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OneSeniors customers to retain landline access after Telstra 'revision'

The ongoing saga behind the collapse of OneSeniors has continued, with the telco's new owners advising customers that they will not lose access to their landline phone numbers, as previously advised.

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Image by Jonathan Henderson, CC BY-ND 2.0

Vocus Communications -- the company that acquired OneSeniors, One Telecom and iBoss International following the collapse of parent company AsiaPAC Communications Group -- advised customers of the reversal in a statement released late yesterday.

However, Vocus backflipped after what it called a revision of information from Telstra. Originally Vocus said the disconnecting of landlines was because AsiaPAC's receivers "terminated supply arrangements with Telstra" but that Telstra had now "revised" this information.

"Telstra has revised the advice given to Vocus yesterday in relation to number portability," the statement read. "Contrary to yesterday's news, Telstra today confirmed that customers can ask their new providers to transfer existing numbers.

"In the majority of cases, Telstra should be able to extract those numbers from quarantine, ensuring customers can retain existing landline numbers with new providers. This is a win for customers and good news for those still to put new supply arrangements in place."

The announcement was a significant about-face for the company, which had issued a statement just one day prior, saying all customers would lose access to their landline number unless they'd transferred it to a new provider.

A number of customers used social media to complain that there had been inadequate time to organise a new service provider following the collapse, leaving them without telephone and internet services until they could be reconnected.

Update, 19 May at 11:50am AEST: Telstra issued a statement on the landline number issue, seeming to contradict Vocus' claims that Telstra had backflipped on its number transfer policy.

"We can't speak for what Vocus is aware of, but there is no change on our part," the statement said.

"The Australian Communications and Media Authority has a Telecommunications Numbering Plan in place and we adhere to it. Under the Telco Act, all providers must comply with the Numbering Plan.

"As per the Numbering plan when a service is cancelled or disconnected, the telephone number is taken out of circulation and put into quarantine for a minimum period of six months."