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Telstra offers cash in flaming exchange afternath

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Telstra has announced new compensation plans for beleaguered customers affected by a fire that swept through a telephone exchange in Warrnabool last month. Services in the area remain disrupted.

In the latest update Telstra said that there now fewer than 3,000 fixed line services and under 1,000 internet services remaining to be connected. Mobile services have now been completely restored.

The carrier is now offering small business customers interim cash payments as part of a wider compensation plan which initially targeted larger business customers.

The assistance was announced on Friday by Telstra’s area general manager Bill Mundy following a town hall meeting in Warrnambool.

“We understand the difficulty the exchange fire has brought to the community and business customers across the district. We have listened to the feedback on our compensation process and we are working hard to make it as practical as possible by introducing an interim payment process,” Mundy said.

Further details on the claim process and guidelines are expected to be finalised this week.

The carrier had already started a compensation process for business customers, with claims exceeding $1000 requiring supporting documentation.

Telstra’s advertising arm, Sensis is also offering a one-month rebate to customers whose Yellow Pages or White Pages digital advertising was disrupted by the fire.

In other compensation efforts Telstra is crediting affected fixed phone and ADSL broadband customers with one month's free line rental. While fixed line customers using their mobile service in excess of their plan will not receive additional charges for standard usage. Naturally conditions apply and this does not include premium SMS and international calls. Telstra CEO David Thodey visited the fire ravaged exchange and town last week and said that following the internal reviews, the impact of the fire might cause Telstra to investigate the centralisation of services. ®

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