Hutchison 3G Australia has shrugged off customer claims the carrier's recent decision to weaken its flagfall fee exemption policy is unreasonable.
Hutchison has cut the time it gives customers to reconnect to a number following a network drop-out by 75 percent, from 60 seconds to 15 seconds.
While Hutchison 3G customers that spoke to ZDNet Australia about the change of policy described it as "unfair," the carrier claims its network is now solid enough to justify the shortened reconnection time.
"The line is so much more stable it's no longer necessary to compensate people because the lines are not dropping out. If the line does drop out and people need to reconnect then that 15 second time-frame is adequate for them to call back," said a spokesperson.
The spokesperson said that according to the company's data, call drop-outs on the 3G network had fallen by 9 percentage points -- from 12 percent to just 3 percent of calls -- and that most customers reported being able to reconnect calls within 15 seconds.
However, one Sydney-based professional that has been using the 3G service since its launch said that it frequently took longer than a minute to re-establish calls lost in zones where the carrier's coverage was still weak.
Exacerbating customer difficulties, the customer said many of the carrier's 3G handsets require software upgrades to optimise their reconnection speed.
"That's certainly not the feedback we've been getting. If they are having problem and they call us, we'll look at it," said the spokesperson.