customer services getting my title wrong

(165 Posts)
gasman Mon 05-Aug-13 10:30:50

I have just phoned a major UK retailer (famed for their customer service). Despite me introducing myself and then correcting them once they persisted on calling me Mrs Gasman.

I am not Mrs Gasman. I am Dr Gasman. They were also being unhelpful in actually dealing with my problem so I terminated the call. I told them it was because they couldn't get my name right.


angelos02 Mon 05-Aug-13 10:32:01

Is your title relevant to what you were buying? If not, YABU.

absentmindeddooooodles Mon 05-Aug-13 10:32:57

Really........ I'm constantly getting called Mrs on the phone rather than miss. So what? As long as it does not affect the order or details on the system etc then its really not the biggest issue ever is it? This just makes you sound very pretentious.

DayOldCheesecake Mon 05-Aug-13 10:33:58

Oh how ghastly! Have you considered calling your MP or writing a letter to the Telegraph?

I don't know how you can go on, I really don't - but remember - you can always call the Samaritans if you need support. <unmumsnetty hugs>

lovecupboards Mon 05-Aug-13 10:34:14

Well if they were being unhelpful fair enough, but I wouldn't get too hung up on them dropping the Dr, presumably this is some low paid call centre staff person?

HollyBerryBush Mon 05-Aug-13 10:34:46

Could be worse they could call you by your first name - now that is beyond rude

I am a doctor, I am also a Mrs. People call me both. Get over it.

angelos02 Mon 05-Aug-13 10:35:54

I'm wondering if this is a reverse AIBU? Very precious OP if not.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 05-Aug-13 10:35:55

It's so unimportant. Just a simple mistake.

CajaDeLaMemoria Mon 05-Aug-13 10:36:49


In the grand scheme of things, your title does not matter on a phone call.

Customer service agents take hundreds of calls per day. They have to stick to a script whilst also solving your problem, and meet tough time/call number/sales targets.

They'll be told to call you Mrs or Mr, because they are 'standard', and easy to identify. Most people who are accidentally called 'Mrs' but are actually 'Miss' won't mind. When you speak, they'll remember that you are female, and they have to recall your surname. Mrs Gasman is easiest to remember, and allows them to get your attention and solve your problem. It's a minor irritant that it's technically wrong.

If they were unhelpful, fair enough, terminate the call. Complain that they have been unhelpful. Your title really is irrelevant, though, it's just a title.

DaddyPigsMistress Mon 05-Aug-13 10:37:14

Stupid pesant! Imagine not knowing how to address their betters.

Have them hung

didldidi Mon 05-Aug-13 10:37:33

Yes you were, it's one of my pet hates and totally irrelevant to your conversation.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Mon 05-Aug-13 10:39:16

I get called Mrs instead of Miss frequently (even have it on my Tesco clubcard).

Doesn't worry me.

I also have a different surname to DS and frequently get called Mrs DS Surname by the school.

I don't think it's a big deal.

ClockWatchingLady Mon 05-Aug-13 10:42:57

I can understand feeling annoyed with them in general if the customer service was crap. But IMO the title thing is a bit irrelevant.

I'm also a "Dr" but would feel like a right tit insisting the title was used by customer services representatives.

Bosgrove Mon 05-Aug-13 10:43:00

One of my friends is a doctor (Phd) but she refuses to used her Dr may have something to do with her surname (Pain)

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 05-Aug-13 10:43:04

Seriously this is all you have to worry about?

My surname is long and unusual and it's always being said incorrectly, not worth worrying about IMHO.

gasman Mon 05-Aug-13 10:44:15

Ok. I WBU but what is the fucking point of checking who you are and then not using it.

I have to say the Mrs/ Dr thing really pisses me off anyway. I don't mind being called by my first name I just don't like it when people make the effort to find out your title and then don't use it. I don't generally use my title (only with this company as they insist you have one on your cards) all the rest of my stuff just comes to Gasman and those companies would usually call me by my first name.

The issues isn't that I think Dr is a better title it is just that I hate being called Mrs (what the fuck is my marital status got to do with them anyway? )

Feminine Mon 05-Aug-13 10:45:41

Why did you want to be called Dr during the call?

What difference to your call would it have made?

Were you purchasing medical supplies?

Were you in Character? grin

gasman Mon 05-Aug-13 10:46:05

I have a lot to worry about at the moment hence getting irrationally hung up on what people call me. Far easier to deal with than planning my international move, bathroom ceiling that has just fallen down, planning ongoing UK care for crumbly aged relatives that I'm responsible for etc. etc.

Tyinng up the estate of my late mother before I leave the UK.

Clearing out and selling up my flat.

Feminine Mon 05-Aug-13 10:46:34

Ok, just saw your up-date. Still don't get it though!

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 05-Aug-13 10:47:07

If your only worry is regarding pretentious titles then you must have a very easy life. Save complaining for when it really matters.

gasman Mon 05-Aug-13 10:47:38

I didn't want to be called Dr. I just didn't want to be called Mrs.

They wanted to call me using a title. I told them to use my correct title and then they ignored me.

Feminine Mon 05-Aug-13 10:48:12

With all that going on, I'm not surprised you are overwrought!

smile I'm sorry for all the stress you have, and for the loss of your Mum.

inneedofsomehelpplz Mon 05-Aug-13 10:48:24

drown the bastards!!!! how dare they not know who you are!!! biscuit

gasman Mon 05-Aug-13 10:48:39

HappyMummyofOne read my update.

Easy life... I think not!

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 10:50:25


ClockWatchingLady Mon 05-Aug-13 10:50:39

Gasman, I do get you on the marital status front.
I tend to use Ms because the whole Miss/Mrs thing is ridiculous. But Ms is difficult to say. I might just start using Mr.

skylerwhite Mon 05-Aug-13 10:51:03

HappyMummy why is the title of Dr pretentious? confused

OP YANBU. I loathe Mrs as well, and never ever go by it.

Helltotheno Mon 05-Aug-13 10:54:54

Sorry you're going through a hard time OP but don't you think you're... eh.. sweating the small stuff here somewhat?
If you don't like Mrs, ask for Ms. Despite your protestations, you still come across like you're hung up on your title!

What about conserving your energy for all the stuff you have to deal with eh?

BTW I'm assuming you're a medical doctor right?

What are you a doctor of by the way? Not that it makes much of a difference but I am just being nosy.

If you have lots on your plate maybe think about not sweating the little things like this and concentrate on the big things.

Ultimately you have shot yourself in the foot because you are going to have to make another call to sort out the problem. I couldn't give 2 hoots what a customer service person calls me - when I call them it is because I have an issue and I often find being friendly, polite and overly chatty gets the problem sorted out more often than not - makes a change for them to talk to people who don't speak to them like they are pieces of dirt apparently.

skylerwhite Mon 05-Aug-13 10:57:32

Why is it ok to ask for Ms but not Dr? Weird.

Shrugged Mon 05-Aug-13 10:57:44

Nothing pretentious about Dr. Just a title that, like Mr, doesn't indicate your marital status. I'm happy to answer to my first name, Dr or Ms.

insancerre Mon 05-Aug-13 10:57:49

what does it matter, really?
you do realise though, that you have given the call handler a right good laugh
they have probably told the whole office about you now
doubt you'll ever get good customer service with them now, they will have marked your card

MrsWolowitz Mon 05-Aug-13 10:57:55

YABU and a bit silly.

I think you know that though.

Sorry for the loss of your mum.

TheFallenNinja Mon 05-Aug-13 10:59:15

Bear in mind that in spite of the term "customer services" it is in fact just a call centre full of badly paid people under pressure to answer the unanswerable to the unreasonable.

squoosh Mon 05-Aug-13 10:59:38

I once accidentally chose Lord from the drop down menu of available titles, used to entertain me every time I got post addressed to Lord Squoosh or phone calls for the same.

I'm not even a man never mind an aristocrat!

ClockWatchingLady Mon 05-Aug-13 11:00:25

Agree with you, Shrugged.

ClockWatchingLady Mon 05-Aug-13 11:01:36

This is so true, FallenNinja

ClockWatchingLady Mon 05-Aug-13 11:02:22

<curtsies to Lord Squoosh>

ClockWatchingLady Mon 05-Aug-13 11:04:37

OP, this all sounds really stressful (to say the least). Hope you can find some time out from it all.

badbride Mon 05-Aug-13 11:06:41

I doubt there was malice aforethought, OP, just a harassed and possibly not terribly competent person dealing with their gazzilionth customer query that day.

They probably default to Mrs for women and Mr for men when their brains go blank. So be thankful they got your gender correct: I keep being addressed as Sir and Mr when dealing with customer services people face to face (before I've had a chance to say anything). I know I'm tall for a girl, but really

londonrach Mon 05-Aug-13 11:08:31

My pet hate is ms. I'm not a bumblebee. i'm mrs. However this information is irrelevant in some situations like on the phone. I just want the customer service to sort out my problem.

samandi Mon 05-Aug-13 11:17:43

I was going to say YABU but after reading this

"They wanted to call me using a title. I told them to use my correct title and then they ignored me."

I don't think you are, necessarily. If companies want to use titles they should use the correct one.

PearlyWhites Mon 05-Aug-13 11:22:20

Haha how pretentious yes yabu

WeAreEternal Mon 05-Aug-13 11:24:48

I am also a Dr, I also hate being called Mrs, I still have my surname and hate being called Mrs. Eternal. (That is my mother!)

But what I hate more is when people assume it is ok to refer to you by your first name, especially when you introduce yourself/write to them/sign correspondence as Dr./Miss/Mrs/Captain Eternal.
I find it really rude.

But in the grand scheme of things as long as they are dealing with the issue, while it may irritate me, I don't really care.

However, since they were not helping you were right to hang up on them.

Groovee Mon 05-Aug-13 11:24:50

Despite how often dh says our last name, people don't seem to understand him and always want to call him Mr his first name than his last name. It drives him mad.

VixZenFenchell Mon 05-Aug-13 11:25:36

Oh for heaven's sake. Yes you were being unreasonable.

I see your international move and raise you a very similar scenario (we emigrated 4 years ago), with a similar parental death to cope with, with ageing relatives left behind. And a stressful house move, and financial crap like you wouldn't believe, and visa hassles and my husband being diagnosed with a progressive renal disease.

And you know what? I still thought I had an easy life - with my degree, reasonable job prospects, potential future income - compared to most of the UK and the state it's in.

Get over yourself. You're a doctor, not God.

(Dr VixZen Rev. Fenchell)

toomanyfionas Mon 05-Aug-13 11:25:41

I actually dropped the Duchess for this precise reason, no one ever used it correctly. Terribly irritating.

I do understand your frustration a bit. My bank are forever mispronouncing my surname despite me using the correct pronunciation and it gets on my wick.

HoikyPoiky Mon 05-Aug-13 11:34:38

It would not have bothered me at all, in fact it wouldn't have occurred to me that I could be bothered. unless they called me a Mr

Trills Mon 05-Aug-13 11:39:57


It's not about status, its about requesting a title and then not using it.

If they ask your name, and you say Sarah, and they then call you Susan, you don't have much faith in their ability to get things right.

Didactylos Mon 05-Aug-13 11:42:58

am with you in a way so YAB a little U (another gasperson here who also sometimes gets irritated with this crap)
its not about being called Dr, its about them checking what your name is/ you want to be called and then not using it.

Ive been asked by a caller my name (lets say Elizabeth as a random example, not my actual name) and then been asked if they can call you a diminutive of it eg Liz, Libby, Betsy or Lizzy, or they just do it without asking. Drives me insane - first they ask your first name to get all pally and then its ' do you mind if I call you... ? yes, I do actually

Its a bit of a 'first world problems' thing, but it grates

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 05-Aug-13 11:48:09

YANBU. If it were a man who said 'my title is Doctor' I wonder if the customer-service person would try a bit harder to get it right?

And it is basic customer service, I think, to listen to what callers ask for and oblige. Especially with things that are important to them, even if they seem trivial to the member of staff.

Amarena Mon 05-Aug-13 11:48:50

Oh God, I don't know why I read this forum it winds me up so much.

Why are some unkind people so keen to put down and be bloody NASTY to others? They must have sad little lives to get off on that.

OP, it drives me mad too. It is rude, more than anything. And I totally agree - wtf has my marital status got to do with anything. Don't get me started on the Mrs = married, Mr = who knows? thing.

If I'd worked hard and had obtained a Dr title, YES, I'd flipping well use it and want to be called it too. So shoot me.


inallmydays Mon 05-Aug-13 11:53:19

i would of thought dr was only used at work ,why on earth would anyone want you use it instead of miss or mrs outside of work .

CalvinHobbesMum Mon 05-Aug-13 12:01:51

I hate being asked for a title. What does it matter whether I'm married or not? And Ms just sounds like I'm a rampant feminist.

I once put down 'Comrade' as my title. Am thinking of upgrading to 'Countess' though.

Didactylos Mon 05-Aug-13 12:02:22

Inall, I use it all the time because thats my title, Ive earned it and everything eg house, loans, bank, credit etc are in that name. Someone can go and look up Dr Didactylos (not my real name!) on the GMC register, or look on medline for my papers and research and know exactly who I am, and I am happy with this
I dont see why I have to advertise whether I am married, and then if I chose to use Miss or Mrs, these also bring up the other issue - that I am married but have not changed my name

I think the right to decide what you are called and how you define yourself is pretty important. If I ever become a Lady, Countess, Margrave, Duchess or Archbishop you can be sure Ill be using those titles, and people can look me up in Debretts grin

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 05-Aug-13 12:02:51

Calvin, how about 'Wing Commander'? 'Rear Admiral'? grin

skylerwhite Mon 05-Aug-13 12:02:53

You would have thought wrong, then. If asked for my title, I give it, whether it's in work or not. As do the other male drs that I know. What's the problem?

skylerwhite Mon 05-Aug-13 12:05:21

Surely it's simply courteous to address people using their preferred title (so long as they are entitled to use it, of course). In a customer service environment I would have thought this was self-evident.

LessMissAbs Mon 05-Aug-13 12:10:25

Lady Clarice YANBU. If it were a man who said 'my title is Doctor' I wonder if the customer-service person would try a bit harder to get it right

is right. This assumption that all adult women are married gets on my goat. When I inevitably get called Mrs LessMissAbs on the phone, I instinctively look over my shoulder for my (dead) mother. Many women are a Miss professionally so why not adopt that as standard or simply ask, if the UK insists on keeping this anachronism (unlike for instance France)?

thebody Mon 05-Aug-13 12:17:14

no I agree with you op.

if I had ever had the brains to be a doctor and the years if study that goes with it I would bloody well want people to know!!

good on you and so sorry you have all this other shite to deal with.

seems to go like this sometimes. as my dm says 'pour another load of shit on me this lots dry'

EarlyIntheMorning Mon 05-Aug-13 12:25:16

and ridiculous

Woodhead Mon 05-Aug-13 12:27:23

YANBU at all. They insisted on using a title, and then wouldn't use your correct title. Beggars belief really.

The only time I don't mind being addressed as Mrs is when it's from french or german students, for whom it is a natural conversion from madam/frau.

Crinkle77 Mon 05-Aug-13 12:31:27

I think you really need to get over yourself. How is the person on the phone supposed to know that you would prefer to be called by your first name than Mrs

SelectAUserName Mon 05-Aug-13 12:34:47

It would have irritated me and I might have thought them rather ignorant if they'd specifically asked for a title then used a different one, but probably not to the extent that I'd start a thread on an internet forum about it.

Hope you get all the important stuff sorted out, OP, must be v stressful.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Mon 05-Aug-13 12:38:19

I'm plain old Ms, but I can understand this.

You're in a vulnerable position and you feel upset because they're not even bothering to get your title right. It is trivial but I can totally understand throwing a wobbly over this when there are other things on your plate you can't. I'm sorry to hear about your mum.

I think on the whole, if you weren't actually getting what you needed from the call, you might as well tell them what they did wrong before putting the phone down, yes. I don't get the issue with that really. It's up to them if they take it on board, but if someone works in customer services they need to get feedback about what people find annoying and what they don't.

skylerwhite Mon 05-Aug-13 12:42:04

Crinkle the OP told the customer service agent her title. They continued to call her Mrs.

I'm Dr White [maiden name]. I have never been called Mrs White. Mrs White is my mother, not me. Why is this so hard for people to grasp?

UnicornsPooGlitter Mon 05-Aug-13 12:43:36

YA definitely NBU. But threads about this topic in chat don't generally go well, let alone threads in AIBU.

Your title is Dr, and you had already told them that.

Miss / Mrs indicates marital status which is generally irrelevant; these titles will hopefully disappear over time.

Ms is okay at a push, but I prefer Dr Glitter.

lifesgreatquestions Mon 05-Aug-13 12:49:02

I'm another one who's got your back on this OP. My marital status is my own business, it's Dr if you ask, and if you don't, and call me Mrs Lifesgreat... I will correct you saying I didn't say I was married and offer you my first name to use. If they continued to get it wrong after that I would assume they were incompetent or rude. And I agree also that this would be less likely to happen with men. Our titles are important, whichever one we choose, they identify us, they are meaningful.

LadybirdsEverywhere Mon 05-Aug-13 13:01:09

It is not pretentious to use the title for which you have worked hard.
If the customer service person asked for your title, they should have been polite enough to use it.

Wuldric Mon 05-Aug-13 13:03:42

I am childishly delighted when Thistle Hotels refer to me as Dr Wuldric. I am not a medical doctor, nor do I have phd, so I am in no way entitled to the title they have chosen, somewhat randomly to bestow on me.


WestieMamma Mon 05-Aug-13 13:14:14

The issues isn't that I think Dr is a better title it is just that I hate being called Mrs (what the fuck is my marital status got to do with them anyway? )

It's got as much to do with them as your professional status. So unless you were contacting them in a professional capacity then YABU.

skylerwhite Mon 05-Aug-13 13:17:20

If the customer service agent wished to address the OP by her title, he/she should have used the title that the OP identified as her title. It's really not that complicated.

Woodhead Mon 05-Aug-13 13:20:42

Neither professional status or marital status should be of interest to a customer service department.

They should use Ms as default for adult woman (has the benefit of being universally correct), and I'm willing to bet the OP would not have objected to Ms in the slightest. Given that they asked though, they should then use the customer's preference, whatever that may be.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 13:28:56

Dr here too, to be honest, whether i want my title used changes with my mood grin Generally i don't sweat it but I swear sometimes people refer to me as Miss on purpose just to wind me up.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 13:30:59

funnily enough, i got told off by the receptionist at the emergency dentist because i used Miss rather than dr, then when i had to show my NHS card it had Dr on it. I tend to avoid using Dr at the doctors/dentist etc because the assumption is that I am a medical doctor and I'm not. She said that her brother had a PhD and she was so proud of him that everyone should be proud to use the title. She was nice smile

Sidge Mon 05-Aug-13 13:40:23


It doesn't matter whether your title is Miss, Mrs, Doctor or Baroness.

It's the fact that the call centre staff member asked you for your title and then failed to use it.

Why ask if you don't pay attention or intend to apply the knowledge you've gained by asking?

DoctorRobert Mon 05-Aug-13 13:41:35

You actually terminated the call because they got your title wrong? Yes, YWBU.

I worked in a call centre for nearly 10 years. I highly doubt they were "persisting" on calling you Mrs to annoy you - it sounds like a simple mistake. This was somebody probably feeling harrassed to adhere to call lengths & meet unreasonable targets or risk warnings and job loss. It's not an easy environment to work in. The vast majority of people they speak to will be a Mr or Mrs, so they've just gone onto autopilot.

You do not know what else might be going on in their life that could have caused them to be a bit distracted. I have sat on the phone speaking to rude, unreasonable customers whilst miscarrying. Really in the scheme of things does them failing to address you as Dr actually matter

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Mon 05-Aug-13 13:43:05

So you reckon that customers should spend their time making allowances and ignoring the call centre making mistakes because those workers might be having a rough day? confused

Think you've got the 'customer' and 'employee' thing the wrong way around there!

inallmydays Mon 05-Aug-13 13:46:48

lems sorry for being naive , but i thought all dr`s were medical , what can you be a dr in other than medical , genuine question , i just really dont know .

DoctorRobert Mon 05-Aug-13 13:49:37

LRD I think if people had actually worked in a call centre themselves then they would make more allowances, yes. Not for a "rough day" but for the overall working conditions.

Obviously mistakes which actually carry an impact should not be excused, but getting a name wrong doesn't really fall into that category imo

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Mon 05-Aug-13 13:51:36

I would certainly make allowances for working conditions, yes, I agree.

Btw, getting a name or a title wrong can have an impact - if you book something in one name and title and get it in another, you can have a load of hassle.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Mon 05-Aug-13 13:52:00

And I am sorry about your miscarriage, I should have said that. blush

StuntGirl Mon 05-Aug-13 13:54:12

Yes you're being very silly but of course you know that. It's just easier to direct your rage/annoyance/upset at this incident than any of the bigger stuff you're having to deal with right now.

Woodhead Mon 05-Aug-13 13:54:50

The title originated for academics, medics adopted it later.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 05-Aug-13 13:54:57

Doctor, I have worked in more than one call centre and boy did I have some 'rough days' and, um, below-brilliant working conditions.

No matter how pissed off and demotivated, though, if a customer corrected me on what to call them I managed to retain that information and get through the rest of the call using the title they had requested.

And getting a name wrong clearly did 'carry an impact' for the OP – enough of an impact for her to get impatient to the point of hanging up – and judging by this thread it would carry an impact for lots of people.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 13:57:06

inallmydays Someone has the title Dr if they have a PhD (Doctor of philosophy), it can actually be in any subject - mine is in biochemistry, so loosely medical, but I am not a medic. People can have PhDs in engineering, physics, English literature and Art, anythin really, and sometimes some really obscure stuff grin

It is people with PhDs who are historically proper Doctors, medical doctors are given Dr as an honorary title, apparently.

To be fair, if i hear the title Dr then i always assume medic, but its not always the case.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 13:57:46

cross posts woodhead smile

skylerwhite Mon 05-Aug-13 14:00:49

inallmydays Anyone with a PhD is a Dr. So you can have a PhD in English Lit, French Lit, Psychology, Physics, Political Science, any academic subject.

inallmydays Mon 05-Aug-13 14:01:23

thanks lems , they say you learn something everyday smile

skylerwhite Mon 05-Aug-13 14:01:56

Triple cross posts. In fact, in academic processions (graduations and the like), PhDs are given precedence over MDs. Because PhDs make a contribution to knowledge, whereas MDs master an existing body of knowledge, apparently.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Mon 05-Aug-13 14:02:53

I would always assume most Drs are medics, but it doesn't matter, does it?

I think we need to remember the OP's mother has recently died - that is a time when you feel vulnerable and I think you do naturally cling to identity.

I can well believe being called 'Mrs whatever' could be extremely upsetting, especially if that is the OP's mum's name, don't you think?

inallmydays Mon 05-Aug-13 14:02:54

thanks skyler really never knew that blush

mindyourownbusiness Mon 05-Aug-13 14:03:04

I am married but use my maiden name still.

The number of times I get called Mrs Mymaidenname is untrue, even though I have Ms or no title at all on all documentation. I always feel like saying 'yes I am married. but not to my father or my brother, we are a strange family ,I grant you but not that strange'. grin

I generally just say 'No, I'm not 'Mrs Mymaidenname' I am married but don't use my DHs name , so I am either 'Ms Mymaidenname' or just no prefix at all will do'

Sometimes they say 'right sorry, 'Mrs Mymaidenname' .........Aaarggggh

<and breathe>

Doesn't really bother me though , I usually give up after two corrections and answer to anything grin

On a side note DH has said we might aswell get divorced and go back to how we were as I have been saying I will change everything into my married name for years and just cant be arsed.

He is joking of course grin hmm

Arnie123 Mon 05-Aug-13 14:05:15

My title is Dr but call centres nearly always refer to me as Mrs. It has never bothered me. I do not get why you are so offended by this. You sound incredibly stuck up your own backside.
If you want to respond t

DoctorRobert Mon 05-Aug-13 14:05:30

Thank you LRD.

LadyClarice I agree that I would have retained that information too. I was always far better at the customer service than the sales aspect of my job. I can just see how easy it would be for somebody to go on autopilot & get it wrong, and I really don't think it's cause for hanging up / creating an AIBU.

Arnie123 Mon 05-Aug-13 14:06:11 respond to this post CALL me Dr Arnie...or else I will have a hissy fit

clarinetV2 Mon 05-Aug-13 14:08:30

YANBU. The person you were speaking to was discourteous in not remembering your title even after you'd reminded them. Discourtesy is not acceptable from a customer service department and you were not unreasonable in being hacked off, or in terminating the call.

I'm also a Dr (not a medical one) and it happens quite a lot that when I answer the phone, people ask to speak to my husband, assuming he must be the Dr. It's quite funny as they are usually very apologetic and mortified when I say, 'No, I'm Dr Clarinet', so I don't get bothered by it, but it is indicative of the assumptions people make. Those assumptions may or may not have been made by the person you were speaking to, there's no way of knowing - the fact, however, remains that they did not treat your call appropriately.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 05-Aug-13 14:14:23

I don't blame the OP for hanging up after they persistently got her title wrong after being corrected.

And I think people have created AIBUs for much less grin

PurpleRayne Mon 05-Aug-13 14:38:24

I rang up my broadband provider to make some account changes. I was told my husband would have to ring. Erm, I am the account holder. But I have the title Dr.

squoosh Mon 05-Aug-13 14:42:09

You were told your husband would have to ring even though you're the account holder? Who is your broadband supplier, the year 1952?

PurpleRayne Mon 05-Aug-13 14:45:09

Yes. The assumption was that Dr.PurpleRayne, the account holder, must be my husband even though I had correctly introduced myself at the start of the call!

SuperStrength Mon 05-Aug-13 15:40:08

I would hazard a guess that they have 'insisted' on a title as their credit check & fraud detection systems are tightly integrated with their CRM system which holds your contact details. If they were to record to incorrect title, this would probably flag an alert.

As with most AIBU, there is a perfectly logical explanation why something that seems unreasonable, actually isn't.

Once, when working on a rentention system for a call centre, I overheard an agent trying to deal with a customer who didn't want a title. They compromised on using a . instead of a title, this lasted about 30 seconds before triggering a fraud alert. The poor CS agent must have wasted 30 minutes trying to placate them. I think in situation like this, the business in question is better off refusing business rather than taking pointless calls.

Personally I think YABU as YOU are getting your title wrong, it is clearly PRINCESS Gasman not Dr. grin

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 05-Aug-13 16:32:38

Super, insisting on a title is fine but obviously they should then get the title the caller gives them correct! I think their actions WERE unreasonable and I don't buy your 'logical explanation'.

chattychattyboomba Mon 05-Aug-13 17:53:34

I think in a professional situation Dr is appropriate (for example, if you are treating a patient)... But just because you are a Dr doesn't make you NOT a Mrs, Ms, Miss, Mr etc.
on the other hand our insurance called after speaking to my husband- "is that 'miss' marriedname"
Errr no, as you just spoke to my HUSBAND who referred to me as his wife it's MRS marriedname...
Not so much a big deal as for 'respect' but just thought rather thick and incompetent... And worrying from a company where details do matter grin

Arnie123 Mon 05-Aug-13 17:58:29

I have a friend who has a psychology PhD who never uses his title especially on air flights as he is concerned someone may ask him for medical assistance in an emergency.

Trills Mon 05-Aug-13 18:09:11

Both Dr and Mrs are titles that one is not born with - one acquires them by some action (getting a particular degree, marrying someone).

It is no more pretentious to insist upon Dr than it is to insist upon Mrs.

It is not pretentious at all to say "Dr" or to say "Mrs" when a title is asked for.

cardamomginger Mon 05-Aug-13 18:18:40

I kept my name when I married DH, but still get called Mrs Ginger. It does kind of irritate me, but the payoff comes when I'm with DH and he sometimes gets called Mr Ginger.

Another thing that annoys me is that everyone assumes DH has a PhD. When it's actually ME who's working towards a PhD. Why not assume that I've got a PhD already/ Why him? What's so flippin' special about him?

(I quite happily admit to being an irritable pedant.)

slapandpickle Mon 05-Aug-13 18:32:57

I use Ms when I am speaking to a woman and do not know her preferred title or marital status, never had any objections, was once gently corrected by a Rev though!

BikeRunSki Mon 05-Aug-13 18:42:03

I am a Dr and a Mrs. I hate being called Dr in a non.professional/ academic situation, where it is irrelevant.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Mon 05-Aug-13 18:44:16

arnie - reassure your mate this is a myth.

They don't do it like that, and your passport (as you will see if you look) doesn't have a title on it.

Your mate can keep using his title.

BikeRunSki Mon 05-Aug-13 18:45:42

Arnie it has happened to me too! I got my PhD very shortly before I needed to renew my passport, so giddly put it as Dr. Next flight I was asked to attend to someone, and had to say I.was a Dr of Geology.

BikeRunSki Mon 05-Aug-13 18:47:14

My old passport did have a title on, my flight was booked with it, and Easyjet had clocked it.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Mon 05-Aug-13 18:47:42

How odd.

When did they stop putting titles on passports, do you know? Mine has never had one.

The only place I've ever heard this story is on MN, and when I've asked staff on flights if it's true, they thought it was ridiculous, as they explained they actually ask medics to identify themselves instead.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Mon 05-Aug-13 18:48:17

Cross post.

Huh. I must be too young (refreshingly! grin)

BikeRunSki Mon 05-Aug-13 18:49:41

I might have just used Dr to book my flight, to.tie up with my bank cards.

ZingWidge Mon 05-Aug-13 18:50:59

Dr. Who will never get a credit card.

-your name sir?


-you sir, your surname please

- it's who

- you! your surname please... erm.. how about your full name please?

- well my name is Doctor Who

- no, I meant your full name, sorry... erm, let's try this, may I have your first name please?

- it's Doctor

- ok, so you are a Dr, that's your title, now can I have your first name please

it's Doctor

you mean you are Dr Doctor?

no, I'm Doctor Who

???? <hangs up>

that's all I have to add

ProudAS Mon 05-Aug-13 18:55:30

Titles may not matter in the grand scheme of things but if the OP has provided her details the company should address her accordingly.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Mon 05-Aug-13 18:59:52

bike - or it could be they used to do it that way, and changed it because of confusions like this? I can imagine that TBH.

Sorry, I'm derailing anyway.

StuntGirl Mon 05-Aug-13 19:00:06

I once worked in a shop where signing people up for mobile phones required a large amount of personal data. On asking one particular man's details I said "So it's Mr...?" and he haughtily replied "Dr actually", complete with nose in the air and snide look my way.

A few options later when selecting profession I asked cheerily "So, doctor is it?" and he went bright red and mumbled that he was an engineer. It was completely irrelevant to the whole damn thing as I found out several options later that all his bank cards and ID were in Mr, which resulted in a failure on the credit check as the details didn't match up. I felt it served him right for being a snotty fucker.

VixZenFenchell Mon 05-Aug-13 20:31:23

I'm Dr in working hours, Mrs at home, "Muuuummmmmeeeee!" far too often (mostly when the teddy bear is lost), "DS1 / DS2's Mum" on the school run, VixZen to friends and their children and "Dearie" to most of my elderly patients. Lots of identity, no need to get hung up on one in particular.

I disagree with the thought that you'd want to broadcast your Dr-ness to the world - yes it's a 5-6 year stretch of study, yes there is lots of training afterwards - but I chose to do it. I always feel faintly embarrassed when people ask me what I do, I tend to answer "oh, I work up at the hospital".

With the passport thing - on the RFID page there is a line saying "the holder is a medical doctor" in caps, so it's flagged somewhere. Tickets are often booked in Dr for international conferences so I go by either Dr or Mrs depending on where I'm going & what for.

Although when we were entering the country the border control woman initially refused to let us in because I said I was coming to work and DH was tagging along to look after the boys (my passport had a work visa in) and she got snotty because surely DH was the one with the work visa because it said "work as a doctor" - to which I said "that's right, that's me" and she blushed profusely and waved us in smile

ChristineDaae Mon 05-Aug-13 20:34:33

I work in customer service, it happens sometimes. Did it honestly bother you that much?! It's just a title.

HoikyPoiky Mon 05-Aug-13 20:37:45

I knew an African guy whose first name was Doctor in South Africa. I think he was from Zimbabwe. confused It's no different from all the Hunters, Taylor's and Tylors really. (phonetic spellings grin )

Oh dear, bit pompous don't you think! I work in customer services and your just being difficult.

As long as they help and are polite does it really matter. They would just think your strange and move onto the next call hmm

Get over it ..

ZingWidge Mon 05-Aug-13 22:30:05

<waves to VixZen> remember me?

I don't think yabu. You have the right to decide what your title is and if someone asks you for your title then refuses to use it, yanbu to be annoyed.

I hate it when people assume I am a Miss, or call me Miss when they know I am a Mrs

Technotropic Mon 05-Aug-13 23:05:53

"My name is Bouquet, Hyacinth Bouquet"

"Bucket madam?"

"No Bouquet" wink

All I can say is you're lucky you're not a professional engineer who's title has been bastardised by the entire world. So basically if you're one of the clever men/women who designs the myriad of instruments/machines that enables Drs and consultants to perform their magic (that would be almost impossible without such tools) and get branded the same as a fecking washing machine repair person then you may have cause to be upset.

Till then YABU lol

Alohomora Mon 05-Aug-13 23:33:50

YABU - OH has a Dr. title and doesn't give a figs, and I have friends who work in customer service and the customers who phone up or fill in a web form and put their title and insist on being called Dr. are usually the most demanding and unreasonable customers to deal with.


LimitedEditionLady Mon 05-Aug-13 23:37:53

Sorry if this has been said but when i get someone at work introducing themselves as DR blah blah I just think they are being a bit show offy. Does it insult you to be mrs or miss or ms for the sake of one transaction?At my work the title isnt really of much importance and I wouldnt go out of my way to change it for the sake of it to be perfectly honest.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 05-Aug-13 23:46:09

Omg,its about the op getting mad about their title and im reading up a bit and reading bits of their life.So im.going to answer the original post,YABU,its not that big a deal.Id be more offended to be called MR.

EBearhug Mon 05-Aug-13 23:55:37

If I had gained a PhD, I'd want to be called Doctor, just because it's not a gender-specific title. Mostly though, I don't want to use any title at all, which is rarely an option on online forms.

However, if I have confirmed my preferred term of address with customer services, I do expect them to listen to that and use it, so I don't think the OP is being unreasonable.

kali110 Tue 06-Aug-13 00:37:07

Sorry for your loss but i think ywbu. Gone through few things you are but ending a call because you felt they were imcompetent just because they got your title wrong bu. plus not going to be fun having to contact them again now.

FreeWee Tue 06-Aug-13 02:18:14

If they can't be bothered to listen to you when you correct them using the wrong title are they really listening to the call? If they were paying attention to the caller they would have heard her correct them so perhaps it's a wider reflection of their listening/customer service skills? I have corrected an Indian call centre pronunciation of my name several times which they ignored and continued with their version. It wound me up too as it showed they weren't listening. I'm with the OP on this one. Call centres need to listen more not just go through their script.

ComposHat Tue 06-Aug-13 05:03:57

I'm midway through a PhD in History, Each to their own, but if I ever get to the other side, I really couldn't give two hoots about using the title outside of an academic context.

I'd think of it as a work based title that is important in that context but trivial outside it. For example people I know in the forces will be known as Cpl. Smith at work but Mr/Ms Smith outside of work.

What relevance does it have to amazon or tesco clubcard or the AA? My sister who has finished her PhD phoned up all of these to tell them of her newly aquire d status. She went a bit cat's bum face when I ssked her if she thouggt she'd get extra clubcard points.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 06-Aug-13 10:11:16

'If they can't be bothered to listen to you when you correct them using the wrong title are they really listening to the call? If they were paying attention to the caller they would have heard her correct them so perhaps it's a wider reflection of their listening/customer service skills?'

EXACTLY. It's not the title so much, it's the lack of customer service from a, er, customer-services department.

*'when i get someone at work introducing themselves as DR blah blah I just think they are being a bit show offy'*; well, that's your problem really, not theirs.

'As long as they help and are polite does it really matter' In this case the OP said they weren't being helpful. Insult to injury.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 10:24:24

I dont have a problem thanks,i was being honest i quite frankly couldnt care less if someones title is dr.At my work every customer is the same,i dont need to know their title because they will recieve the same service.Its not something to overly stress,which is what they do.

PrettyKitty1986 Tue 06-Aug-13 10:32:54

I speak to many, many 'Mrs's' and 'Mr's' and 'Miss's' a week in a customer-service setting.
I speak to very few Dr's, Lady's, General's etc. A couple a month maybe.

When I do speak to a 'Dr' for instance, sometimes a 'Mr' or 'Mrs' will slip out. It has no bearing on how I deal with the person's query or issue. It does not mean I am shit at my job. It means I am human.

Having someone say in a snotty tone Actually it's Lady X, not Mrs makes me want to call them nothing but Mrs throughout. Does it really make any bloody difference? Get over yourself.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 10:35:31

Yes prettykitty does make you think well whats the big issue really?

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Tue 06-Aug-13 10:38:22

It might matter to the OP because if her mum has just died and she's being called 'Mrs Yourname', it will feel as if someone is talking to her dead mum.

I'm not clear that's what's happened, I just think that would naturally be pretty upsetting (though obviously the call centre wouldn't know).

FWIW I used to agree with the 'oh, you're just being a bit pretentious/showy-offy' people about using earned titles, and then I realized that far fewer women use 'Dr' than men, and that does actually bother me. So I think it is in general worthwhile for someone who has an earned title in a field where women don't usually work to use it.

I also think people are ignoring the fact the OP said very clearly that the company were being unhelpful in actually dealing with my problem.

It's not that she hung up in a fit of pique because they got her name wrong. She was hanging up anyway and she told them it was because they'd fucked up her name.

PrettyKitty1986 Tue 06-Aug-13 10:43:08

It's not that she hung up in a fit of pique because they got her name wrong. She was hanging up anyway and she told them it was because they'd fucked up her name

How pointless. The very fact that she told the individual that she was hanging up because of the name-misuse is ridiculous.
Having worked in a call-centre for 8 years I can guarantee you that that rep turned to their neighbour and said words along the lines of 'What a stuck up cow, fucking idiot hung up thank God'.

Had she remained calm and adult professional - possibly asked to speak to the individuals manager - then the issue of poor service would probably be dealt with.

What has been achieved by her hanging up? Her having to make a repeat call is what!

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Tue 06-Aug-13 10:46:28

Well, or them losing business, maybe?

I'm not defending it as a massively mature thing to do, just saying I see why she might do it.

I do get what you're saying about people having unprofessional attitudes, but that's not exactly her fault, is it?

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 10:51:50

But the op says thats its because they got her name wrong more strongly than anything else?i still dont think that you can tie in all the personal problems to justify what the issue is.Has the op just started using the title dr as its a painful connection to her mother? this was a post that op grts anmoyed that oeople dont call her doctor.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 10:57:16

But why wouldnt you just say im hanging up because of the service if it was the service?

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Tue 06-Aug-13 10:58:43

Well, I think because she was cross and upset.

And yes, doubtless it was a bit daft, but I don't quite see why she deserves such a mass of comments making out she practically killed a kitten in front of them.

It could be that, to her, them being a bit useless on the name just felt like one more bit of evidence they didn't really give a fuck.

kali110 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:03:09

Wondering if fact they got her name wrong angered her so much that wouldn't matter if they were giving her great service she wouldnt think it because she was so annoyed.

Woodhead Tue 06-Aug-13 11:35:40

Limited Edition
gasmanMon 05-Aug-13 10:47:38
I didn't want to be called Dr. I just didn't want to be called Mrs.

The Dr. element of this thread is a red-herring. The OP doesn't want to be called Mrs. This is a perfectly valid position, if there is a single title for men (Mr.) why are there still three (Mrs/Ms/Miss) for women all of which have connotations. I would be annoyed if a call centre didn't use the most neutral and most generally correct option (i.e. Ms). If I was called Mrs. Mysurname, I'd correct them as it is simply incorrect usage. In the same way, a male colleague with an Italian first name is often assumed to be female, he corrects Ms. with Mr. but noone would accuse him of being prissy for making the correction.

In addition, I suspect LRD has made the correct interpretation that having just lost her mother, being addressed as her mum was probably addressed was deeply upsetting for the OP.

OP-so sorry for your loss.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 11:56:46

Not what the ORIGINAL post said.
My comment was that i myself didnt see until now that anyone would would have a issue with not being called dr other than being snotty.I didnt say that id never think otherwise i was saying that from the person dealing with the dr person thats how it looks.if i thought of every person indepth that i came across id have a breakdown.see hundreds of people a month.A person is a person unless i know them.

Woodhead Tue 06-Aug-13 12:09:59

OK Limited I agree there is pertinent information in addition to the OP, and from the OP alone it might seem that the Dr. bit was the point of annoyance.

In terms of policy for call centre's it would seem reasonable to use Ms. as a default and Mrs. only on request surely? That seems straightforward when dealing with countless faceless individuals. I do realise that working in a call centre is a mainly thankless task.

eccentrica Tue 06-Aug-13 12:17:36


I am also a Dr and the only time I ever use it is if someone is being really sniffy and patronising to me, and talking to me like I'm a pig-ignorant teenager. It's a nice way to stop them talking down to you and tends to bring people up short.

Having said that, before I had my PhD I also used to correct people who called me "Mrs" or "Miss" and insist on "Ms". Because Mrs sounds like my mum, Miss sounds like I'm 6, and it's none of their business if I'm married or not.

But not in a million years would I be offended enough to hang up, nor to correct someone more than once.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 12:24:30

Ok,it just seems that if there was a bigger problem enough to write a post,wouldnt that have been included not added i have read the bit posted after it just makes me think you know what op?you just admitted you were being oversensitive.As much as customers have no sympathy for the people they ring up and take there anger out on at call centres ( they think it doesnt mean jot that they might be having a bad time) why the bloody hell should the person who works there overly think about implication of every tiny thing they do?i bet if they ask miss,ms,mrs theyll still get asked "what do you need to know that for?" If youve got an actual issue you need help with then thats what is concentrated on tbh.

Bosgrove gosh if I were a doctor and my surname was Pain I would INSIST on the title. Who wouldn't want to be Dr Pain!

Woodhead Tue 06-Aug-13 12:41:56

I suspect if you're stressed enough while writing a post, it's easy to leave out pertinent facts and to then clarify later.

Of course call centre workers shouldn't have to think over every implication of their script; but the organisation has a responsibility to ensure that the training/script given to their workers takes equality guidance into account.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 12:50:41

Cant see the point of starting a post and missing out the actual point but then again its clear to me that that was her point,she wanted to be called quite sure the op wrote that she thought she WBU after,pretty clear to me.anyway nice talking to you.

edam Tue 06-Aug-13 13:03:25

I think the Dr element is important - because I suspect there may be some (possibly unconscious) sexism at work here. There's still an assumption by many people that Dr = male.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 06-Aug-13 13:17:44

In customer services you're supposed to be, within reason, helpful and obliging to the customer. I don't think it's unreasonable for someone to ask to be called by a particular title or name. I do think it's unreasonable for someone to hear the request and ignore it.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 14:20:57

I think its unreasonable how people presume it was purposely ignored,im sure these people know how to do their dont know whether they did or didnt fo havent evidence,all ive evidence that the op was having a mega bad time for all you know she may have rung up ranting and snapping (i repeat may have) and they might have heard correctly,it nit picking.ive never once got mad when ive been mistakenly given my partners surname or had mrs instead of miss.Its not a big deal its not going to change anything in her life its one company ( sounds kak so she probably wont use it again)

skylerwhite Tue 06-Aug-13 14:30:00

The OP was either purposefully ignored, or not listened to properly. In both cases, the customer service agent wasn't doing their job properly.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 06-Aug-13 14:30:59

Exactly as skyler says. And I wasn't assuming that the request was 'purposely ignored'.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 14:32:28

You said "hear the request and ignore it"?

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 14:36:04

Anyhow nice talking to you all,its gone a bit stale now pastures new and all

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 06-Aug-13 15:10:02

Fair enough. I'll rephrase: I do think it's unreasonable for someone to hear the request and either ignore it or not listen to/understand/action it properly.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 15:21:23

Thats fair enough,that in that case would be unreasonable

Trills Wed 07-Aug-13 08:08:52

What relevance does it have to amazon or tesco clubcard or the AA?

What relevance does it have to Amazon or Tesco or the AA whether I am Mr or Mrs or Miss or Ms? None at all - they just want something to call you by - they don't need to know my gender or marital status - so why not use Dr if you are entitled to it?

fluffyraggies Wed 07-Aug-13 08:29:13

Wondering if the OP would have hung up due to being called Miss instead of Mrs. Or Mrs instead of Ms. Or Ms instead of Mrs?

Or was it just because of the Dr. bit?

Much more annoying that the customer service was shit.

John Lewis?

My mother is a Lady, FIL is a Wing Commander, SIL and one BIL are Dr.s (non medical) another is a Professor.

None of them use their titles in daily life. Up to them, yes. And up to the OP, of course. But IMO it's a bit up yourself to insist on it.

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