I recently applied for car finance through my business and discovered that Telstra had placed a credit default on the company credit file.
The business has never been a Telstra customer and at the time of the default had not yet traded.
The debt has been sold to a collection agency (Panthera) who have been understanding about the identity theft but not being Telstra, they cannot remove the default from the credit file. In any case their interest is more in collecting the debt from whoever actually opened the account which is understandable.
The default stems from an incident two years ago when someone (unknown to me and unrelated to the business) was able to open an account at a Telstra store using the business' name and ABN (both a matter of public record) and walked out with 3 iPhones on a plan. Needless to say they did not make any payments and the debt now stands at over $12,000.
Telstra themselves have been hopelessly incompetent throughout, from the initial failure to perform due diligence when allowing some random individual to open a business account without performing any checks, creating the credit default on the company file without contacting us first and failing to allow me to even talk to someone by automatically rerouting any inquiries back to the collection agency. Today was the last straw when I called the complaints department and they advised that they were unable to look up any account information due a "system upgrade" which after some hectoring was admitted to be network troubles. Their complaints department cannot process complaints about how bad their systems are because their systems are so bad that they cannot handle complaints. It's Kafkaesque.
My finance application with BMW is on hold while Telstra sort things out and they have kindly given me a loan car for now. They have however requested that I obtain a letter from Telstra indicating that they intend to remove the credit default before I can get the car I ordered.
Needless to say, Telstra have not supplied this and the closest thing I have is an email from Panthera stating that the collection is on hold while they await more information from Telstra.
I have supplied them with a Stat Dec, a police witness statement and case number, all addresses related to the business and its directors and shareholders. Both directors were also out of the country at the time of the incident which I can prove.
My questions are:
1: who do I talk to at Telstra who can resolve this?
2: How long will it take?
3: Should I take legal action?
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What a horrible situation for you to be in, I'm sorry that it's only come to your attention now.
If you happen to have an SR case number relating to the situation I can request your case Manager call you, alternately if you like to place a formal complaint/investigation you can find out more about that here https://www.telstra.com.au/small-business/support/contact-us/make-a-complaint
Get back to me if you need further assistance.
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