An elderly Wallendbeen woman in poor health was overhead this week at the Telstra shop at Young saying she was "desperate" because her phone wasn't working.
Because it is a retail outlet, the staff at Young, if they were able to help, would have had to ring the same number as the lady - customer service, 13 22 00. But what happens if you ring 13 22 00?
You get a message saying the call centre has been "impacted" by Covid-19 and warning of "significantly longer than normal wait time".
Had the lady made the call and waited half an hour listening to dreadful music, she would probably have been advised that the problem was not hers alone.
Residents at Wallendbeen and Stockinbingal have had ongoing problems with their landlines recently, with the service going on and off with no explanation. Telstra was obviously aware of the problem because one Wallendbeen resident who did manage to get on them a couple of weeks ago found she had a free mobile phone delivered to her door.
But having a mobile is not necessarily an end to your problems - mobile reception in Wallendbeen has been patchy ever since mobile phones were introduced.
Mobile coverage throughout Cootamundra has been a problem this week, due to increased traffic. Calls have frequently dropped out or not even connected at all.
It seems the network has been engineered to work with everyday traffic, but just can't cope with an emergency, not can its call centres.
A call by a Wallendbeen resident to Steph Cooke's was advised they were unable to help, while the same caller was told by Michael McCormack's office that they would pass on a complaint, but Telstra would get back to them from a secret telephone number.
On Wednesday, the Herald asked Telstra's media office a series of questions about service failures in the district but there was no response.
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIA) this week advised that vulnerable and at-risk residential consumers and small businesses can now call 1800 046 686 or 03 8600 8308 for help with unresolved phone and internet complaints.
TIA defines such residential consumers as having a serious medical condition, a specific safety risk or needing urgent financial hardship support from their provider (see www.tio.com.au).
A Wallendbeen resident interviewed by the Herald said "if you see their ads and press releases Telstra is wonderful. It's classic Goebbels - just get everybody's phone working, because that's what we need in this virus crisis."