine Herald because he did not have a regular landline phone.

He said he ‘‘spent a fortune’’ trying to contact Vodafone to get the problem rectified, and Kyabram was the closest place to Echuca to get reception during the network failure.

Mr Williams was given one month free credit as compensation as well as $10 to buy a pre-paid sim card with another carrier to get reception.

He said if the same problem was experienced in Melbourne there would be a huge outrage among Vodafone customers.

‘‘Because we’re in a rural area, we’re treated as second-class citizens,’’ he said.

Echuca resident Alan Hansen described the situation as ‘‘absolute crap’’.

Mr Hansen, who has used Vodafone for more than 10 years, said he would look at joining another network as he worked in the hospitality industry and relied on his phone for work.

He said the same thing happened for five days a couple of months ago.

‘‘I think the service sucks,’’ Mr Hansen said.

‘‘I don’t want compensation, I just want my phone to work.

‘‘If it can’t be fixed, say it can’t be fixed.

‘‘I’d like some more knowledge about what’s going on.’’

Mr Hansen said he had spent ‘‘a fortune’’ speaking with Vodafone to find out what was going on and to have the problem rectified.

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