"What? Are you seriously going to reject a £90 order because you can’t speak to my mum?"

Used to work for a mail order company on their sales line and had a woman ring up to place an order.

ME: Good afternoon, my name is ###, can I take your customer reference or postcode?

CUSTOMER: (gives postcode)

ME: Thanks. Can I take your name please?

CUSTOMER: Look, I’m actually calling on behalf of my mother, Mrs Customer.

ME: Okay. If you are calling on her behalf, then I would actually need to speak to her to place the order.

CUSTOMER: Are you serious? She’s given me permission to place the order. Besides, you can’t speak to her because she’s in hospital having an operation.

ME: (trying to find another solution) In that case, would you be paying on your own card? Because I could take your details and start an order in…

CUSTOMER: No, I will be paying for it on her card. She’s asked me to use her card to pay for our Christmas shopping.

ME: I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to proceed with the order then. To take payment, I would actually need to speak with the card holder.

CUSTOMER: That’s ridiculous! Are you seriously going to reject a £90 order because you can’t speak to my mum? How would your manager feel about that?

(At this point, I’m growing frustrated and trying to hide how pissed off I am. I’m not taking the sale because I don’t want to but rather because I’d be breaching the Data Protection Act and PCI DSS regulations by doing so. It’s worse that she’s trying to tempt/threaten me with the amount that the order is for; unaware that I don’t even earn any sales commission. Even if I did, breaking the law would not make that sale worthwhile.)

ME: Look… I can only apologise. For data protection and payment security reasons, I cannot take your order today. As I said before, I need to speak with the account holder and card holder.

CUSTOMER: Well I can just place the order online then and you won’t be able to tell the difference…


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