Optus Data Breach: Employees Accuse Customers of Hackers

An Optus employee accused a data breach victim of being a hacker after accidentally using the wrong name in a chat message.

Skye, a Queensland woman who wanted to give only her name, joined Optus’ virtual assistant Merlinda on Sept. 26 after being instructed to cancel service using the platform instead of her phone company’s phone service. Investigated by

She fell into Merlinda’s hands after going through multiple other assistants who were unable to help her request to waive cancellation fees after her information was compromised in a data breach.

According to a screenshot shared to, a frustrated Skye began telling Merlinda that her previous assistant had disconnected the chat because she didn’t know how to solve her question.

She then asked Merlinda why she should continue to pay a company that failed to meet its obligations to protect her personal information.

“Do you want me to continue paying for a company that clearly doesn’t understand or value privacy and cybersecurity? Pay a company that compromised my data?” Sora wrote.

“You didn’t meet your contractual obligations, so why should I?”

The confused employee responded, apparently replying to the wrong person.

“We are responsible for Benjamin, which is why we took immediate action,” she wrote.

This mistake infuriated Sky even more, and she replied, “You’re another example of data falling into malicious hands.”

Merlinda responded with an attempt to ensure that Skye would not harm her in a case of wrong identity.

Skye asked Merlinda if she would send Benjamin’s ID, or at least “make sure Benjamin doesn’t have my ID.”

Merlinda continued to accuse Skye of being a hacker.

“Can I send it? Are you a hacker too?” she wrote.

Skye was outraged by the insinuation and demanded to speak to Melinda’s manager.

“It was very unprofessional in my opinion,” Skye told

Her opinion of the phone company had previously faded when she heard a group of employees chatting and joking for six minutes when she called a customer service number.

“I was just listening to their laughter and everything that was going on in their office,” recalls Skye.

Her call seemed to be answered automatically, and when someone finally noticed, she said she was put on hold for a bit before hanging up.

Skye faces more than $1,000 in cancellation fees, which she says she’s not currently in a position to pay.

She and her partner decided to pay $150 to cancel the Optus modem, but wait a year and a half for other services to expire before switching to another carrier.

Optus is understood to be investigating Skye’s situation, but has refused to comment on why she has been accused of being a hacker, and has repeatedly refused to waive the cancellation fee.

A spokeswoman confirmed that customers with a repayment program would have to either pay for the plan themselves or pay a hefty cancellation fee if they wanted to switch.

“Customers on monthly plans without a device can easily end their contract without a cancellation fee,” a spokesperson told

“Customers with device repayment plans must pay any remaining device repayments or applicable cancellation fees as part of their agreement with Optus.”

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Optus Data Breach: Employees Accuse Customers of Hackers

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