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Information for Consumers

We sell digital telecommunications services to our customers. Many of those services enable our customers to contact 111 Emergency Services in an emergency situation.

Digital telephone or voice services that permit telephone calls to be made and rely on an internet connection to function, may not be able to be used to contact 111 in the event of a power outage. They rely on power being provided to a telephone handset device and related network devices that deliver an internet connection to that handset. Most such devices do not incorporate any form of continuous power delivery or battery backup.

We are committed to support our Customers and vulnerable consumers with maintaining access to 111 Emergency Services in the event of a power outage.

Under the terms of amendments to the Telecommunications Act 2001, specifically the "111 Contact Code", you or someone you know, may be entitled to assistance from our company at no charge to maintain access to 111 emergency services in the event of a power outage of up to 8 hours.

You can view the Telecommunications Act, "The Act" on the New Zealand Legislation website here.

You can view the 111 Contact Code, "The Code" on the Commerce Commission website here.

The information on this page is provided in accordance with the terms of The Code. Where this information conflicts with the terms of The Code, The Code takes precedence. Where this information conflicts with The Act, The Act takes precedence.

Glossary

  1. You - our Customer of, or otherwise a consumer of a, digital voice service from our company that can be used to contact 111 emergency services.
  2. The Code - the 111 Contact Code published and maintained by The Commerce Commission as an industry regulation from amendments to the Telecommunications Act 2001.
  3. The Act - the Telecommunications Act 2001, under New Zealand legislation.
  4. Consumer - As defined under The Code.
  5. Customer - The bill payer for our service(s) whom we have a direct billing relationship with.
  6. Service location - The physical address to which our customer has nominated their digital voice service to be delivered to.
  7. Particular Risk - This term is defined in the 111 Contact Code.
  8. Digital Voice Services - services that enable a consumer to make a telephone call using digital infrastructure provided to our customers by our company. Services that do not allow telephone calls to be made are excluded from consideration. Examples of excluded services include but are not limited to: Quality of Service internet service upgrades, Voice Add-On services such as voicemail, call waiting, call minder.
  9. Provided Means - has the same meaning as under The Code, the device(s) we have provided you to ensure access to 111 emergency services during a power outage.
  10. 111 - The telephone emergency services system available via phone call or SMS service within New Zealand, as defined by The Act.

Your Rights under The Code

Under the terms of The Code you have certain rights. Those rights are:

  1. You will not be denied access to digital voice services from our company because you are currently, or may become, identified as a vulnerable consumer under The Code. Please note that you will still need to meet the other criteria of our standard terms and conditions, available on our website, to purchase our digital voice services, if you are or intend to become a customer of our company.
  2. You have the right to contact us to discuss a potential or current application to be identified as a vulnerable consumer, and to be informed as to the status of your application, and to update the details of your application with us or make a new application at any time.
  3. You have the right to make a complaint if you believe we have breached our duties under the terms of The Code. You can make such a complaint directly to us and/or to a relevant telecommunications industry body under their disputes resolution scheme, or directly to The Commerce Commission's disputes resolution scheme. We are not a member of any related telecommunications industry bodies. The Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme is a free, independent service to help consumers with complaints about their telecommunications provider. A dispute between a consumer and a telecommunications company about their rights and obligations under the 111 Contact Code may be referred to this Scheme.
    Telecommunications Dispute Resolution website
    Commerce Commission complaints website
  4. You are entitled to access information about our compliance with The Code online at this website, in person at our retail locations, or by contacting us by email or phone at the contact details below.
  5. If you meet qualifying criteria, you are entitled to our assistance with maintaining access to 111 emergency services for a period of at least 8 hours during a power outage at your service location. This assistance is provided free of charge. You must make an application to us as a Vulnerable Consumer in order to assert this right.
  6. If you are provided means to contact 111 emergency services by our company as a result of an approved vulnerable consumer application, you have the right to have those provided means maintained and tested by our company at no cost to yourself, and for those means to be replaced by our company should they become non-functional for any reason, at no cost to yourself.
  7. You have the right to make a Vulnerable Consumer application in writing via email, fax or post, or verbally over the phone.
  8. You have the right to withdraw your application at any time during the application process.
  9. You have the right to access information from us regarding your Vulnerable Consumer status at any time, and to require us to update that information.
  10. You have the right to notify us to cancel your Vulnerable Consumer status at any time.

Maintaining access to 111 during a power outage

We supply a variety of options to maintain 111 during a power outage. Those solutions are designed to provide continuous powered access to 111 for 8 hours or more under standard operating conditions.

We strongly encourage you to consider whether you already have one of these options in place for yourself, even if you do not wish to apply to us as a vulnerable consumer, in order to keep yourself safe.

Those options include:

  1. A prepay mobile phone connected to a mobile network with adequate coverage at your service location. We can also provide large button, large print or braille enabled device options for sight-impaired or hearing-impaired consumers.
  2. An uninterruptible power supply or alternative battery backup, for service locations without adequate mobile coverage from any network provider, or for consumers unable to use a mobile phone.
  3. Other bespoke solutions for consumers with a different situation will be obtained on a case by case basis, in negotiation with you.

Mobile phones provided by our company for the purpose of contacting 111 are not suitable for general use as a mobile phone and functions not related to accessing 111 may be unavailable. Uninterruptible power supply and battery backup systems provided by our company for the purpose of contacting 111 are not suitable for usage with any other devices that are not required to maintain access to 111.

Qualifying Consumers

In order to qualify for assistance at no charge from our company, you will need to meet certain criteria as laid out in the code. Those criteria are:

  1. The digital voice service in relation to your application must be capable of being used to contact 111.
  2. You are ordinarily residing at the service location to which our digital voice service is nominally delivered to our Customer i.e. this service location is your residence.
  3. You are at particular risk of requiring access to 111 in the event of a power outage at your location for reasons of Health, Safety or Disability.
  4. You can provide supporting evidence to your application in the form of attached evidential documentation from a suitable Health, Safety or Disability body, or by nominating a Person of Standing who has consented to be contacted by us to support your application.
  5. The supporting evidence to your application must be reasonably sufficient as defined by The Code. A person of standing if nominated, must be contactable and provide their consent to support your application, and be a reasonably sufficient authority as defined by The Code.
  6. You do not already have unrestricted access to a mobile phone with adequate mobile coverage to maintain access to call 111 at the service location. If you do have such access, you must disclose this to us during the application process.
  7. You do not have any other means of maintaining access to call 111 in the event of a power outage of up to 8 hours. If you do have such means, you must disclose this to us during the application process.

The Application Process

  1. You can download an application form in standard or large-print formats from the links at the bottom of this page.
    1. Once you have downloaded the application, you can complete it electronically, or you can print it out and complete it by hand.
    2. Please include any supporting evidential documentation with your application as detailed in the application form.
    3. Return the application form to us by email, fax or post at the contact details below.
  2. You can also apply over the phone by calling us at the number listed at the bottom of this page.
    1. Please select the option to speak to our Delivery team who will assist you with your application.
  3. Once your application has been received, we will review it to ensure you meet our qualifying criteria.
  4. If your application does not meet any specific criteria for approval, we will contact you and work with you to resolve any issues to ensure your application is progressed.
    1. If we are unable to contact you by any methods you have nominated for contact, for a period of 14 or more days, your application may be declined.
  5. We will keep you informed of your applications progress towards approval during the process, using the preferred contact method you have nominated on the application form.
  6. If your application is approved, we will inform you of this change in your vulnerable consumer status
  7. We will now consider you a vulnerable consumer.
  8. We will communicate with you to find the best solution to provide you with 111 access, and provide that solution, test it, and ensure it is maintained, and replace it if it becomes faulty.
  9. During the application process, if you acquire suitable means of maintaining access to call 111 in the event of a power outage of up to 8 hours, we require you to notify us of your change in circumstances. We may require you to withdraw your application.

Permanent Vulnerable Consumer applications

If your vulnerable consumer application is approved, your vulnerable consumer status will be maintained indefinitely, with the following exceptions.

If our Customer terminates all remaining qualifying digital voice services on their account with us, your related Vulnerable Consumer status will also be cancelled. See the Cancelling your Vulnerable Consumer status section below, for the actions that will occur at that time.

You may cancel your vulnerable consumer status at any time. See the Cancelling your Vulnerable Consumer status section below, for the actions that will occur at that time.

Temporary Vulnerable Consumer applications

You may make an application for temporary vulnerable consumer status. Your application must then include an expected expiry date for your vulnerable consumer status.

You may apply again to us at any time to renew your vulnerable consumer status and extend the expiry date. To do so, you must notify us in writing via email, fax or post, or notify us over the phone. Our contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

We will notify you when your vulnerable consumer status is due to expire, before it expires. We will attempt to contact you via your preferred contact method(s) at least 30 days or as soon as practically possible before the expiry date on your previously approved temporary vulnerable consumer application. We will attempt to contact you as many times as is reasonable.

If we are unable to contact you before the expiry date of your vulnerable status, your vulnerable consumer status will be cancelled. See the Cancelling your Vulnerable Consumer status section below, for the actions that will occur at that time.

If our Customer terminates all remaining qualifying digital voice services on their account with us, your related Vulnerable Consumer status will also be cancelled. See the Cancelling your Vulnerable Consumer status section below, for the actions that will occur at that time.

Withdrawing your Application

You may withdraw your application at any time during the application process. You must notify us in writing via email, fax or post, or notify us over the phone. Our contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

We will confirm we have received your withdrawal and mark your application as declined, with an explanation as to why it was declined - "Consumer Withdrawal". No further action will be taken in relation to your application.

You may re-apply for vulnerable consumer status at any time afterwards, without prejudice.

Your Responsibilities as a Vulnerable Consumer

If you have previously been granted vulnerable consumer status, and later acquire suitable means of maintaining access to call 111 in the event of a power outage of up to 8 hours, we require you to notify us of your change in circumstances. 

Please contact us as soon as possible if;

  1. You no longer reside at the service location.
  2. Other persons you believe may be at risk have begun residing at the service location.
  3. There has been a change in your ability to use our provided means.
  4. The provided means has been lost, stolen, become damaged or is otherwise not operating as you expect it to.
  5. There has been any other change in your circumstances.

We may require you to cancel your vulnerable customer status as described in the Cancelling your Vulnerable Consumer status section below.

At all times, the provided means remain the property of our company. You are not considered the owner of means we have provided you with as a result of your vulnerable consumer status. You are not permitted to sell, gift or otherwise deliberately damage or dispose of the means we have provided you. You are required to return these means to us in good working order if your status as a vulnerable consumer is cancelled.

We require you to follow our instructions, and manufacturer instructions, regarding the usage and maintenance of good function of our provided means, and to work with us to ensure those means are regularly tested and maintained. We will provide you with instructions, and manufacturer instructions, on the usage and maintenance of provided means.

We require you to treat the provided means in a manner suitable to keep them functional, including ensuring the means have adequate power and charge for at least 8 hours of continuous operation at all times. We require you and persons you are responsible for to treat the means provided suitably for their good operations and not abuse or otherwise interfere with their operations.

We require you not to connect or change the physical or digital setup of provided means devices in any way that would interfere with their function of maintaining access to 111. Without our prior approval;

  1. Do not connect additional electrical devices to the provided means.
  2. Do not change the location or power and network connections of provided means.
  3. Do not change the location or network configuration of other network devices required to provide service to the provided means.
  4. Do not remove the provided means from the service location unless required to do during an emergency situation.
  5. Please use common sense when operating provided means, and contact us if you are unsure about anything or have questions in relation to the provided means.

We require you to notify us as soon as practically possibly if you become aware that the provided means is not able to contact 111 for a period of at least 8 hours during a power outage, so that we can arrange for a replacement or repair of the provided means.

As long as you remain a vulnerable consumer with our company;

  1. We will contact you at least once per year, to confirm with you that the means we have provided you to contact 111 are still suitable to your needs and are functioning correctly.
  2. We will arrange for regular maintenance and testing of our provided means.
  3. We will repair or replace the provided means if it becomes non-functional.

Accessing or Updating your Vulnerable Consumer status

You may contact us at any time to request information on your vulnerable consumer status with us, or to request that your personal information be updated in relation to your vulnerable consumer status.

You may contact us at any time to update us that circumstances related to your vulnerable consumer status have changed.

You must contact us in writing via email, fax or post, or notify us over the phone. Our contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Cancelling your Vulnerable Consumer status

You may contact us at any time to request to cancel your vulnerable consumer status. You must contact us in writing via email, fax or post, or notify us over the phone. Our contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

If you cancel your vulnerable consumer status, you will be required to return to us the device(s) we have provided to you as your provided means of contacting 111, in good working order. We will arrange and cover the costs of returning the provided means at your request. We will not reimburse you for costs related to the return of the provided means without our prior consent to do so.

If the provided means is not returned to us in good working order, we reserve the right to charge you for our costs incurred in providing those devices. The device(s) will be invoiced to you as a customer under our standard terms and conditions, available on our website.

We will no longer consider you a vulnerable consumer.

You may re-apply for vulnerable consumer status at any time afterwards, without prejudice.

Reporting Requirements and Disclosure of Personal Information

We are required to provide annual reporting to the Commerce Commission in relation to our systems and procedures, consumer applications and status, and provided means, under The Code.

We are required by The Code to store your personal information in relation to compliance with the code, your status as a consumer or vulnerable consumer of our digital voice services, for a period of not less than 5 years following either the date you made a vulnerable consumer application, or the related digital voice service was terminated by our customer.

To the extent permitted by law, we will protect your privacy in this reporting. Your personal data will be aggregated in our reporting to The Commission. We reserve the right to share personal information you have divulged to us in relation to digital voice services with our company, to the extent required by the terms of The Code and The Act. Such information will be shared within our company in order to provide you with the services you are consuming, and with other parties as required by the terms of The Code and The Act.

Your personal information will otherwise be treated in accordance with our standard terms and conditions, available on our website.

Finally

If you would like to discuss the information above with our team at any time, please contact us.

Our team is ready to assist you and to find a suitable solution to meet your needs as a vulnerable consumer.

You can contact us by email, fax, phone or post at the contact details listed below.