Calling 111 is the primary means to request emergency assistance from the ambulance, police and fire and emergency services.
As consumers move away from using traditional copper voice services to new telecommunications technologies, you may be unable to contact the 111 emergency services during a power failure at your premises. This is because some new telecommunications technologies and devices will not work in a power failure, such as:
- Fixed wireless
- Cordless phones with no inbuilt battery
- And medical alarms with no inbuilt battery
This means that if you need to contact the 111 emergency services for health (eg, a known medical condition), safety, or disability reasons in the event of a power failure, you may not have a means to do so.
Therefore, the Commerce Commission has administered a ‘Commission 111 Contact Code’ for providers of retail landline services to provide vulnerable consumers with appropriate means of contacting the 111 emergency services in the event of a power failure. This code comes into force on 1st February 2021.
Vulnerable Consumers Defined
The definition of a vulnerable consumer, as outlined in The Code, is:
A consumer of a retail landline service, 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.
A consumer who is “at particular risk of requiring the 111 emergency service” means a consumer who is more likely than other consumers to require the 111 emergency service because of a specific circumstance applicable to that consumer.
Alternative Means to Contact 111 During a Power Outage
We will provide vulnerable customers with a backup battery for the equipment we supply to ensure there is an appropriate means of contacting the 111 emergency service. This will be provided at no cost to vulnerable customers, however they will need to arrange their own backup battery for other devices, such as cordless phones etc.
How to Apply
To demonstrate that you, or someone you know may become/ are a vulnerable customer, you need to fill in a written application form and return it to us. You can access the form below, or give us call us on 0800 003 441 to request a
We cannot deny or cease supply of a retail landline service on the basis that the provider knows or suspects a consumer is, or may become, a vulnerable consumer.
If you wish to make a complaint in relation to a matter arising under the Code, the best way to reach us is by calling 0800 003 441. Disputes may include:
- a dispute between a consumer and a provider about their rights and obligations under the Code may be referred to an industry dispute resolution scheme by the customer or the provider;
- where a dispute under the Code concerns a consumer who is not the customer (ie they are a person who ordinarily resides at the customer’s premises), the customer at the premises where the consumer resides may refer the dispute to an industry dispute resolution scheme on behalf of that consumer; and
- a consumer may make a complaint to the Commission regarding the provider’s compliance with the Code, but the primary method for making a complaint is to refer a dispute to an industry dispute resolution scheme.
More information about the Commission 111 Contact Code can be found on the Commission website here.