Rollands Plains residents have become caught in a 'telephone catch-22' with landline phones damaged by recent storms and a lack of mobile coverage.
Residents reportedly began experiencing a network outage affecting multiple services in the Rollands Plains area during December and January. Recent heavy rains and flooding has also restricted the movement of residents.
Rollands Plains resident Martina Holt said she initially reported a fault with her landline on January 2.
"I made three subsequent calls to Telstra about the faults. Each time it was repeated to me what I already knew that there was an outage and the date it would be fixed. These dates came, went and still no landline," she said.
"The people I spoke to could not help me because I have no mobile phone coverage. After my call on January 9 I contacted the Commonwealth Ombudsman because Telstra customer service has been shocking.
"I drive 2kms down the road to get a reliable mobile signal and I can't do that when there is water over the road. My thinking is that if they cannot service a landline promptly then they should provide better mobile coverage."
Rollands Plains resident Neil Jones said his landline phone has been out since December 1 last year and he had been given the repair date of January 14.
"Telstra has an obligation to ensure that people who rely solely on the landline network have a reliable and working phone. We do not get mobile reception at our home and a satellite phone that was posted to us does not work," he said.
"We work with tractors, slashers and chainsaws on our property. We are subject to flooding and being flooded in. Safety is a key issue and at 45 minutes from town, doctors and hospitals the phone is a safety line.
"We produce blueberries and our season this year was upset due to lack of a landline phone with regard to customers ringing us and our ability to contact customers. Telstra has let us down badly.
"My wife and I have continually been left waiting on hold and/or dealt with people situated thousands of kilometres away or in another country without any understanding of our situation. We have spent hours and hours and hours on this problem with thus far no outcome except a continually moving fix by date.
"Outage is not the right word. It is an outrage."
Mr Jones said he has received compensation for the outage with two months discount in advance on his next bill.
Telstra regional general manager for NSW, Mike Marom said the company is not aware of any outstanding fixed line outages prior to January.
"We are aware of an issue caused by cable water damage that impacted 84 landline services last week and can confirm restoration was completed on January 12," he said.
"We can also advise that we have checked with all impacted customers to confirm individual services had been restored.
"We can also advise that we have checked with all impacted customers to confirm individual services had been restored."