Level 1: Cadet

business to business transfer

On November 16, 2018 I applied to have a business phone transferred from the current lessee to my company. The existing lessee and I filled in the required business to business transfer form and submitted it to the local Telstra agent. We contacted Telstra some weeks later to enquire on the progress of the change and were told it would take 20 business days to action (not a typo, 20 BUSINESS DAYS to change the name in a computer system!). Anyway, leaving aside the fact that in the days of roneo machines, teletypes and rotary dials, we could do a change to the paper records in under a week, we enquired again on December 21st and were told the change had been actioned. Yippee! we thought. Unfortunately, instead of transferring the POTS service from the existing lessee to my company, Telstra has simply given me access to the existing lessees account! 

After a number of extended chat sessions with the Telstra Consultants, I finally managed to convince them this is a gross privacy violation and they should remove me from the existing lessees account. Staggeringly, Telstra have still not revoked my online login credentials to the existing lessees account! 

As an aside, it's interesting that although requested, none of the chat transcripts for these extended sessions arrived at my email inbox (or junk mail folder).

The Telstra consultants have told me we will need to resubmit the business to business transfer and wait another 20 working days for the request to be actioned. The local Telstra agent in this small Queensland town is shut until January 7th, 2019 so  if all goes well, the PSTN service will be in my companies name sometime in February. Near enough to 3 months from the time we first applied for the change.

The questions that I have are these. Does anyone have an opinion on how best to highlight Telstra's caviller disregard for the basic privacy of their customers data? For example;

  1. Is the privacy breach best reported to the Australian Privacy Commissioner or to the Queensland Privacy Commissioner or both?
  2. Is this issue best raised with Ray Hadley, Alan Jones, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC News, Nine News, A Current Affair, The Courier Post, or all of the previously mentioned news agencies? Do you have any recommendations for other news outlets?.
  3. In addition to the news outlets, does anyone have an opinion as to the most effective social media platform? Would Facebook be enough, or should we go to Instagram and perhaps Twitter?
  4. Should we go ahead and raise a complaint with the Telecommunications Ombudsman?
  5. What do you think of the option of highlighting this lack of support for small business in rural Australia to the local Federal Member or perhaps even the Minister for Communications?

The requested change was trivial and should have been actioned immediately and without incident. The fact that it has resulted in an unacceptable privacy breach and impacted the bottom line of my business is a disgrace. 


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Support Team
Support Team

Re: business to business transfer

Hello @obejohn I'm sorry to hear this was your experience.


I can advise that changing a service from one account to another is not a quick name change in a computer system I am sorry. The process to change the legal lessee of an account requires that the service actually needs to be moved between the two existing account profiles, this can be more complex depending on the type of system the account is housed on, and each business account set-up,and with fixed services this transfer can also cause downtime. I apologise if this wasn't explained when you applied, but it's more complex than a name change on a bill. 


However we do need to address your other concerns more thoroughly. As CrowdSupport is a peer to peer support forum I'd recommend submitting a summary of your concerns here: https://tel.st/36yct to be addressed by a one on one complaint case manager directly. Please keep the complaint reference handy in case you need to follow up for any reason.



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