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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  • ThrowingPancakes

    I think you misunderstood what he wanted, OP. You see, his name is “[Full Name With Middle Name #2].” It really doesn’t get any clearer than this.

    • Matlatzinca Montoya

      His name was Paul Heyman. He was the advocate for the Beast, the Freak, the Conqueror. The REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED UNIVERSAL CHAMPION…
      BRRROOOOOOOOOCCK…LLEEEEEEEEEESSSNAAAAAAAAAAAARRR!!!

      • Raizumichin

        *Heyman.

        • Matlatzinca Montoya

          I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that you’re right, or that’s the only thing you could think of in your sleep deprived state.

          • Raizumichin

            I have to ask: Sleep deprived?

  • Adrian Mckeehan

    I wonder if the caller calls other businesses when they are addressed to “Current Resident”

    • allahboleh

      That’s why I changed my name to “Occupant”

  • Cody

    Rain Man anyone?

    • TheShowIsBothGreatAndSecret

      97X… BAAAAAAAAAAM

  • Souless night

    Sheesh

  • Sarah Cullen

    I tried to think of what he could possibly have wanted and why he’d sound reluctant to throw it away… came up with nothing.

    • Qialhe

      My best guess is that he wanted the correct name on any future solicitations.

  • TheLastHonestLawyer

    I actively hate people like that.

  • Annette Easton

    Maybe it’s just me but it sounds to me like he thought the letter had been sent to him and he wanted you to correct the middle name. Seemed pretty clear to me.

    • Bernie Hunter

      Yes, he wanted his name fixed, but he is not in the system as a customer, and she could not find him in the “non customer” file without the address. (That’s how I read it)

      • Ophelia

        Isn’t there a way to change that though? I mean, it’s still pretty unusual to me for someone to welcome in junk mail but only if their name is correct, but surely the company has some list for sending solicitations SOMEWHERE that can be modified as needed.

        • Kathryn Baggs

          Considering it was likely obtained from a third party…. wait, well someone somewhere should have a list to change, but really since he’s a non customer they don’t give a carp about a messed up name.

  • Kali Ravel

    I don’t see the part where the OP explained that her company hadn’t sent the letter and couldn’t correct the details.

  • Lord Circe

    Obviously, he wants you to change things so he never got that letter. Or something… His name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2].

  • Matt Westwood

    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].”

    OP: “So what are you doing opening your father’s mail?”

  • Kitty

    I think he expected the letter in his hand to change to have his middle name in it, as you corrected the ‘mistake’?

  • Gretchen

    I think he just wanted to have his name corrected and OP didn’t do a good enough job explaining the situation to him.

  • TheWonderRabbit

    As soon as you and your manager started screening calls, this became NAW.

    Also, are you the only person in the call centre? How come someone else didn’t get him when he called back?

    • Eilonwy_has_an_aardvark

      He called the local insurance agent’s office, according to the story.

      It’s likely the only full-time office staff are the insurance agent himself (the “boss”) and the person who answers the phone and handles routine paperwork (the OP).

  • Giacinta Shidler

    It sounds to me like he might have been concerned the records got mixed up and you have the wrong address for his father, and he understandably wanted to know how the mistake happened. Of course that’s assuming either of them were clients of the company.