"Dear Mrs John Smith...hows our customer service?"

(41 Posts)
heidihole Fri 30-Aug-13 09:53:23

Just a rant really as DH has just rolled his eyes and said "does it really matter"?

DH and I bought a house this week. Solicitors needed both our passports and utility bills. Our names are Mr John Smith and Miss Heidi Hole.

Today we received the deeds to the house in the post along with a letter to Mr and Mrs John Smith. "blah blah, pleased to confirm completion on the property, enclose deeds etc etc. Our firm is now featured on a website highlighting local business services. We'd be so grateful etc etc if you take some time to put some comments up about our services"

I'm so pissed off. I just gave them £2,000, they have my passport and utility bill so no danger they don't know my name and they have the CHEEK to get not only my surname wrong but also my first name (i'm not john)

Then to add insult to injury they ask me to write them a recommendation. I want to email them, in a friendly, non-irate way and point out how bloody pissed off they should take more care in future to avoid a brick through their window other customers being insulted in this way.

So many men IMO really fail to understand this issue.

I wish now (12 years later) I had never changed my name, but that's another thread!

It is a wishy-washy STFU apology letter though isn't it? One written by someone who has no intention of changing the way he does things.

My PIL would not see any problem with you being Mrs John Smith sad

samandi Fri 06-Sep-13 21:59:05

They sound like utter morons.

CaptChaos Thu 05-Sep-13 22:34:46

It doesn't actually read like an apology at all, more like a sop to the silly woman.

I apologise, but......

A paragraph stating why you should understand that they don't have to use your name, don't you know they're busy????

Then another wet apology. I doubt they've learned anything.

All in all, not the most grovelly letter ever sent. I still wouldn't be able to recommend them, and would probably name and shame on EDS.

heidihole Thu 05-Sep-13 22:03:01

Now you've all made me read it again i'm a bit put out! totally doesn't seem as grovelling as i thought. more like "yeah yeah yeah but i didn't know your name so had to guess, and why wouldn't i guess at Mrs John Smith? Plus my boss agreed to us dropping a key off which i don't normally have to do. huff huff stomp stomp"

ach. cant win 'em all....

PoppyAmex Thu 05-Sep-13 14:44:46

Sadly it doesn't read like a grovelling excuse, they actually point out they went above and beyond the call of duty for you and sound seriously arsy between the lines. Bastards.

cflops Thu 05-Sep-13 12:49:13

Similar thing happened to me with a boiler repair company. They only ever dealt with me yet the invoice was addressed to a Mr 'my surname'. I wrote this email.

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to express concern and disappointment at the incorrect addressing of an invoice.
Although your company has only ever dealt with myself Ms Claire xxx, the invoice has been addressed to 'Mr xxx'
The miriade of assumptions your administration staff have made is staggering.
One that I am married, two that I have taken my husbands surname, three women don't live alone, four women don't live with other women, five men pay the bills. Have I time travelled and woken up in 1952?
Hopefully this is just an oversight, but I'm sure there are many other of your customers for whom this is an issue.

EduCated Wed 04-Sep-13 07:57:07

What have they actually apologised for? It's bizarrely written.

K8Middleton Wed 04-Sep-13 07:45:57

I agree it is a crap apology. It's failed to take on board the points and tried to make it sound like your fault.

Sometimes it's best just to say sorry and admit you were wrong.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 04-Sep-13 07:39:25

It's not that much of an apology. The person who wrote to you seems to have realized they should have checked your name, but don't seem to have retailers that Mr. & Mrs. John Smith is a rude way to address a couple who do share a surname. They say the error is down to having only spoken with your husband, insinuating they assumed you shared a surname - but the form of address they used was rude regardless

PosyNarker Tue 03-Sep-13 20:33:21

Well done & glad they apologised.

I was very cross on hols recently when we checked into our hotel & couldn't find our guest card / guest information. I had booked and paid for the holiday as Ms P Narker.

My DP and I checked in & filled in guest cards as Ms P Narker & Mr N Parker. I came down to pick up guest cards and was told there was no couple by the name of Narker staying at the hotel. Turned out they'd taken the cards and changed all of our details or Parker, despite only having credit card details in my name.

I think this sort of shit is sadly very common but IMO there's a huge difference between assuming you are Mrs Smith and knowing that you are not and changing it anyway. That IMO is rude as well as sexist.

IrisWildthyme Tue 03-Sep-13 20:29:46

Glad they apologised. I can't stand this sort of thing. Unfortunately I recently discovered that in some schools children are still being taught "Mr & Mrs John Smith" as the correct way to address a married couple, even now!!

tribpot Tue 03-Sep-13 20:12:47

Very glad to hear that your DH's judicious rewriting of history has put him on the winning side wink

Extremely glad the estate agency apologised - if they're on Twitter it might be worth commending them to @EverydaySexism as an example of how to deal with unintended offence.

bemybebe Tue 03-Sep-13 11:21:37

Brilliant letter OP!

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 03-Sep-13 11:17:05

Nice one. You've taught them that it's not acceptable to just shove a woman's identity in the bin in favour of her husband's. useful that.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 03-Sep-13 10:02:33

Well done!

heidihole Tue 03-Sep-13 09:58:35

DH has now read this thread and has back peddled furiously. Claims never to have trivialised it, agrees wholeheartedly etc etc...funny that...faced with the unanimous support of all you posters, he suddenly agrees! smile He's a good guy, just struggles sometimes to fight off the brainwashing of society even though he knows deep down what is right and what isn't.

heidihole Tue 03-Sep-13 09:56:45

Update: A grovelling reply. smile

Dear Ms Hole

I sincerely apologise for any offence my letter may have caused but am somewhat concerned that you are “hugely lacking confidence” in our services.

My colleague XXX has carried out a very thorough investigation into title, reported in full and liaised with (DH) throughout this matter to bring the purchase by (your company) to completion. The error that has arisen is purely through my own fault having only liaised with (your DH) during my colleague, XXX's, absence on annual leave during a somewhat busy period, to include visiting your managing agent, to drop off keys, a service we do not normally offer.

Again my apologies, which was not intended to offend.

Regards

-----
I'm happy now, and hopefully if it's educated one person not to use Mr & Mrs John Smith it's worth it. Snail steps!

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 02-Sep-13 17:13:21

Ooh btw Heidi - I posted on MN ages ago about a friend named Heidi who came close to marrying a Mr Hole, and never even realised the joke.

K8Middleton Mon 02-Sep-13 16:26:26

I believe I will not be your only client under the age of 80 who would find this hugely offensive.

Snurk grin

Yanbu. I would be furious with dh if he trivialised my identity and existence as a separate entity from him like yours has.

bigkidsdidit Mon 02-Sep-13 16:21:38

That's a great letter, well done.

I believe in the broken windows theory of feminism that it is only in pulling up little things like this repeatedly that big changes will be achieved.

Lio Mon 02-Sep-13 16:17:48

Brava, Heidi. I look forward to hearing how they reply to you.

eurochick Mon 02-Sep-13 14:21:17

Good letter. I would be ragey about this too.

Re: reversing the situation to ask how a man would feel - it is not a fair comparison as men don't have centuries of history regarding them as a mere chattel to contend with.

ChunkyPickle Mon 02-Sep-13 14:15:31

The trouble in my experience is that DP doesn't mind if he's called by the wrong name - it would be funny to him because it doesn't ever happen and is clearly a mistake, and he'd get a grovelling apology.

In my case, it happens all the time so funnily enough I have less of a sense of humour over it.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 02-Sep-13 12:21:06

Brilliant letter, good on you. Have you asked how your husband would have felt if it was addressed to Mr & Mrs Heidi Hole? Not so great I imagine.

Rollermum Mon 02-Sep-13 12:02:35

That's a great response and good on you for sending it. I let this sort of thing slide too often.

Hope you get a good reply soon.

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