So this evening, I got a bit of marketing from Telstra. This was to an email address I had used to register the SIM card that I’m trying out in the Kite. I naturally followed the same approach I have with other such suppliers as an anti-phishing tactic.
The email is not unsolicited, but it is a commercial email nonetheless. I figured I’d just quietly opt-out, no need to make a fuss. The email itself was legitimate, so no concern about boobytrapped unsubscribe links. Naturally, I copied the address from their email and paste it into the form on their webpage. I get told this:
Errm, excuse me? That is the email address that I wish to unsubscribe, and if it were invalid, I would not be trying to unsubscribe because I would not have gotten the email in the first place!
Okay, so I’ll need to go through a human to get this resolved, what joy. Navigate the labyrinth that is the Telstra support site (they really don’t want you to be able to make complaints), and I get to a complaints form. First thing I note, they forgot to close an <a> tag (end of line 154)…
<p>If you require immediate assistance with a complaint, <b>Consumer customers</b> can call us anytime on 132200 and say "complaint".<br><br>
If you are a <b>Business customer</b> and require immediate assistance with a complaint, you can call us anytime on 132000 and say "complaint".</p>
<b>Enterprise and Government customers:</b> please go to your specialised contact page <a href="https://www.telstra.com.au/business-enterprise/contact-us/make-a-complaint" target="_self">here</a>.
<p>Further information on how we handle complaints can be found in our <a href="https://www.telstra.com.au/content/dam/tcom/personal/help/pdf/telstra-complaint-handling-process.pdf">complaints handling process document (PDF).</p></pre>
<div id="surveyMainDiv" class="main-background">
<div class="place-holder-div" id="surveyMainDivBannerDiv"></div>
<div id="surveyContentDiv" class="content-background">
As a result, Firefox thinks everything to the end of the form, is part of the link! They also close a tag that isn’t open: <pre>.
UPDATE 2018-07-07: This has now been fixed.
Right, so there’s two things. I persevere with the form, resorting to keyboard shortcuts since clicking on any form element brings up that PDF.
Happy that I’ve covered what I wanted to say, I hit the submit. Only to find out the same person who designed the last form, must have designed this one too.
Great, so that’s now three things to complain about.
What really saddens me with Telstra is that today their management tell us they “aspire to be a technology company”. The fact that years ago, Telecom Australia was very much a respected member of the ITU meant it pretty much was a technology company… and the fact they can’t get something as basic as email address validation or a simple web form right, really does show how far they have fallen.
I fully expect this will go back-and-forth while they ask for my browser details (irrelevant, this is broken HTML at their end), my OS (again irrelevant), and then the claim that: “Ohh, we don’t support that!” Which will hold about as much water as a tissue paper G-string.
So, an update. I had a reply back, basically they stated a few things:
- they claim to not have seen any marketing emails for the past two months sent to me. (how hard did they look?)
- they claim to have taken my name off the list (we’ll see)
They make no comment about fixing the forms. The complaints form now has its closing </a> tag back, so clicking on form elements no longer causes it to pop up with a PDF download. Great, 1 problem of 3 fixed.
I finally had a moment to reply, and did so. In their email, they give an address to send the reply to (because we’re to cool to set the Reply-To header or use the correct From address):
I got back an immediate response:
Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists:
The recipient’s e-mail address was not found in the recipient’s e-mail system. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please check the e-mail address and try resending this message, or provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.
Sent by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
Diagnostic information for administrators:
Generating server: srv.dir.telstra.com
#550 5.1.1 RESOLVER.ADR.RecipNotFound; not found ##
Original message headers:
Received: from ipani.tcif.telstra.com.au (10.97.216.198) by
ties-smtp.in.telstra.com.au (188.8.131.52) with Microsoft SMTP Server id
8.3.485.1; Sat, 7 Jul 2018 17:58:02 +1000
Received: from ipocni.tcif.telstra.com.au ([10.97.216.53]) by
ipbani.tcif.telstra.com.au with ESMTP; 07 Jul 2018 17:58:02 +1000
X-Amp-Original-Verdict: FILE UNKNOWN
Received: from eth2015.qld.adsl.internode.on.net (HELO
mail.longlandclan.id.au) ([184.108.40.206]) by ipxcno.tcif.telstra.com.au
with ESMTP; 07 Jul 2018 17:57:59 +1000
Received: from [IPv6:2001:44b8:21ac:7053:a64e:31ff:fe53:99cc] (unknown
[IPv6:2001:44b8:21ac:7053:a64e:31ff:fe53:99cc]) by mail.longlandclan.id.au
(Postfix) with ESMTPSA id C159B51F720 for
<ComplaintResolutionCentre@team.telstra.com>; Sat, 7 Jul 2018 17:57:56 +1000
Subject: [SR 1-1580842703975] Re: Follow Up-Your complaint with Telstra
From: Stuart Longland <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2018 17:57:51 +1000
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101
Arrival-Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2018 07:58:02 +0000
Diagnostic-Code: smtp;550 5.1.1 RESOLVER.ADR.RecipNotFound; not found
Oops… so there’s another complaint:
I note there’s another address (with an ‘s’ on the end) in the footer of the email, and so I have sent them the following:
It's taken a little while to get back to you on this as I've been flat
out, but here goes.
On 07/07/18 17:20, Telstra_Notifications wrote:
> Your complaint with Telstra
> Reference no: SR x-xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Dear Mr Longland,
> Thank you for getting in touch with us on 28 June 2018 about a
> complaint relating to your Telstra account number xxxx xxxxx xxxx.
> I’m sorry that you’ve experienced an issue with your service, but
> I'm pleased to offer you the following resolution.
To be clear, the issue is not with the mobile service itself, that's
been fine for the purpose I've used it. The issue is in the marketing
that came with it, that was unwanted.
> You were concerned that:
> * You’d like to be removed from Telstra’s marketing list
Yes, this is correct. It might be polite to ask people when they sign
up whether they want to be on this marketing list or not.
In my case, the service is temporary: I have the loan of a prototype
mobile phone: iSquare Mobility Kite v1.
http://www.kiteboard.io/ is the device being trialled.
The manufacturer has loaned it so that I can trial the device on the
Australian mobile networks, and see how it performs in weak-signal
conditions. I have loan of it possibly for another month or so at most.
(So far, it performs *MUCH* better than the ZTE T83 I use, and holds its
own against the ZTE T84 which uses the same chipset as the Kite.)
I'd have used my own SIM card, but my card is too big to fit in this
phone (mine is a miniature SIM, this phone requires a micro-SIM), and
given its temporary custody, it made no sense to get my existing Telstra
service moved to a new SIM.
Thus for this purpose, I just activated a pre-paid service to be able to
try the device out. I also have a service activated with Optus as it's
a dual-SIM device.
Once iSquare Mobility ask for the return of the device, naturally I'll
have little use for the two pre-paid SIM cards that are presently in it,
and won't have any interest of any offers from Telstra (or Optus).
I have an old 3G phone I can possibly use up the remaining credit of the
Telstra SIM in, otherwise I'll just use my current phone service which
I've had since 2001.
> * Telstra should fix broken complaints form
> I've confirmed that:
> * We have checked your account and found no marketing emails sent to
> you for the past two months
Allow me to present exhibit A; sent Thu, 28 Jun 2018 00:39:53 -0700.
This is attached.
I'm a little surprised your list management software had trouble finding
it, unless of course, you didn't read the complaint message carefully to
see the address my account was *actually* registered under.
I see you don't mention the issues with the form. One issue makes the
form damn-near unusable for anyone due to malformed HTML causing the
entire form to act as a hyperlink to the complaints information PDF.
The other, prevented me from self-unsubscribing and was the reason for
the complaint in the first place.
Don't worry, the world already knows:
Telstra: another mob that didn’t get the RFC5233 memo
I see the missed tag on the complaint form has now been corrected.
The original issue that started this, so far has not been corrected.
I've attached screenshots for your reference.
> We know you've been put out by this matter so we'd like to fix things
> * Confirming the medium of marketing (SMS, Email, phone call, MMS,
> face to face marketing, etc) and date you received it
This is email marketing. There have not been any other forms of marketing.
> * Removing your name and details from Telstra’s marketing list.
> Please be advised that this is only applicable for Telstra marketing
Yep, I understand this. This is a silent number, and a temporary one at
that. By Christmas time, this service will be no-more, as it will be
surplus to requirements.
> If you’d like to talk more about this or accept this offer, please
> contact me on 1800 241 787* PIN 5172 or email
> ComplaintResolutionCentre@team.telstra.com quoting your Telstra
> reference SR x-xxxxxxxxxxxxx number. I'm available Tuesday-Saturday,
> 9am-5pm (AEST).
For reference, ComplaintResolutionCentre@team.telstra.com bounces. I've
attached the bounce message I received, and have also submitted it as SR
x-xxxxxxxxxxxxx just in case this email doesn't get through.
So that's now 4 issues in total, with 1 resolved so far.
If you could fix up the broken email validation on the opt-out form and
complaints form, and fix the broken email address in your reply messages
then that will resolve the remaining issues.
Thanks in advance.
Stuart Longland (aka Redhatter, VK4MSL)
I haven't lost my mind...
...it's backed up on a tape somewhere.