Battle for better mobile coverage in the bush
AFTER a five-year battle with telecommunication giant Telstra, Ballandean man Steve Moser is still fighting for decent phone coverage in his area.
With no mobile reception inside his house, Mr Moser claims he has to stand out the back of his property to make and receive calls.
Mr Moser now claims that a Telstra representative told him he should never have been signed up for a mobile plan in his area.
"A customer representative for Telstra in Adelaide told me they shouldn't have signed me up," Mr Moser said.
"I've always paid my bills on time, I've been a good customer, all I want is some decent coverage."
Mr Moser said Telstra had given him three options - cancel his contract, install an aerial on his roof with an estimated cost of $795 or contact the fair trade ombudsman.
"Unfortunately I'm probably stuck with them," Mr Moser explained.
"It seems like they're the best of a bad bunch out here."
A spokesman from Telstra said they were aware of the coverage issues in Mr Moser's area, but had no intention of rectifying the issues.
"We are aware of the limited extent of mobile network coverage in the Pine Grove Rd area, however there are no plans to provide coverage improvement at this stage," he said.
"Mr Moser would have been advised to purchase a Telstra mobile smart antenna and perhaps an external antenna to help improve indoor coverage in his house."
The casual mushroom farm worker said other neighbours had complained of bad service with their mobiles, but none were performing as poorly as his.
The Stanthorpe Border Post contacted properties in the region which claimed their phone service was up to scratch, except for one Ballandean winery.
Mike Hayes, from Symphony Hill wines, said he was disgusted at the lack of service received from Telstra despite being a loyal customer of 22 years.
"A rep once told me on the phone that he was positive we had reception at the winery so I invited him to come out and prove it," Mr Hayes said.
"He drove all the way from the Gold Coast and left after 10 minutes when realising I was right."
Mr Hayes said he was also asked to install a tower at the company's expense to receive coverage.
"Every time it rains we lose the land line and I have to drive 7km to Ballandean just to make business calls on my mobile," he said.
"I can get reception for five seconds if I go out in to the paddock, stand on one leg, on a post and wiggle my small toe."
Following storms in December last year, the land line running down Pine Grove Rd to Mr Moser's property was also badly damaged.
"The landline was out for two weeks meaning I didn't know if anyone had tried to call me," he said.
"After they patched up the line we had another storm and my service was down for another two weeks."
The line still dangles by a thread, running through trees and hangs less than two metres from the ground.
Telstra's spokesman denied there was any issue with the line.
"Several field visits have occurred in recent months and all faults have been cleared," he said