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WARRNAMBOOL EXCHANGE FIRE – MAKING A CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION

We're sorry for any inconvenience you've suffered as a result of the fire at our Warrnambool Telephone Exchange. If you're a business customer of Telstra, and you believe you've suffered loss as a result of being without your Telstra services for a period following the fire, this page:

  1. Let's you submit a claim online, or download a hard copy of the claim form to complete, and post or email back to us;
  2. Sets out the evidence you need to give us in support of your claim; and
  3. Contains answers to some frequent asked questions about the compensation claims process.

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HOW TO SUBMIT A CLAIM

For claims up to $1,000

If your claim is for up to $1,000, you need to complete a statutory declaration confirming that you suffered loss as a result of being without your Telstra services. You don’t need to include any financial records. 

You also need to sign a release, which is a legally binding document that brings to an end any claim you have against Telstra, in exchange for us making a payment to you.   On receipt of your statutory declaration, and signed release, we’ll make payment to you, either by cheque or electronic funds transfer, as quick as we can.

Click here to download a statutory declaration template, and release agreement. There are different releases for sole traders, partnership and companies, so please select the appropriate version.

Once completed, you can submit:
 

By email: ecg@team.telstra.com
By post: Reply Paid 85155, Locked Bag 20023 Melbourne, Victoria, 8060

For claims of more than $1,000

If your claim is for more than $1,000, we need you to complete a claim form and give us some supporting information. The information you need to provide is listed below.

Interim Compensation

If you think your losses are greater than $1000, but you can't yet quantify your claim, you may wish to make a claim for an interim compensation. To assess a claim for interim compensation we will still need some financial information from you showing the impact of the exchange fire. If you make an interim claim you will be able to make another claim when you are able to determine if you have suffered additional loss.

Click here to complete an online claim form. You should only choose this option if you can attach scanned copies, or photographs, of the documents you need to provide to support your claim. If not, your best option is to download a hard copy of the claim form, which you can access by clicking here.

Online claims – you’ll get an email from us once you’ve submitted your claim telling you who to contact if you have questions, and giving you a claim reference number. Please use this number whenever you contact us about your claim so we can help you more quickly.

Hard copy claims – once you’ve sent us your claim form and supporting documents, we'll contact you to acknowledge that we have your claim and let you know your claim number.

We’re aiming to assess all claims within 15 business days of receiving the claim form and supporting documents. If we need more time, or more information, we’ll contact you and let you know.

Before making a claim or accepting any offer of compensation we may make, you may wish to seek independent legal advice. You may also wish to consult the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, though we encourage you to give us the chance to first deal with your claim before approaching the Ombudsman.

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WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED?

To help us understand your claim, we need you to tell us,  or give us:

  1. Information about the type of business you run. 
  2. Details about how your business was impacted by the loss of your Telstra services? 
  3. An estimate of the percentage of revenue and profit you earn in a normal month because of your Telstra services? This is designed to determine how reliant you are on your services, whether it be the fixed telephone, mobile or broadband.
  4. What is your estimate of lost profit as a result of the Warrnambool Exchange Fire?  This is calculated by:
  5. An estimate of revenue or income that the customer would have earned if they’d had their Telstra services; minus
  6. the actual revenue or income the customer earned during that period, and the customer’s cost of sales;
  7. Financial documents showing the impact.  These can include your quarterly Business Activity Statements for October-December 2011 and for October-December 2012, or Profit and Loss Statements for the period when you were without Telstra services.  For example, Profit and Loss Statements for the months of September, October, November and December 2011, and for the same months in 2012, will show a comparison between how much you earned during the same period last year when you had full use of your services, versus this year when you didn’t.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:  What does my statutory declaration need to say?
A:  We’ve filled in most of the details for you.You just need to include basic information like your name and address.

Q:  I’ve only recently started my business and only have a few months worth of financial information.  I can’t give Telstra everything it has asked for. What should I do?
A:  Give us as much as you can, and when you submit your claim, tell us that you’re a new business and don’t have extensive records.  We’ll assess your claim based on what you can give us.

Q:  My services aren’t with Telstra but I know my service provider uses Telstra infrastructure.  Can I make a claim against Telstra?
A:  No. We’re very sorry but we’re not able to accept your claim. You should contact your service provider.

Q:  It’s impossible for me to determine right now how much I’ve lost.  I won’t know until later when the dust settles.  Will Telstra still accept my claim?
A:  Yes.  You don’t have to rush.  We understand it can take time to gather the evidence we’ve asked for, and we understand it may take time for the full loss you’ve suffered to become known.  There are some time limits for making claims, but these are generally 3 or 6 years from the date of the event, so there is time to gather what you need.

Q:  I don’t have the time to put all this paperwork together.  Why won’t Telstra just take my word for it when I say I’ve suffered loss?
A:  We understand it’s never convenient to put paperwork together, but we do need to have some documents to verify the loss you’re claiming.

Q:  I don’t have a business but I still want compensation.  Can I make a claim?
A:  We’re compensating customers for economic loss.  Typically, only businesses will have suffered economic loss, but if you are not a business and can supply the evidence we’ve asked for, we’re happy to consider your claim.  Also, Telstra is crediting consumer customers as follows:

  • 1 month’s rental charges for fixed-line phones and ADSL broadband services
  • Excess standard usage charges for voice and data on mobile services where customers’ fixed-line services were unavailable
  • $30 pre-paid mobile credit (with an extended 3-month expiry period)

Q: Is it certain that Telstra will pay compensation?
A: We don’t guarantee we’ll make a payment – for example, if you haven’t suffered any financial loss as a result of being without your services, we won’t make an offer. Telstra will review your claim for compensation, and the evidence you provide. If the evidence shows you’ve suffered loss from being without your Telstra services, we’ll offer to pay you compensation. We’ll make a “without prejudice offer”, which means you won’t be able to disclose the offer to the court if you chose to reject the offer and take legal action.  We will also ask you to sign a short release agreement before we pay you compensation, which is designed to bring an end to any rights you have to claim against us in relation to the Warrnambool Exchange Fire once and for all.

Q: Should I speak to my Account Representative?
A: If you are TE&G customer or a Managed TB Customer and have a Service Management Representative you can discuss the impact of the fire on your business with them.

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