Deaf Customers On The Telephone

A customer phoned through a few days ago and advised me that she was profoundly deaf. She wanted to renew her policy. I dutifully raised my voice by several octaves until she could just about hear me.

Because we are registered by the FCA there are scriptings that we have to adhere to. With my thoat aching and my voice beginning to fail I began to start on the one paragraph for renewals that we need to read out. The customer immediately began to complain and told me that she ‘hadn’t got a clue what I was on about’. I spoke louder and tried a few times to read this paragraph, and got the same response each time. She then decided to have a got at me.

She began shouting at me saying that all she wanted to do was give me her card number to renew her policy, and I was refusing to take it. I wasn’t. I was trying to do my job. While she was ranting and raving at me, which took several minutes, I decided it would be best to stay silent. When I had had enough I told her to send it in the post.

At this point my colleagues were doubled up with laughter. I was trying to keep a straight face, which was increasingly difficult, and the customer still said she couldn’t hear me and didn’t know what I was talking about.

If someone is that deaf why do they insist on using the telephone when they can send something in the post? My voice had almost gone by the time I had finished. She couldn’t hear me and didn’t understand anything I was saying. So why did she phone? The renewal letter has a reply form. Why make life difficult for herself and for other people? Did she think that she could just ring someone, give her card number to a person she couldn’t hear and it would be all safe and secure? The outcome of that kind of situation does not bear thinking about. Some people are definitely a threat to themselves.

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