In November 2020, the Commerce Commission published the 111 Contact Code to ensure that vulnerable consumers can contact emergency services in the event of a power failure at their premises.
The Code requires retail landline service providers to inform customers which telecommunications technologies and devices may not work in the event of a power failure, how they can protect themselves, and where to go for support.
What Services are affected?
Fibre and fixed wireless will not work in the event of a power failure unless you have a backup power supply, so if your landline is supplied over these technologies you will not be able to use it to contact the 111 emergency service during a power cut.
Certain devices at your premises, such as cordless phones and medical alarms without an inbuilt battery, may also not work in the event of a power failure without a backup power supply, so you may not be able to use them to contact the 111 emergency service during a power cut.
We recommend keeping a charged mobile phone on hand to ensure you have means of contacting the 111 emergency service in the event of a power failure at your premises.
Please be aware that the 111 code does not cover any medical services and/or alarms - such as those provided by St John - you may have installed in your home. Please talk to the provider of these services if you have any concerns about their reliability.
Who is a vulnerable consumer?
The code defines a vulnerable consumer as someone who is at particular risk of requiring the 111 emergency service and does not have a means for contacting the 111 emergency service that can be operated for the minimum period in the event of a power failure.
How do I get my account listed as Vulnerable?
You can apply to be listed as a vulnerable consumer if someone at your premises relies on your landline connection for medical, safety, or disability reasons by submitting an application form.
We will send you an appropriate means of contacting the 111 emergency service in the event of a power failure at your premises at no cost.
We will not deny or cease supply of a retail landline service on the basis that we know, or suspect, a consumer is, or may become, a vulnerable consumer.