PHONE RAGE: Harrisville locals say they have had no mobile signal in the town since Christmas – and they’re not happy about it.
PHONE RAGE: Harrisville locals say they have had no mobile signal in the town since Christmas – and they’re not happy about it. Rob Williams

Not very smart Telstra! Meet the town with no mobiles

DON'T take it personally if Cec Miles isn't answering your calls.

He's not being rude - it's because his phone service has been virtually non-existent since Christmas.

And he's not the only one.

Numerous Telstra mobile phone users within Harrisville, south-west of Ipswich,  and surrounding areas have had little to no phone signal for the past three weeks.

Mr Miles, who owns CF and JE Miles Building Contractors, said the situation was not only hindering his personal life but his business as well.

"Most of my staff use Telstra mobile phones because the service offers good coverage for remote areas," he said.

"But since these connection issues began, getting in touch with them has become a real hassle.

"On occasions I've had to drive from Harrisville to Yamanto at 7am, just to send a text message with the details for a job that day.

"If we can't communicate, my workers can't phone me if they have any queries or accidents to report."

Mr Miles said he had been in contact with a Telstra representative via the company's Facebook page.

He said the representative informed him there was a problem with the tower at Mt Walker, which required crews to travel via helicopter to have it fixed.

Mr Miles said he was told the problem would be sorted by January 4, but had seen no evidence of it being fixed.

"I understand that things break, but people shouldn't have to wait this long to have this kind of issue resolved," he said. "Mobile phones aren't a luxury, they're a necessity ... if something like the power goes out, you get it fixed as soon as possible - you don't leave it for three weeks."

His brother and owner of Harrisville newsagency, Eric Miles, said the problem with the Telstra service had been a common issue heard among customers.

"We get a lot of people complaining about it," Mr Miles said.

"Residents can't make or receive calls, or send messages, sometimes they receive messages at least half an hour after they have been sent.

"I've called Telstra customer support, but the operators aren't very helpful, they just attribute the problems to the phones rather than the service."

Fellow Telstra mobile user Brian Hayes operates a farming business in Harrisville and said using a mobile phone was vital.

"If people want to purchase hay or cattle from me and can't get through, then they're going to try someone else," he said.

"And if anyone is by themselves and has an accident on the paddock, they need their phone to contact emergency services."

A Telstra spokeswoman said she was aware of a hardware fault at Mt Walker, but said it had only occurred at that site on January 9.

She said the fault was causing a loss and degradation in coverage around the Peak Crossing, Harrisville, Warrill View south to Silverdale, Obum Obum and Roadvale areas.

"The site is unfortunately only accessible by helicopter," she said.

"We are currently awaiting confirmation from a helicopter charter company on whether we will be able to access the site Tuesday or Wednesday."

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