FOR most of us, being without a phone for a day is inconvenient.
For Garry Rudge, it can be life-threatening - and he has chalked up nine days without reception at his home at Maroondan.
It is a few minutes from Gin Gin but it may as well be remote desert for Mr Rudge who has demanded an explanation from Telstra.
"I got talking to some alien in a foreign country and he told me it would be off from the sixth to the twelfth, and that I couldn't do anything about it," Mr Rudge said.
"I said, 'Well, you didn't send any notification around...why didn't you let us know?'
"I've got a heart condition and my neighbour across the road has one.
"I have a defibrillator in my chest and lung and heart disease - my heart and lungs are working at about 30%.
"Plus there are snakes everywhere - I opened the glove box in the paddock the other day and there was a brown snake skin in there.
"If you get bitten out in the paddock, how are you going to ring up?
"Nothing works - not 000, nothing.
"It's just dead."
Mr Rudge, whose wife rings him in her lunch break each day to check in on him, does not have a landline and relies solely on his blue tick phone.
He bought the phone on the recommendation it would serve him better in the bush.
Telstra area general manager May Boisen suggested the communication breakdown was a small price to pay for a service upgrade.
"Telstra recently upgraded the mobile base in the area to Telstra's 4GX, our latest 4G service which is bringing faster speeds and extra 4G coverage to a range of communities across the nation," Ms Boisen said.
"We are aware of an issue affecting a small number of customer in the area and we are working to rectify this as quickly as possible.
"We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused but can assure customers they will have a much better mobile experience once this upgrade is complete."
She did not answer the NewsMail's questions about why customers were not notified of the signal failure or when it was expected to be fixed.
Mr Rudge rang the NewsMail from Gin Gin yesterday to report the signal still had not returned.
"My neighbour spoke to Telstra at Hinkler and they said 'If it's still not working in two days, call us'," he said.
"He said, 'How can I ring you if my phone doesn't work?'"
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