Rebel Rules: the Gall Centre

Witty banter with Trevor from the Gall* Centre.

“Good morning, may I speak to Mr McRiven please.”
“Yes, speaking.”
“Good morning Mr. McRiven, my name is Trevor and I’m calling from your bank. Before I proceed I need to ask a few security questions.”
“OK.”
“Thank you. Am I speaking to Mr. McRiven?”
“Yes.”
“May I check your date of birth.”
“Go ahead, knock yourself out.”
Silence . . . “I’m sorry sir, please may I check your date of birth?”
“I’ve already told you it’s OK.”
“Yes, but will you confirm it for security.”
“For security, yes, I certainly will.”
“Thank you sir, and your date of birth is . . .”
Silence . . . and then eventually I have to say something, “With that introduction, I was half expecting a drum roll, what happened? I thought you wanted to confirm my date of birth.”
“I do sir, but you must confirm your date of birth, not me.”
“Oh, I thought you wanted to check you’ve got my correct date of birth. I waited for you to tell me so I could confirm it or, well, not confirm it depending upon whether you’re right or not.”
“But sir, I already know your correct date of birth.”
“Blimey, that’s a coincidence, so do I!”
Silence . . . “Well, sir can you could please confirm it for me?”
“I thought it was for security.”
“It is for security, sir.”
“OK then, you go first because I definitely know what my date of birth is, but someone at the bank might have written it down wrong or you could be telling me fibs and trying to trick me.”
“I’m not tricking you, I’m just not allowed to tell you your date of birth sir.”
“Oh.”
“Yes, you see it’s against The Data Protection Act.”
“Oh, so you’re protecting my information from me because I might not be me, I might be somebody else pretending to be me.”
“Exactly sir, that’s why you have to tell me your date of birth so I can make sure it’s really you.”
“But if I tell you my date of birth won’t I be breaking the law too, you know, the Data Protection Act.”
“Well, no, not exactly sir. You can tell me your date of birth, that’s fine because it’s your information, but I can’t because it’s the law.”
“So, let me recap just so I’m clear, what you’re saying is that it’s OK for you, someone I have never met in my life, to have my information but it’s against the Law for you to tell me what that information is even though I already know it.”
“Yes sir.”
“I’ll tell you what, seeing as it’s my information we’re talking about and nobody else’s, what would you say if I give you permission to tell me my own date of birth and anything else about me you need. Would that move things along?”
“It doesn’t work like that, sir.”
“How do you mean? Is it my information or not?”
“No, yes, it is your information but you just can’t tell me to tell you what it is.”
“Why not?”
“I just need you to confirm a few little bits of it so I can make sure you are who you say you are.”
“But you already know who I am because you called me and I answered the phone”.
“But I have to be sure it’s you, sir”.
“Well, how did you know my name and telephone number when you called me?”
“It’s here on my screen.”
“And my date of birth?”
“Yes sir, your date of birth is here too.”
“So, if when you called me and asked if it was me you were calling and I had said “No, it isn’t Mr McRiven speaking,” would you have still asked me, or whoever it was who answered the phone, to confirm their date of birth?
“Probably not sir, no.”
“But why not?”
“Because the date of birth on my screen wouldn’t have been correct for that person.”
“So, how come you’re convinced it’s correct for me then?”
“But, it might not be correct for you, sir . . .”
“So, you’re telling me there’s a good chance the information you hold about me is wrong! This gets worse by the minute . . . I suppose when someone in the bank wants to get hold of Mr. McRiven all they have to do is look me up on the system?”
“Yes sir.”
“The same way you did.”
“Yes sir.”
“Anyone?”
“It’s the normal way of getting in contact with our customers.”
“Well if as you say any Tom, Dick or Harry can look up my private information on your computer any time they like I can only say that I’m deeply shocked by your bank’s attitude to security, it’s bordering on criminal. I could be anyone! You did say this call is being recorded didn’t you . . .”
“Thank you very much for your time sir,” Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . .

In the end: Despite their insistence to the contrary, my time and my family’s time is more precious than anyone else’s. I now have all calls screened. Unknown callers, banks and a few other organisations of a similar ilk are automatically blocked.

>Next post: Ducking beneath the radar<
>Location:
Exmoor, Somerset, England<
>Music: Placebo and David Bowie ~ Without you I’m nothing<

© Rivenrod 2017

*  Gall, /ɡôl/noun
1.  bold, impudent behaviour:
“the bank had the gall to demand a fee”
synonyms: effrontery, impudence, impertinence, cheek, cheekiness
2.  the contents of the gallbladder; bile (proverbial for its bitterness).
synonyms: bitterness, resentment, rancour, bile, spleen

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