Grahroll - good advice. I'm not sure they will accept my version seriously.as it is not all first hand.
Telstra advised my sister-in-law that they will only turn the message off on the direct authority of the customer. This can be done in store with enough ID points or over the phone by the customer. So we have a 90yr old speaking over the phone and going through the ID and confirmation process. I gather this included Telstra setting out to confirm my mother-in-law understands that her phone service is imminently to be turned off as part of the NBN roll out (Oct this year more correctly). Part way through the call while trying to hear and comprehend (hearing aid user) she ran out of patience and hung up on Telstra without completing the full contact procedure.
There is an overwhelming need for every thing (for the phone) to stay just as it always has been. It will not change shape, key layout, or move location in the room. And importantly it will always just work, even in a blackout and with out any need to check coloured lights on a modem (that she cannot see clearly due to vision impairment).
To Telstra's credit the recorded disrupting message has been turned off irrespective of Telstra completing the customer acknowledgements. Bonus deserved for the service person on the other end. Another polite Telstra in store rep also advised us not to panic about the change over to the NBN, that we could leave it until near to the end of the switching period. Also that the phone only option does not need to be on a long term contract, it can be month to month. Some things can change when you are 90!
From previous discussions with Telstra and from some of the Choice on line topics we know that there is a phone only option that will deliver 90% of an outcome. Even if Telstra were to give her a mobile "free" for the other times I doubt she would ever be able to use it unless the key pad was the size of an old Telstra wall phone. And like many older persons assigning a second authority to a family member is akin to saying you might as well be dead because you cannot mange your own affairs. We have only just now achieved this!
It would be great if Telstra were to provide a modem with a built in backup battery, mobile sim fall over and large LED panel to the old and all of those with a degree of disability at the standard current phone rate. I wonder how the fully vision impaired manage? Some phones talk back to you with with each key press.
Choice is welcome to take these points to the TIO, ACCC, and respective Federal Ministers for Communications and also the Aged. Perhaps if the TIO and ACCC would like to visit my mother-in-law she could assist them to fill out a form. I live in a different state, and was visiting when this all started. I can't relate all of this first hand.
I'd suggest that the Nbn Co and Telstra etc preference and market to the 80% of us who want and can cope with the changes. I wait apprehensively for the next change with commercial TV dropping free to air for streaming only services and the phone calls to say the "Bold and the Beautiful" has disappeared.
For us some very fundamental issues are raised here.
How should business and government deal with consumers who have different needs due to age or conditions?
Should it include special consideration of how they market or present products, how they communicate with those groups and how they deliver and support those services?
And as I suggested may also require special products that have little mainstream appeal. Not enough is done currently?
Telstra etc have our dates of birth for ID purposes. Many of the older in our country have different life experiences and perceptions, to those in the younger generations to whom lack of change/challenge is akin to boredom. It's not evident that these differences are universally understood or respected at corporate level, although there are numerous examples of customer service staff who will try their best despite having one hand behind their back.