kayke
Level 1: Cadet

ERROR Activating Telstra SIM while overseas

Answered

Hi TELSTRA I.T.,

I have tried several times to activate my Telstra number while overseas. The starter kit was bought in Australia ( and still is in Australia), I traveled overseas for holiday and now I want to activate it. The error I get while trying to activate it online is ' The ID information you've provided couldn't be matched against the government database.'

 

I have tried to activate it myself online ( about seven times), chatted with Telstra support and called Telstra support twice. In all occasions, the same error popped up. There are several reasons why I believe this is a Telstra error and not an error on my part, as insinuated by Telstra support. First, there is NO problem with my details on the "government database". (NB: There are several government databases, not one, so that error is quite ambiguos). The government database Telstra refers to must be, or must be linked to, VEVO. I checked my details on VEVO and they are exactly as I provided them on the Telstra activation portal.

 

Secondly, I travel in, out of and outside Australia often. On average, every three months over the last three years. Had there been a problem with my details on the 'Australian government database', surely I would have been informed by now. 

 

Leaving me with the third, most plausible reason for this error; Telstra's algorthm. It probably checks whether the International passport holder is currently onshore, and if not, flags that as an error, regardless of whether the person has lived in Australia before or not. It then throws back a statement as ambiguos as The ID information you've provided couldn't be matched against the government database.'  Also, upon searching the interwebs, I found a few other internationals who have had this same issue. This further supports my theory that Telstra does not activate SIMs for International visa holders currently offshore. I shared this theory with Telstra support, but they insisted that they have activated SIMs for offshore iinternational passport holders before so the problem must be with my details ( It is NOT. refer to points 1 and 2!) .

 

Which leads me to my fourth reasoning, does Telstra not activate SIMs for *some* internationals? I understand the need to verify identity and completely support it. I live in Australia ( temporary resident), I have had a Tesltra account before ( I switched to another MSP after 1.5years) and I am traveling and will be back there and have a valid VISA. Therefore, I do not understand why Telstra sends me the error , just because I am activating a SIM while offshore yet they have already verified these very same details with me when I was IN Australia. I also do not understand why, according to Telstra support,  it works for other internationals but it does not work for me.

 

I have put this post here not for the crowd to answer, but for Telstra itself to answer. I wanted to write this issue in my own words becaue as friendly as Telstra support were being, they were following a script and therefore insisting that the fault is mine. While clearly, it is NOT. 

I am quite familiar with algorithms and the logic behind them so given this experience, I need to know how Telstra can be bold/careless enough to declare that 'The ID information you've provided couldn't be matched against the government database.' yet the government DB in question has my correct details, and yet it is quite clear that their checking algorithm probably has certain inequitable rules it follows.

 

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity
Accepted Solution

Re: ERROR Activating Telstra SIM while overseas

When they say that they have activated SIMs for people before while they are overseas, it is probably for people who already had an active service and needed a replacement SIM for that service due to the original failing.

 

Typically for a foreign national, Telstra needs to verify a hardcopy of your identification (which can't be done while you are overseas) for new accounts. Because you switched to a different provider 18 months ago, you would not have an existing account (they close off automatically after 6 months of inactivity).

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.

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Jupiter
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity
Accepted Solution

Re: ERROR Activating Telstra SIM while overseas

When they say that they have activated SIMs for people before while they are overseas, it is probably for people who already had an active service and needed a replacement SIM for that service due to the original failing.

 

Typically for a foreign national, Telstra needs to verify a hardcopy of your identification (which can't be done while you are overseas) for new accounts. Because you switched to a different provider 18 months ago, you would not have an existing account (they close off automatically after 6 months of inactivity).

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.

View solution in original post

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