Seniors lose landline numbers after OneSeniors collapse

​Amidst the confusion following the collapse of OneSeniors, customers of the now defunct telco have been told that they will no longer have access to their landline numbers.

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Philippe Put

OneSeniors was one of a stable of telco brands (including One Telecom and IBoss International) owned by AsiaPAC Communications Group, which went into administration at the start of May. The telecommunications provider exclusively served senior Australians over the age of 55, providing landline, mobile and internet services -- all of which were suspended as a result of the administration.

Following the collapse, OneSeniors was acquired by Australian company Vocus communications, which advised customers that the only way to gain access to these services was "for each customer to sign up for a new service".

Late yesterday afternoon, Vocus Communications issued an "urgent" update on the state of its business, revealing that all customers who had failed to sign on to a new service would now be disconnected from their landline numbers. The change came following the appointment of receivers who replaced the administrators originally appointed to manage the businesses' affairs.

"We have been advised today that the new receivers have terminated supply arrangements with Telstra," yesterday's statement read. "Telstra services were previously only suspended.

"The impact for OneSeniors customers is that they will no longer be able to keep their existing landline number. So unless they have already re-connected with a new provider, their existing number is lost and cannot be recovered. Any new services with a new supplier will require a new number."

Once again, OneSeniors have taken to social media to complain, lamenting a lack of communication from Vocus and raising concerns that the medium the company had chosen to inform users (namely Facebook) would not likely be used by many OneSeniors customers.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman issued a statement at the start of May addressing the collapse of the company, saying it had received "a large volume of calls" on the issue but it was "limited" in the assistance it could offer affected customers.

"Where services have been disconnected, consumers' phone numbers may have been placed in quarantine, which means they can request but are not guaranteed to have the number reassigned to them when they are reconnected," the TIO said.

CNET has contacted the TIO for further comment on yesterday's update.