Mr Unknown

Reporter: Andrea Burns

First Telstra lost Rod Slater's identity. Months on, he's had terrible trouble getting it back. For decades car dealer Rod paid bill after bill to Telstra. A few months ago, he put the brakes on payment when they started addressing accounts to Mr Unknown Unknown. Not happy, he even wrote to the Telstra boss, Sol Trujillo. Sol didn't write back, but Big Pond- another arm of Telstra - did - to ask the customer if he wanted to save some money on his email account. Sure!

Only problem is, Rod might pay the bill, but Mr Unknown Unknown is apparently the customer. And to change the plan, Mr Unknown needs to change his password. Rod's forgotten it. So he needs to fax big pond. He did. Over and over. They gave him the wrong number. He tried again, hours later it went through. He phoned, they didn't call back. Confused? So's Rod. "I did offer to fly there and face them, or I offered to change my name by deed poll in order to conform to their records but they haven't responded to either of those suggestions either"

Rod tried turning the tables. "I thought, well let's have a bit of fun here, so I made my cheque payable to Mr Unknown Unknown and mailed it of course to big pond - and did they cash it? Yes they did, within 2 days of my having mailed it; it'd been through my bank, so my bank's obviously more user friendly to them than they are to me"

AFTER we started making enquiries, Telstra released a statement saying it'd fixed the problem and apologised. Rod disputes some of their dates, but is happy they've now upgraded his plan, wiped part of his bill - and, more importantly, restored his name.