I just had a lovely (it was not lovely) experience talking with Telstra about how they knowingly violate privacy when their computers link accounts together. Here’s how you can enjoy this, too:
- Buy a new iPad SIM card (the $30 with 3GB of bonus data works nicely).
- Activate it online, providing Telstra with your name and an email address (we’ll call this Email A).
- Receive an “Activation in progress” email from Telstra, to Email A.
- A little time later, receive an “Activation Complete” email from Telstra, to Email B – Email B is an address that either belongs to someone else entirely, or an old/inactive Telstra account that belongs to you.
- Observe how Telstra have matched one (new) account to another (old, or belonging to someone else) account based on nothing more than your name.
I assume you could then use this new association between the accounts to then reset the password on the old/belonging to someone else account.
I’ve been having endless fun* dealing with Telstra lately. Let me summarise for you:
- My business partner, Jon and I each have a Telstra 4G mobile broadband dongle that we use to run our business from our fancy offices.
- I acquired mine, and a corresponding plan, in early November 2011. Jon acquired his mid-December 2011.
- In January 2012, Telstra’s business portal online suddenly started saying both our plans had started on the same date – in December. In essence, Telstra had increased the length of my contract by one month.
- At the same time our usage metre becomes inaccessible, so we cannot determine how much of our 8GB per month quota has been used.
- Similarly, at the same time, our bill (and the online portal) start displaying both our plans as different. One is apparently now a voice plan, the other is a ‘$0 Data Flexi Plan’. We are both actually on a $39 TMB Member Plan.
- To further confuse things, the online bill payment system no longer recognises our login – paying the business account now requires calling Telstra on a monthly basis, a process which entails 15+ minutes of holding.
- In the middle of this, Telstra’s coverage in the Hobart CBD becomes so congested that you can no longer rely on having data, text or phone coverage for 90% of the time between 9AM and 8PM every day.
To cut a long story short, I filed a complain with Telstra. They promptly ignored it. I filed another complaint. They ignored that one too. I then filed a complain with the TIO – a week later I got a call from Telstra telling me that they couldn’t fix any of my issues, and that having no data metre, no bill access, no data, no phone ability and the wrong billing/contract details was all perfectly acceptable to them, and that I shouldn’t bother them again. Thanks to Kristy (ID D388017) in the complaints department for that info – very helpful. Sigh. They then helpfully closed the TIO complaint for me.
So, now I’m waiting for the TIO to follow up with me. Let’s see what happens. In the mean time, I’m using a contract-free Vodafone SIM in my iPhone – surprisingly it’s working fabulously.
* fun has been redefine by Telstra.