Telecom Helps New Zealanders Concerned By Crisis In The United States
Telecom New Zealand says good use is being made of the 0800 number it set up by 8am yesterday for New Zealanders with
family and friends in the United States.
“So far, over 2000 New Zealanders have made use of this service, and calls today remain heavy,” says Kevin Stratful,
Telecom General Manager Sales and Service.
“The number - 0800 USA 111 – can be used at any time of the day by people in New Zealand wanting to find out information
about family and friends in the United States.
“New Zealand Police staffed the number until 4pm yesterday, when MFAT staff took over answering calls. If MFAT staff get
overloaded with enquiries at any stage, calls will be automatically switched through to 120 Hamilton-based Telecom 123
customer enquiry staff, who have volunteered to answer calls on MFAT’s behalf on a 24-hour basis.
“By early yesterday morning, Telecom had also made direct contact with the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,
Defence, MFAT and the United States Embassy in New Zealand offering to provide them with whatever telecommunications
services they might need to assist them deal with the crisis. So far, our offer of extra support has not been required.”
Calls from New Zealand to the States yesterday ran at two and a half times the volume of calls that are usually made.
Telecom was able to maintain service to the States but asked New Zealanders to limit their calls as much as possible as
local networks in the States, particularly around New York, were heavily overloaded.
“Telecom is crediting customers who have made or make 0168 1800 calls to American Airlines and United Airlines, and
World Trade Centre-based businesses Morgan Stanley and Carr Futures,” says Mr Stratful.