Arthur River farmer John Pascoe has accused Telstra of offering him “hush money” after months of complaints about poor mobile coverage led to an offer of a one-off financial credit. Mr Pascoe said he contacted Telstra in September after he found his mobile coverage had deteriorated after the Arthur River base station was upgraded. “After months of complaints to Telstra, the usual suggestion was to buy a booster aerial, which I presume we are supposed to mount on our hat,” Mr Pascoe said. “An antenna is not very useful if you’re driving around on a motorbike, tractor or truck, and other people have bought one and it hasn’t fixed the problem.” The Merino producer said the phone service was OK until mid-2019. “The service was upgraded and has deteriorated dramatically,” he said. “The area is now subject to constant dropouts, weak signal, reduced coverage and scratchy conversations, especially to other mobiles using the same tower.” Mr Pascoe said he had sent out a survey to 26 residents representing the majority of the landholders who lived within 10km-15km of the tower. The results of his survey showed more than 50 per cent of the residents were not satisfied with Telstra’s service. Telstra has noted some customers in regional WA and Victoria have experienced connection problems because of a software glitch when the phone switches from 4G to 3G. Mr Pascoe said he contacted the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, which seemed to expedite his complaint. Telstra offered him a $240 credit, as a $20 monthly discount over 12 months. “My complaint was prioritised and following that I was offered money as compensation,” he said. “I can’t believe Telstra is basically offering us ‘hush money’. “We don’t want money, just a reliable phone service.” Last month, a Telstra customer relationship manager wrote to Mr Pascoe and said Telstra had confirmed his area in Arthur River had poor mobile coverage but no network issues. The manager said because Mr Pascoe declined the financial offer, Telstra was unable to do anything more to resolve the matter. “No one is getting anywhere complaining to Telstra individually and everyone is sick of being fobbed off and told that nothing can be done,” Mr Pascoe said. Telstra WA regional general manager Boyd Brown rejected the characterisation of Telstra’s offer as “hush money”. He said Telstra had explained to Mr Pascoe his mobile service could be improved with the use of a signal booster. “Unfortunately, this was not a viable solution for the customer and therefore our service teams made a genuine effort to credit his mobile account,” Mr Brown said. “It’s disappointing that this has been misconstrued to be something it’s not. “It was an offer made in good faith as the customer raised concerns around their service.” Mr Brown said Telstra’s Arthur River base station was upgraded to 4G three months ago to boost capacity and data speeds.