111 Contact Code - Vulnerable Customers
About the 111 Contact Code
The Commerce Commission’s 111 Contact Code makes sure that vulnerable consumers have reasonable access to an appropriate means of calling 111 emergency services in the event of a power cut.
The Code supports consumers who can no longer call 111 emergency services in a power cut because their home phone uses a technology like a Fibre or Fixed Wireless internet connection. These technologies need a power supply in the home to work, meaning they will not work in a power cut, without an independent power source.
If you, or someone in your household, relies on your landline service for medical, safety or disability reasons, you may be able to apply to be listed as a vulnerable customer.
If you are a “vulnerable” customer under the definition of the Telecommunications Act 2001 and the “111 Contact Code”, you might be entitled to an alternative means to contact 111 in a power cut at no cost to you.
You can visit the Commerce Commission 111 Contact Code via this link Click Here
Using your phone in a power cut
Your phone line may not work in a power cut.
When your phone service is provided over a Fibre or Wireless internet connection, then it will not work in a power cut. This is because these technologies rely on power to the internet router in your home to operate. This means that if there is a power cut in your home you will not be able to make calls to 111 emergency services unless you have a backup power source.
Some medical alarms may also not work in a power cut – you should speak to the company that provided the device if you are unsure.
Alternative means to call 111
In an event such as a power cut, you could use a mobile phone if you are in mobile phone coverage to call 111 emergency services. We recommend keeping your mobile phone charged up at all times. Alternatively, you might have some sort of electricity back-up, such as a battery, UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) device or power generator to keep your modem and phone running during a power cut.
If you, or someone in your household, relies on your landline service for medical, safety or disability reasons, you may be able to apply to be listed as a vulnerable consumer.
If you qualify, PureLink will provide you with a means to call 111 emergency services in the event of a power cut. This will be provided at no cost.
It’s important that every New Zealander feels safe. And under the Commerce Commission’s 111 Contact Code, it’s our responsibility to provide extra support to people who qualify for it, for health, disability or safety reasons.
Who can apply?
You can register with PureLink as a vulnerable customer if all of the following apply:
- You (or someone in your household) is at particular risk of needing to call 111 emergency services for health, safety, or disability reasons.
- You have a phone service provided over Fibre or Wireless internet connection. This is because these services will not operate in the event of a power cut and, if this happens, you will not be able to use it to make calls to 111 emergency services.
Note: The Code only applies to Fibre and Wireless services which include a voice service. Customers how do not have a voice plan can not apply.
- You (or a person in your household) have no other way to call 111 emergency services in the event of a power cut. For example, if you have access to a mobile phone and are able to make calls to 111 emergency services, or your services are already protected by a backup generator or battery, then you will not qualify.
- You will also need to provide sufficient evidence to support that you, or a person from your household you are applying on behalf of, are at particular risk of requiring 111 emergency services.
Example of documents/examples you can use as evidence:
- A completed Electricity Authority ‘Notice of Potential Medically Dependant Consumer (MDC) Status’ form, which includes a certification from a DHB, private hospital or GP. Go to Electricity Authority: Medically dependant and vulnerable customers
- A protection order
- A letter from a health practitioner (e.g., a GP)
- Documentation of impairment (e.g. an ID card)
Alternatively, you could also provide us with details of a nominated person who we can contact to verify that you, or the person in your household, are at risk of requiring 111 emergency services. We recommend that before you make your application to us, you (or the person from your household) first contact the nominated person to discuss the application.
A nominated person must be someone who, by virtue of their occupation, is competent to give an opinion on whether you (or the person you are applying on behalf of) is at particular risk of requiring the 111 emergency service.
Examples of nominated persons you could use:
- If the health or disability category has been ticked in the form, then a health practitioner (such as a GP) could be a nominated person.
- If the safety category has been ticked, then a police officer, a currently registered social worker, a lawyer (with a current practising certificate), or a family court judge could be a nominated person.
If anything on the application is missing, we may contact you for more information and add it to the application on your behalf after you have signed it.
The Vulnerable Customer Status will be used by PureLink and trusted third parties to ensure you are not unduly put at risk when connecting, disconnecting, maintaining or repairing faults with your PureLink services.
How to apply
You need to be a PureLink account holder, or someone authorised on a PureLink account, with an active voice service, to be able to apply. You can apply either for yourself or on behalf of someone who normally resides at the address where the Fibre or Wireless voice service is provided.
If you are an account holder or an authority on the account, and the vulnerable user has no backup device (e.g., mobile phone or power back-up) to use in a power cut, you will need to download and complete the Vulnerable Customer Application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once we receive a completed form, we will accept or decline your application as a vulnerable customer within 10 working days. If it is declined, we will inform you of the reason, if it is accepted, we will provide you with an alternative means to contact 111.