May 18, 2006

Horse 549 - Security Questions

The following story is real. None of the names have been changed. This actually happened to me not less than 10 minutes ago. The following is from a phone call which I had with an unnamed firm.

Andrew: Good Morning, this is Andrew speaking
Prahan: Hello, my name is Prahan. Can I ask you a security question?
Andrew: OK, I suppose. Which firm are you calling from?
Prahan: I'm not allowed to tell you until you answer the security question.
Andrew: Why not?
Prahan: Because you might not be the person I'm supposed to make the phone call to.
Andrew: But, I already told you my name is Andrew.
Prahan: This is correct.
Andrew: Then?
Prahan: I'm not allowed to tell you where I'm from unless you answer the security questions.
Andrew: How do I know that you're allowed to ask them?
Prahan: I guess that you'll just have to accept this as a matter of trust.
Andrew: But you're not willing to trust the fact that I'm whom I say I am?
Prahan: This is correct.
Andrew: How do I know that you've even been given any authority to talk to me? How do I know that you're not just trying to obtain my details under false pretenses?
Prahan: If you are the person we're trying to get in contact with, then you'll know what the answers to the questions are.
Andrew: And what happens if I deliberately answer incorrectly?
Prahan: Then we'll have to end this phone call, until we find the person we need to speak to.
Andrew: Ok then. I'll deliberately answer the questions incorrectly then.
Prahan: This would be silly sir.
Andrew: I agree totally. This is why I'm going to do it.
Prahan: Can I have your full name?
Andrew: Charles Augustus Fortescue
Prahan: What is your date of birth?
Andrew: 31st of June, 1937
Prahan: It appears that neither of these match our system.
Andrew: Of course.
Prahan: Can I please speak to a Mr Andrew Rollason?
Andrew: But I already told you my name at the beginning of this phone call.
Prahan: You have just told me that your name is Charles.
Andrew: Ah.
Prahan: Could you please get Mr Rollason for me?
Andrew: And whom should I say has called?
Prahan: I'm not allowed to tell you until they answer the security questions.
Andrew: I don't wish to pursue this phone call any further on the grounds that I think that it's silly.
Prahan: It's really important that I speak to him.
Andrew: So important that you're not willing to tell me who you are without someone answering the security questions.
Prahan: Correct.
Andrew: Good day to you sir. I hope that you find the man that you're looking for, because you're obviously not willing to follow the rules of logic and sense today.
Prahan: Thank you Charles, enjoy your day.

I know that these people are probably employed by call centres in India, and I also realise that they must deal with irate people all day long, so my responses to Prahan were quite calm and maybe a little aloof. I find it almost farcical that whatever firm employes call centre people can not tell me why they should make the phone call, but by the same token, I don't want to give out my details in case the party at the other end intends to use them for some fraudulent scam.

I hope that whichever firm this was, works out what they want from me. Because until they disclose who they are, I shall forever be elusive and unreachable... and Chuck Fortescue.

PS: Listening back, I thought that 31st of June was a nice touch.

1 comment:

derik said...

"the rules of logic and sense" This is such a Rollo-ism its not funny.

who is Charles Augustus Fortescue?