Make Believe

An old guy called me saying that he wanted to cancel his policy as he was moving abroad. I called up his details and asked him when he was moving.

‘The house is going on the market later in the year.’ Came the reply.

I explained that his policy had just been renewed and asked him if he wanted it cancelled now or when he was ready to move. He wanted it cancelled straight away so that’s what I did informing him that he would get confirmation. I thanked him for letting us know and said goodbye.

When we finish a call we just switch the mute button on as the customer hangs up. This old guy did not hang up straight away. I heard him speaking to someone in the room who asked him what I had said.

‘She told me I had to cancel.’ He was saying. ‘I told her that I wanted to pay for the policy until we move, but she said I couldn’t, I had to cancel.’

Whether he was deliberately lying to the other person, or whether he was seriously under the impression that this was our discussion, I do not know. I cannot tell a customer what to do – it has to be their decision. But this is not unusual as such. We often get people asking questions about a policy and then twisting the answer they’re given.

I am often heard saying: ‘No. That is not what I said. I said…’

Some people obviously think that if they twist the answer enough times we’ll end up agreeing with them, because they don’t always give up when we pull them up the first time. I have even had to remind people that the call is recorded so the playback will verify what I have said.

I think a lot of the time it is deliberate as people don’t hear the answer they want to hear, so they’ll try to get the answer they want. I think on a few occasions it may be because they are not listening properly. But these people usually stop when they’re put right the first time.

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