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Mercury Retrograde Anecdotes

If you want to see how Mercury Retrograde can make an impact on a grand scale, check this out!

Woolworths leaks $1 million of gift cards in massive data breach debacle Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Grocery giant Woolworths has scrambled to cancel over $1 million worth of shopping vouchers after a massive leak of customer data, in which it mistakenly emailed the redeemable codes of 8000 gift cards containing the customers' names and email addresses.

Fairfax Media has obtained a copy of the email which contained an excel spreadsheet with the names and email address of thousands of customers and a downloadable link to 7,941 vouchers, worth a total of $1,308,505. It is understood the spreadsheet was emailed to more than 1000 people, all of whom could access the gift card codes and immediately begin shopping.

As a result of the data leak, customers reported they had logged onto the Woolworths site on Saturday only to discover their vouchers had already been spent.

The data breach, which was discovered on Saturday morning, occurred after customers purchased the vouchers from the online savings site Groupon, which ran a deal last week offering BIG W eGift cards, valued at $200 and $100, at a 7.5 per cent discount. The cards were redeemable at Woolworths online and in store, Big W stores, and Caltex petrol stations.

Once customers had paid for the vouchers via the Groupon site they were advised they would receive an email from Woolworths' Everyday Gift Cards containing a PDF attachment with the electronic voucher.

But when some customers proceeded to open the attachment they discovered the excel spreadsheet containing the links to over $1 million worth of vouchers.

Luke, a 36-year-old from Perth, WA, said he decided to check the balance on his 10 gift cards, worth $1900, on the Woolworths website after he realised other customers had probably been emailed the same excel spreadsheet with the links to his vouchers.

"One of my gift cards had be used for online shopping already. Another one had been used in store at Woolworths Parramatta," the father-of-two told Fairfax Media.

"Hopefully my email address doesn't end up somewhere where it permanently gets lots of spam."

Another customer, Jason Wang, said three of his $200 vouchers had been spent at a Woolworths in Ashfield in Sydney's inner west, about 300km from his home in Canberra.

On Saturday evening, affected customers received an email from Woolworths advising them the gift cards had been cancelled.

Some previous calamities during Mercury Retrograde;

  • Obama Sworn in Again After Error in the Oath at Inauguration;
    January 2009
  • Chaos as Check-in Problems affect Qantas; January 2010
  • Business stung by Bank of Queensland Computer Bug; January 2010
  • Botched Antivirus Knocks out 10% of Coles Registers; April, 2010
  • “Fat Finger” points to US Stock Dive – Market Drop fuelled by Crisis, Anxiety & an Error May, 2010
  • Microsoft yanks blue screen of death Windows patch; August, 2014

There have been many more similar incidents in the past, however, these few examples above are presented to recommend that cautiousness is advised during these Mercury Retrograde periods.