ONEseniors collapse leaves users offline and angry

Alf and Loreen Whiddett have been without a landline and internet connection since May 2. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Alf and Loreen Whiddett have been without a landline and internet connection since May 2. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Hundreds of senior citizens in the Illawarra have been without phone and internet services for more than a week since their provider went into administration last week.

The ONEseniors company offered mobile, home phone and internet services to over 55s.

Alf and Loreen Whiddett of Dapto had their home phone, internet and Mr Whiddett's mobile phone with ONEseniors.

He said they had been without a landline phone and internet connection since May 2.

"Just before then the internet would work sometimes and then sometimes it wouldn't," Mr Whiddett said.

"We thought, 'oh God what's wrong with this thing?' but the phone was all right. "Then on the second of May, everything started to go belly up.

"When we started to use the phone the dial tone was there but once you started to ring out it just said 'you're disconnected'."

He said they were given no notice that their services would be cut.

His mobile phone is still working but he received an SMS on Friday stating it too would cease working - on May 22.

"So I'll have to do something about that between now and the 22nd," Mr Whiddett said.

"If one of us got sick that would be the only way that we could ring out."

Mr Whiddett said he had also been told that, as the home phone line was with Telstra, that if they went with any other supplier they would lose their existing phone number.

Vocus Communications acquired iBoss International and One Telecom, which includes ONEseniors, last Wednesday and has issued a statement that said, despite their best efforts, they were unable to restore the services of affected customers.

"Due to the complexity of the web of companies of the previous owners and the lack of support of the other telecommunications suppliers (other than Telstra) it is not possible to get the user services back online," the release stated.

"Rather than protract the uncertainty any further, regrettably we have to confirm that existing ONESeniors and One Telecom services will not be reconnected. The only way for these services to be activated is for each customer to sign up for a new service."

Vocus had set up an arrangement with iPrimus to connect the new services.

"Please note, to ensure continuity of services all services must be connected via iPrimus or another provider, including any services that are still active and working," the statement read.

A spokeswoman said the company was communicating with ONEseniors customers in as many ways as possible, including via mail. She also said the company was looking at ways for the customers to keep existing phone numbers.

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