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!)

The Architect Of Their Demise

, , , , | Working | June 26, 2017

(I am alone at the insurance company.)

Agent: “We have a plan if you miss work due to accident or illness.” *gives details* “Would you like the plan for just yourself or for your wife, too?”

Me: “My wife would like the plan.”

Agent: “Okay. We need details on both your work. This is just for accident or illness.”

Me: “Your plan doesn’t cover my work so it’s just my wife.”

Agent: “You don’t work?”

Me: “Just babysitting for family, friends, and neighbors. You don’t cover that.”

Agent: “Yes, we don’t. So what job do you need covered?”

Me: “Junior architect at [Company].”

(Fast forward until the contract.)

Agent: “Your wife actually needs to sign the contract herself.”

Me: “Not a problem, she can come in later.”

Agent: “This one is yours, though. Check over it carefully and sign when ready.”

(A minute passes.)

Me: “Hey. Why is my wife’s work plan under my name?”

Agent: “You’re not the architect?”

Me: “No. My wife is the architect. I gave you all this information.”

Agent: “And she babysits, too?”

Me: “No. I babysit!”

(The agent was very confused but eventually adjusted the plans properly.)

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 7

, , , | Right | May 30, 2017

(At the car insurer I work for, sometimes the rate that we offer for renewal will be higher than our own price on a price comparison website. However, as long as all the details are the same we will match our own prices. That last sentence is key.)

Me: “Good Morning. Welcome to [Insurer], How can I help?”

Customer: “Hi, yes, I’ve received my renewal and gone onto that Meerkat site and the price you’re offering me there is less than half the price as the one on my renewal.”

Me: “I can certainly check that for you, and if you have used all of the exact same information I can match our own price.”

(I perform the usual security checks and get the reference numbers for both their current policy and quote.)

Me: “So, can you confirm for me that all the information you put into the quote is the exact same as on your renewal?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, so looking here I see that your occupation is different, your mileage is lower, your excess is different, and you haven’t included the accident you were in last year.”

Customer: “Oh, I didn’t think any of that was important… Do they affect the price?”

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 6
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 5
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 4

I Hate Mundays

| Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Right | May 27, 2017

(I receive a call from a member to see if a doctor is participating on her policy.)

Member: “Is Dr. Monday a participating doctor?”

Me: “I can check that for you. Is ‘Monday’ spelled like the day of the week.”

Member: “Yes, it is. M-U-N-D-A-Y.”

Me: “…”

Some People Just Want To Be Angry At The World

| Blackburn, England, UK | Right | May 2, 2017

(I work for a PPI (payment protection insurance) claims company. In the UK, this type of company is not well liked due to several of them having aggressive telephone sale pitches in the previous years. However, I work in the processing part of the company and usually only ever speak to people who are already customers. At this time, I have been working for them for about six months. One day I get this call.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] at [Company]. How can I help you today?”

Caller: “I’ve just been watching TV and a show has just played explaining how awful your company is.”

Me: “Okay, I’m sorry about that, sir. Would you mind giving me a little more detail?”

Caller: *getting more aggressive* “How do you not know about this? They say you cheated a man out of lots of money!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid I don’t know of any case like that. However, I can speak to my manager who has been here longer and may know more.”

Caller: *shouting* “Yes, do that.”

(At this point I put the caller on hold and grab my manager, who then takes the call. At this point I can only hear the manager’s side of the call.)

Manager: “Hello, this is [Manager] at [Company]. I hear you have a complaint?”


Manager: “Okay, and are you a customer of ours?”

Caller: *loud screaming heard but cannot be made out*

Manager: “Okay, then, in that case I am curious as to why you have called if you are not a customer yourself and have no knowledge of the people involved.”


Manager: “Actually, I worked on that case myself. The TV show was first aired over a year ago, after the case had been settled to an acceptable end for both ourselves and the client involved.”

Caller: *unintelligible screaming*

Manager: “I’m sorry, sir, but as you are not a customer of ours, not involved in any way with that case, and because of your treatment during this call, I’m afraid I have to end the call here.” *puts phone down*

(My manager gave me a little more information about the case involved. The case was about two years old and during the processing stage a worker had made a simple mistake. This was not something that really changed the case, only made it take about six months longer. Because of this, the involved customers were given greatly reduced fees and were reasonably happy in the end. The only reason the TV show existed was because someone had told the producers and they had interviewed the customers just after they had been told. They were understandably quite annoyed at the time and so it made for a good show. The man who called us had simply seen this, decided we were all the worst people alive, and wanted to shout at us. We assume he had to have looked up the company separately for our phone number (leading to him getting our section of the company and not the sales team). All so he could shout at strangers.)

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