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Names

September 12, 2012

Here’s a good one. With the surname of “Rich” I’m pretty used to the jokes – “are you,” extracts of “Fiddler On The Roof” etc. I just walk away and leave the joker… lying there… Actually, I usually just don’t buy the item I was planning to.

Anyway, yesterday, I received a holiday brochure. Addressed to “Mr NOT Rich.”

Now, that’s pushing it. Had some bored student been brightening his holiday job by entering “funny” names? Do the company know that might be happening, and that the Data Protection Act is being violated? Was it a sick joke based on the fact that the last time a member of my family travelled with the company they were mugged on the trip out and lost all their holiday money (luckily, “Credit Card Sentinel” came to the rescue – amazing outfit). And to add insult to injury, the company tried to charge them £2 for a replacement membership card…

Or was it all of the above?

Anyway, I got a number off the internet and rang them. By chance, the number connected to the press office, and the person who replied swung into action. Promising a call back before the end of the day, they kept their word. Within the hour, the “Operations Director” himself was on the phone, and I could feel the ‘red face’ in his voice as he explained what had actually happened. (You’ll like this, not a lot, but you’ll like it – thanks PD)…

… Somebody in my family had rung them for a quote for a trip. They’d not given an initial, just a surname, and so the computer had recorded “NOT GIVEN” in the “First Name” box.

Yes, you’ve guessed it. When it came to printing labels, “Given” was taken as the middle name and ignored… but “NOT” was taken as the first name…

If my surname had been “Smith” or something, it wouldn’t have mattered. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, so it did!

In true British fashion we had a great laugh and good chat about the travel business, and after a promise that the IT department would take a look at things, the call ended.

Well, I liked the story anyway.

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