I felt compelled to cut someone off today.
A person rang and said that he was ringing for someone else. He then gave me a policy number. I asked him to confirm the DPA – a legal requirement. Silence. He then asked if the policy was active. I again asked for DPA. Silence. He then said it wasn’t needed as the customer was in a nursing home and he (the caller) wanted to know if the policy was active.
I informed him, in a very curt manner, that because he was refusing to do DPA and he was not the customer, I was not obliged to answer any questions or speak to him. I didn’t give him chance to say anything else. I ended the call.
DPA is a legal requirement. Gone are the days when anyone could ring up a company and fire a number at them, and then expect to get as much personal information as they could. We can no longer speak to all and sundry without the policy holders permission. This is safer for the policy holder. And safer for us.
If you wish to ring us on behalf of someone else you’d better make sure that if that person is living then they need to give us permission to speak to you. I don’t care if you have their permission to speak to us on their behalf. You can rattle on as much as you want. I don’t have permission to give you their details without speaking to them. I’ll sit in silence and then cut you off. You talk to the dialling tone as long as you want.
This is what Power of Attorney’s are for. You send us a copy if you have one for a relative/friend. If we haven’t seen it you are not going to get any information. If you don’t have POA then write a letter and get the customer to sign it, or phone us while you are with them so that we can speak to them. It’s very simple.
Not to mention the fact that telling us who you are is also good manners and politeness.