Questions about the Red Button service?

The simplest way of understanding Red Button is that it acts as an automatic telephone exchange that instantly routes your call to a group of phones (friends and family) to make it quicker to find a person that can speak to you in an urgent situation. By making one call to the Red Button system (call 1300 820 493) it allows you to ring up to 9 people simultaneously

You need an account
Firstly, you need to setup an account so that Red Button is primed to handle your call.

Set-up your phone
Red Button recognises a call from ANY PHONE. In an emergency you don’t want to be trying to remember the Red Button number (1300 820 493) so you need to set-up a convenient method to call this number by pressing one key on your phone. If you have a Telstra EasyCall phone, it has a switch on the back that can be set to dial this number and other phones have speed dial capability. Red Button also provides an App for smartphones that can be downloaded from the App store that does the same thing.

Recognises your phone number
Red Button knows who you are by recognising your phone number. Red Button works with any phone including landlines, mobiles and even satellite phones

Retrieves your CALL GROUP numbers
When you call Red Button it looks at your account and finds the phone numbers (that you have entered) required to call your friends and family (your CALL GROUP). This happens instantly. Red Button is very fast.

Calls everyone at the same time
The Red Button system has something that your phone doesn’t; access to multiple phone lines. This way it can call everyone in your CALL GROUP at the same time. This feature is unique to Red Button.

First person to answer is connected
Although Red Button calls everyone at the same time, only one person can answer. The first person to answer is connected to you. This is how Red Button finds the most available person saving valuable time in an emergency.

Creates a conference call with Triple Zero
The friend or relative who answers can then quickly add Triple Zero to the conversation by simply pressing the zero key once while remaining connected to you.

Yes. A lot of people think Red Button should be a pendant. But, really – you are looking for an effective personal alert system. Right? Here are a few facts to consider

Not everyone wants to wear a pendant
A lot of people simply leave the pendant lying around somewhere in their home; because it’s a nuisance. They shouldn’t; but that’s human nature.

Confined to the home
Alarm pendants only work in the home. They have a limited radio range. Red Button works everywhere (where there is mobile phone coverage). But remember, Red Button works with any phone including landlines; you don't have to use a mobile.

Pendants need a land line
A lot of people are giving-up their land line phone in favour of their mobile phone (they are sick of paying 2 phone bills).

Watch out for sequential dialling
Many popular alarm pendant systems falsely claim that their system dials friend and relatives “simultaneously”. They don’t; they make the calls “sequentially” – that is, one after the other. Only Red Button dials simultaneously. With sequential dialling you could take up to 3 minutes to contact the last person on the dialling list. You might be lucky and reach someone immediately. With Red Button everyone on the list is called at the same time.

Conference call with Triple Zero
Only Red Button offers the ability for your friend or relative (who answers your call) the capability to add Triple Zero into the conversation without hanging-up or putting you on hold.

Is it really an emergency?
This is perhaps the biggest problem with any emergency alert system and with calling Triple Zero. The tendency for people not to “press the button” until they are absolutely sure they have an emergency. By then it might be too late. Making contact via Red Button is less onerous and therefore people are likely to act sooner. The first rule when experiencing heart attack symptoms (for example) is “let someone know.”

The most common fault encountered is failure to nominate the phone number of the CALLER. Without specifying the phone number of the CALLING PHONE, Red Button has no means to recognise who is calling.

Inputting the ACCOUNT HOLDER details (which includes a phone number) is not the same as specifying the CALLER number. Specifying the CALLER number is the 2nd step in the account set-up process. If you have any other problems don’t hesitate to call customer service on 1300 968 841.

Account set-up takes a matter of minutes and your account works immediately. You can test the system right now if you want; go to account set-up and set-up a FREE account (which can be later upgraded).

The phone dials the Red Button system on 1300 820 493.

On the Telstra EasyCall you go into the set-up menu and specify 1300 820 493 as the number to be dialled when the Quick Access Switch is used. On any other phone set-up a suitable speed dial number (for example the 5 key) to dial this number. Red Button also provides an App for smartphones that can be downloaded from the App store that does the same thing.

Call 1300 820 493 to contact the Red Button system. You can try it now on any phone; you will notice that you get a message that says “Welcome to Red Button. I am sorry your telephone number is not recognised.” You will hear this message if you haven’t set-up an account or you haven’t correctly input the number of your phone.

Note: The CUSTOMER SERVICE number is different – CALL 1300 968 841 for customer service.

The Red Button system enhances the power of a phone to contact the most available friend or relative in an emergency. In an urgent situation (for example if you think you feel an attack coming on) you may have limited time to contact a friend or relative. Red Button enables you to simultaneously ring multiple people at exactly the same time reducing the need to think who best to call and reducing the probability that the one person that you attempt to call may not be available to answer your call.

Red Button works by recognizing the phone number of the person calling. When Red Button receives your call, the system consults your account and places calls to all people that you have listed in your CALL GROUP when you set-up the account. This happens automatically and instantly. All numbers are dialed simultaneously. The first person who successfully answers the call is connected to the calling phone.

The Red Button system is located in a telephone exchange in Melbourne (Primus Telecom) in the Melbourne CBD. However, it works equally well all over Australia responding to calls as far away as North West of Western Australia no differently to calls in Melbourne. The facility is highly secure and has back-up power and back-up air-conditioning. The system is highly robust and reliable.

In an emergency, you may not have time to make more than one call; what if your one call isn’t successful? The phone you are calling might be engaged, out of earshot or switched-off. By calling more than one phone you greatly increase the chances of successfully reaching someone.

Actually, no it doesn’t. When the Quick Access Switch is used, the Telstra EasyCall sends an SMS message to up to 4 people but only places a call to one person. Red Button calls up to 9 people at exactly the same time (simultaneously) and messages and emails them as well. In addition, Red Button allows the person who answers to add Triple Zero to the conversation. Red Button is a more complete emergency alert system. The Telstra EasyCall phone used with Red Button is a winning combination.

Many emergency systems claim to make simultaneous calls; in reality, they make sequential calls. That is, they try the first number – if that doesn’t answer they ring the next in the list and so on at 30 second intervals. Sequential dialing adds time that you may not have in an emergency. Only Red Button offers true simultaneous dialing. All numbers in your friends and family list are called at exactly the same time. Red Button is much faster.

The person who answers your call can assess the situation and if emergency services are needed they simply press the zero key (0) on the phone. They do this without putting the CALLER on hold, so the CALLER remains in the conversation at all times.

If it is a clear cut emergency you should always call Triple Zero and not use Red Button. However, where Red Button adds value is as follows

You are not sure
Many people are reluctant to call Triple Zero when they are not sure they need emergency services and tend to call a friend or relative anyway.

Reaching you may require detailed explanation
A friend or relative can explain to emergency services how to reach your location particularly if it doesn’t have a normal street address or if you have a heavily secured property and instructions about how to quickly gain access are needed.

You might pass out before you can complete the call
With Red Button, the person who answers can continue on the conversation and explain to emergency services your medical condition and how to reach you.

You don’t speak English
Although emergency services have access to interpreters it takes time to work out which language you are speaking and for them to contact an interpreter.

It’s an urgent situation but not an emergency
When people get into trouble they sometimes panic and can’t work out who to call – Red Button is useful in helping you reach help quickly.

Some people tend to just call a friend or relative in an emergency
In an emergency many people’s first reaction is to call a friend or relative. If this is the case, Red Button ensures that their call has a greater probability of reaching someone with just one call – and they can then quickly add Triple Zero to the conversation by simply pressing the zero key once while remaining connected to the CALLER.

It doesn’t matter. The Red Button system only needs to receive a call attempt to be activated. Voice messages generated by the system and text messages sent at the same time will clearly inform your friends and relatives that you have attempted to call. In other words – they will be alerted that something is wrong and that you need help.

The Red Button personal alarm system works equally well anywhere in Australia where there is telephone coverage. It does not work outside Australia.

Red Button works with any telephone including fixed line phones and mobiles (including Smartphones). There is no modification required to your phone other than setting-up a speed dial. Red Button operates at the telephone exchange so it doesn’t affect your phone.

Only on smart phones (like an iPhone or similar); we have an app available to make it quick and convenient to call the Red Button system on 1300 820 493. A personal alarm system app is available for smart phones (Apple iPhone, Android or Windows phones), just search the App Store for “Red Button”. For all other phones there are no modifications required to your phone other than to set-up a speed dial number. Red Button is a network service operating at the telephone exchange not a phone application.

No. Red Button operates independently of all phone providers. It simply uses the public telephone networks. It works by recognising your phone number.

No. However, the call from your phone to Red Button is charged to your phone bill as a normal call. There are no other call usage charges. There are no additional charges other than the single monthly subscription charge (except for FREE accounts).

No. You are only charged a single monthly subscription fee.

You can contact up to 3 people on a FREE account. 6 people on a BASIC account, and up to 9 people on a PREMIUM account.

No, the CALL GROUP members are at the receiving end only of all call activity. In Australia it costs nothing to receive a phone call or SMS.

9 people is the maximum number of CALL GROUP members.

Only the CALL GROUP member can activate the call to Triple Zero. The original CALLER has the option to dial Triple Zero direct at any time using their own phone without involving the Red Button personal alarm system.

The monthly subscription fee is charged to the account holder and paid by charging their nominated charge card or payment option. The monthly subscription is charged in advance each month. There are no usage charges.

No, however they are notified as soon as they are set-up on Red Button™. It is however recommended that all participants are briefed about the operation of the Red Button personal alarm system.

Yes. Red Button will play a message as soon as the call is answered requesting that the hash (#) key is pressed on their phone. The hash-key response will verify that Red Button has found a person and not an answering machine or voice mail system.

The person who answers is requested to press their hash (#) key when they answer the call. If Red Button does not detect the hash (#) key tone within 30 seconds, Red Button disconnects that phone while still ringing the other CALL GROUP members.

Red Button will play a message to the original CALLER stating that none of the CALL GROUP members have answered. A message will be sent to all CALL GROUP members informing them of this event. The CALLER can attempt to call again as many times as they want. If nobody answers, the CALLER is given the option of contacting Triple Zero.

The first person to answer and press their keypad hash (#) key is connected. Red Button will continue calling until it receives a successful hash (#) key tone. This is to ensure that an answering machine or voice mail system does not capture the call.

All configuration is achieved via the internet using a standard web browser. You can change configuration settings any time and as often as you want.

There is no limit.

No. The original CALLER’s telephone number is the only number visible to emergency services.

For the Red Button personal alarm system to operate it must be able to recognise your phone number. If you have your phone set to block your caller ID – prefix your speed dial setting with 1832+ this will transmit your number on a single call basis. This means you set-up the speed dial as 1832 1300 820 493.

When called from a mobile phone, there is no locating system. This is a feature that will be added to Red Button personal alarm system in the future. When called from a fixed line phone; emergency services can see the caller’s phone number and can use this to determine their location.

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