Stuck In The Middle (Name) With You

, , , , | Right | June 28, 2017

(I work in an insurance sales office. I occasionally have to field calls from people who are irritated by getting solicitation letters from us. Generally these are letters that have been sent out by the corporate office, but have the local agent’s name as the sender. There’s not a lot I can do but apologize and try to elicit the name and address so I can put them on our internal “do not mail” list. Sometimes they don’t want to give me that information and if that’s the case, there’s really nothing I can do for them.)

Caller: “I received a letter from you addressed to [Full Name With Middle Name #1], but my name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2].”

(The first and last names are identical.)

Me: “Okay, what kind of letter is it?”

Caller: “It’s a letter. But my name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2]. It is not [Full Name With Middle Name #1]. My father’s name is [Full Name With Middle Name #1].”

(I try mightily to discover if it is a solicitation letter, or if this caller is an actual customer of Insurance Company so I can figure out what to do with him.)

Caller: “I have an insurance policy with [Insurance Company]. My name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2].”

(I can’t find him in our database anywhere so I try the tack that I can take him off the mailing list if he will give me his address. He finally does, insisting all the while that he is Full Name With Middle Name #2. His father’s name is Full Name With Middle Name #1 but he lives in California. I offer again to take his address off the mailing list. He finally gives me the address.)

Caller: “The letter came to my address. It says ‘20% off.’”

(Ah, it is a solicitation letter!)

Caller: “But my name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2].”

Me: “I understand that. I expect some database somewhere has some wrong information in it.”

(We cycle through this part a couple more times.)

Me: “Would you like a quote for insurance?”

Caller: “I already have insurance with you.”

Me: *he doesn’t, but who cares?* “In that case, what is it you want me to do?”

Caller: “My name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2]. The letter came to my address but it says [Full Name With Middle Name #1].”

Me: *getting beyond tired of going around this circle* “I get that. Was there something you were hoping to accomplish with this phone call?”

Caller: “My name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2]. I got this letter at my address but it says [Full Name With Middle Name #1].”

Me: “I understand. Since it is not for you, I suggest that you throw it away.”

Caller: “But my name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2].”

Me: “Yes. You should throw the letter away because it is not for you.”

Caller: *very reluctantly* “I guess I will throw it away.”

Me: “Yes, you do that.”

Caller: *still reluctant* “I will throw it away.”

Me: “Yes, throw it away. Goodbye.” *hangs up*

(My boss overheard my side of this conversation and told me I was “too nice.” And he let me ignore the phone when the guy called again a few minutes later. Thank goodness he didn’t leave a message so I didn’t have to return the call!)

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