Hi, I’m a stranger! Give me your social security number!


We all love to harp on how dumb call center customers can be, but you know what’s worse? When the call center itself is dumb. That’s like the difference between a McDonald’s customer not knowing what a cheeseburger is, and the McDonald’s cashier not knowing what a cheeseburger is. And I’ll never get over how monumentally stupid the script we have to follow when we’re doing outbound calls is. (I work for a college loan company, btw)

Worker: “Hello, my name is [employee] and I work for [company]. Am I speaking to [customer]?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Worker: “Thank you. Can you please provide me with your social security number and your date of birth?”

Yeah. Just like that. This will almost always be followed up with…

Customer: “Why do you need that?”

Worker: “As a security verification.”

Customer: “What’s the reason for the call?”

Worker: “I can’t tell you that until I’ve verified you with your social security number and date of birth.”

Customer: “Are you my loan servicer?”

Worker: “I can’t tell you that either.”

Customer: “What *can* you tell me?”

Worker: “That my name is [employee] and that I work for [company].”

Customer: “How do I know that’s true?”

Worker: (knowing full well how ridiculous this is but will get written up and fired if they say anything that would actually help) “Because I work for [company].”

(Repeat until customer gets mad and hangs up)

Look, I get it. I know we can’t just start babbling about people’s sensitive personal information without verifying that whoever’s on the other end of the line is actually the person that information belongs to. But I swear whoever wrote that script was *trying* to sound as much like a Nigerian Prince scam as humanly possible. You would have to be *INSANE* to give out your ssn and date of birth to anyone who asks for it like that! And what’s worse, the only people who don’t seem to realize that are the upper management bozos who write the scripts!


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Anxiety and Depressed

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