A Mooroopna pensioner received an unexpected, out-of-pocket expense, after a wall-mounted battery, installed with her NBN, died only months out of warranty.
Cathy Mehmet had the addition installed little more than two years ago and uses the service primarily for her house phone as a cost-saving device.
But Ms Mehmet had not been prepared for the battery issues, which she believed could be happening to others across the country.
Batteries as part of the NBN package have a reported shelf life of five years and a warranty of two years, but NBN consumers across the country have reported issues and been charged $44 for a replacement.
The NBN-supplied power unit batteries keep telephone lines active for a few hours during blackouts and Ms Mehmet said the battery was compulsory when her NBN was installed two years ago.
If a battery needs replacing, the power supply where it is housed will beep every 15 minutes, unless a silence alarm is implemented for 24 hours.
‘‘If I was working I wouldn’t worry, but because I’m a pensioner and I don’t get any extras I don’t think it’s right,’’ Ms Mehmet said.
‘‘I’m annoyed about the fact that it’s just gone dead after the warranty, as well as the prices that nobody knew about and I don’t think I should have to pay $44 every two years.’’
It is estimated 2.4 million homes and businesses will have a fibre-to-the-premises connection to the NBN by 2020, attached with a $60million price tag for consumers. While inconvenient, Ms Mehmet could use her mobile phone, but believed many other pensioners would be left in the dark.
‘‘How many people around have a red light on their NBN box and don’t know what’s going on?’’ Ms Mehmet said.
‘‘If they’ve only got the landline and something goes wrong with the power, they won’t be able to notify anybody.’’
The National Broadband Network was contacted for comment.