How many of you who are reading this had to prove you are who you say you are?
Most of the time I have to prove I am who I say I am on the phone because of my deep voice. I just had legally changed my name and I was calling all my credit card companies to change the name on my accounts. All the credit card companies, but one required me to fill out a form and send in along with a copy of my Probate court order. The one company allowed me to change my name over the phone (which I felt was not a very secure was to do it) and the person I was talking to hard a very hard time understanding English. They not only changed my first name but they also changed my last name and when I called them back to fix the mistake, they didn’t believe that I was Diana and transferred my to security. They froze my account until they figured it out and they never did straighten it out 100%, they have my last as my first name. When I get mail from them, it always says “Ms (Last name) Diana”
Another time I was having a problem with on-line banking and I called them to help me. As soon as I said I was Diana, the operator said she had to transfer me to security. When the security operator came on the phone, I said look at my history for July 2007… pause, “Oh, how can we help you today Ms. L.” I had doctors’ offices call me and refuse to give me the information because of HIPAA. I had the cable company refuse to send out a repair person because only the account holder could schedule and appointment, now why on earth do they require that? (One time had my phone service go out of order and they asked me if I was calling from that number? Duh, if the phone is not working, how can I be calling from that number?)
When I applied to college, my transcripts were in my male name and when I got home one day, on my answering machine there was a message questioned my transcripts. So I went the Admission’s office the next day, as soon as they looked at me, they said there was no problem, but I gave them a copy of my Probate court order, just in case.
When I was laid off from work, the next business day I changed my name, I told my former employer about my name change and I had a ton of paperwork to fill out. When my severance ran out and I went on COBRA, all of a sudden they were using my male name again on the paperwork. Emailing back in forth to corporate headquarters, I still couldn’t get it straighten out. So I offered to contact the HR office in the division that was still here in CT, so I called my friend in HR and she straightened it out. She told me that my records showed that “Donald” was laid off, Diana was hired back and that I was my own dependant on my insurance. I asked if that meant that I should be getting back pay? She said no dice.
Of course, sometimes it does work out in my favor, when I get calls for Ms. L, I can screen my own calls. If it’s someone trying to sell something, I say she’s not here.