Flemington Direct Hacked?22

Posted on June 11, 2011 by ChristieFood News

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been a loyal and happy Flemington Direct customer, but all that has changed.

Last night I received an email from a self proclaimed ‘hacktivist’ who had accessed their email newsletter system and apparently the personal data of all their customers (click here to view the email).

If you are a Flemington Direct customer then you know something funny has been happening for the past few weeks. There have been several weird emails saying they have ceased trading and that they will be starting up a new business called Flemington Fresh. Peppered in between were emails about data (in)security, a recommendation of another vegetable delivery service as well as a personal phone call from a staff member apologising for them closing down. What a mess!

Mitchell, one of the co-founders of Flemington Direct, has set up a website to tell his side of the story (click here) and he says he did not send the email last night (see the comments at the bottom of his website).

If this hacktivist is to be believed, which seems plausible because he sent the email using the company email newsletter template and FlemingtonDirect.com.au has been pulled down, then should we all be very worried?

What I want to know is – are my credit card details secure? A response from the current owners Christine and Nathan would be much appreciated.

From reading Mitchell’s side of the story I understand that the closing of the company was due to deeply personal issues between the owners. However, that does not excuse them from bad business practices, such as apparently not storing credit card details securely or having secure password systems to their customer database.

I will never again use Fleming Direct or Flemington Fresh to deliver my fruit and vegetables. If you have a good box scheme you would like to pimp to me, leave a link to your website in the comments!

Are you a Flemington Direct customer? What do you think of all this?

Christie x


  • what a shambles. A bit of respect with other peoples details is certainly not to much to expect under any circumstances. Good luck!

  • Pomo Lu

    Hi Christie,
    I share your concerns as a former customer, and have written to Christine asking for clarification regarding the security of our CC numbers/ info. I’m not personally sure what to do. Err on the side of caution, or not jump the gun? Anyway, I appreciate your post here. This debacle will cause me to reconsider using smaller web-based businesses in the future.

    • Ada

      Hi Pomo Lu, this is Ada, I noticed you have been asking about me on the new “website”. I have been doing the customer service part of Flemington Direct for the past 18 months, up until May 23 when all the mess, of which I still can not make any sense, happened. Indeed I have been working remotely from Romania, I am a very real person and a very very disappointed one now as in all this situation I am just collateral damage.

      I am pretty much out of words and I wish I could fix something but I am as in the dark as you all are. It is such a pity that a very good business ended like this.

      I hope while it lasted I did all my best to be there for you whenever needed.

      • Andrea

        Hi Ada,

        Thank you for your update…I was also concerned about you. You were always such a great help – I did not know you were so far away!

        Keep well


  • Ken

    Such a mess. I had a friend who dissolved a business and it was much like this. Each persons story is right, each person was ripped off and the other guy was a jerk to work with. Wasn’t quite as public as this one though.

    Thanks for keeping us informed

  • Joe

    Hi Christie,
    I’m a former customer, my details(E-mail) has been misappropiate by somebody,
    this morning I received an E-mail and I have been worried since then, Itried to contacted you by phone and there is not answer.

    • Hi Joe,

      I understand your concern but I don’t have anything to do with this company, I simply reported on what happened.

      You will have to contact them directly for further answers. Christie

      • Mark Viral fail

        Guess that credit card is destined for the bin, again! First Playstation and now Flemington direct. I agree on the PR mess, has anyone heard from our hacktivist? Was this Mitchell so we’d go to his site?

  • Karen

    I’m also a former customer, i cant believe this!!!!
    I have had so many emails from these people i dont know what to believe anymore!!
    Why would a ‘concerned hacker’ point us to a website that is not even their real website? The one i have saved in my bookmarks is http://www.flemingtondirect.com.AU.
    Not ‘.com’, this website has just been created!!!?

    Its a sad story but does not add up!

  • Dave

    Spooky I just talked to my partner about this, this morning! Im not sure what to do either, not sure if I cancel my CC are just keep an eye on things. How innappropriate to treat customers like this, the FB group also disappeared too…I tried to link in with aussie farmers direct (as Id seen them driving around my area) but the website said they didnt deliver here…am getting desperate having not shopped for F&V for so long…

  • I have been a flemington direct customer for years and recent events have been very disturbing.
    Reading the website it appears to be a big meltdown, I dont know who is looking after the PR but they certainly need replacing. (Maybe it was Mitchell lol)
    From what I understand Mitchell played a joke on Christine about contacting all the customers and she then sent out an email saying they had been hacked, when they hadn’t.
    Then the hacktivist came along and really hacked them and deleted our data.
    Like I said, big meltdown.
    I also noticed their website has been redirected to flemingtondirect.com I cant keep up with all the events but it has been entertaining to say the least.

  • Michelle

    I think I might keep an eye on my credit card after this. Mitch’s story seems a little odd, in 2010 he gave the business away. I dont understand why someone would do that to a profitable business.

  • Tara

    Maybe i watch too much CSI LOL but here is what i think:

    Same as the comment above.Why would Mitchell give away a profitable business? Did he even own it anymore to claim this money he is apparently owed? I have been using the service for years and not once have i had an email from him or heard his name. Just Nathan, Christine and Ada. Anyone else ever heard from him before all this?

    This hacking email just directed us to HIS site to read HIS story, with moderated comments that he only allows certain ones to go up. If the apparent hacker didn’t send us to the site, we would never have found the story. Suss Much? I think the hacktivist is really Mitchell and has been all along and now he is promoting his new business schemes that sound suss as well. As he has said he thinks its all a “joke”. With $5K in the bank why would you not come home and get a job in Australia? Why eat bird seed?!!?? Of course the director had to warn us all. What else could a Director do with a lose cannon in the mix. He looks like a nut! No wonder the business closed down.

  • Kylie

    My guess is Mitchell is the hacktivist and the comment above is Christine.

    Don’t need to watch csi for that.

  • Annoyed

    Mitchell Bourne / Bigiqs.com on his page:

    ‘That’s what makes this email so hilarious (apologies to any customers that were caught up in this mess);’

    I’m glad he thinks this is funny, how unprofessional.

  • Joan

    The guy just lost everything to these people, I’m glad he still has some sense of humour.

    I guess it would be similar to me losing my house and job at the same time.

    He has a good attitude.


  • CC

    Yeah I find this all pretty funny. Faking a hack for a marketing campaign is cheeky. We call him Mitch 2.0, he missed the bubble but now has BIg IQ!

  • Ada,

    I hope you are not without work after all this happening, if yes you will no doubt be snapped up very quickly as your service on behalf of Flemington Direct was fantastic!

  • Lachlan

    Here’s a good delivery company
    $50 for a mixed box of organic produce (plus delivery) Sydney wide. Pretty good value for all the basics.
    Sorry to hear about Flemington Direct. I was keeping check on their progress on FB.
    They really should have had a lot more respect for their clients

  • Michael

    So I cancel my credit card because the owners were scared my credit card was going to be sold/used as Mitch had control of the computers, Mitch had already deleted the data. I think these guys need to talk more often!

    With all these CC hacks in the news I think the banks need to be the ones that fix the problem. Getting a million small businesses to improve data control is never going to work.

    If Flemingtonfresh.com are going to survive their going to need to do a pretty good job of convincing me my details are safe!


  • Joan

    So the end result was, there was no hacking except by the hacktivist.
    Talk about getting busted fibbing, how embarrassing.
    I have cancelled my credit card and rearranged all my direct debits, I still haven’t got a response from them.


  • Ted

    Hi Christie

    We deliver fruit and vegie mixed boxes, where you choose all the contents!

    We offer three box sizes:
    Singles box (with 6 selections)
    Couples box (with 10 selections)
    Family box (with 15 slections)

    All produce is delivered directly from the market, with no lock in contract and simple, safe secure ordering online at http://www.andyandted.com.au

    Why not give us a go?


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