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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.


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.

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?

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

Thats fair enough,that in that case would be unreasonable

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 14:36:04

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

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

You said "hear the request and ignore it"?

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

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

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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

BitchyRestingFace Tue 06-Aug-13 12:35:54

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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!

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