Am I the only one who gets fed up of hearing my own name repeated over and over again?

Whenever I call banks, insurance companies or other large organization’s call centres, invariably they are in India. India is a fabulous place and the people are a delight, no matter how hard their lives may be. So I am not about to bash India or Indians, just the trainers (often European or American) who have taught the people who work in the call centres that Europeans are ONLY happy if their names are used as often as possible and preferably at the start and end of every sentence.

I have had the misfortune of having to call a few of these centres recently and after holding for 20 minutes I am answered by someone called Fred or Wilma. Now I am certain from their accents that their parents did not give them these names. Are we Brits thought of as so stupid that we cannot handle Rajesh or Mohammed???

“Fred” asks for my name, I tell him Peter and my surname. He then asks politely if I mind him calling me by my first name. I say I don’t mind.

This is where things start going really wrong.

He starts “Peter, can you give me this information please, Peter” and “Peter, can you give me that information please, Peter” and “Peter, how long has this happened, Peter”. I guess by now you have got the gist of my gripe but in a conversation of some 10 minutes, I heard my name over 40 times, perhaps more.

I was reaching for deed poll information on my PC to change my name as soon as possible as I couldn’t bear the sound of it anymore.

I made a vague attempt to get “Fred” to stop saying my name, however, I think he was buried in a script which meant that his eyes and tongue were not interfaced by his brain.

So contact or call centre managers and trainers, please, please don’t tell “Fred” and his colleagues to use our names with impunity.


Peter Radcliffe