Mum Blocked By Bank Because Her Voice Is So Deep She's Mistaken For A Man
A mum has said that her bank has mistaken her for a man because of her low-pitched voice - so now she's decided to pose as a man called 'Derek'.
Lorraine Chademunhu has said she's had enough of telephone banking with one of her banks. Since her local Barclays branch closed, she's had to use telephone banking, but is continuously quizzed by phone staff.
She said she spends 'at least twenty minutes' arguing and has even tried formally complaining - she's been told that a note has been added to her account, but so far it's made no difference.
The mum-of-two said it also happens when she books tables at restaurants. She's given up - taking on a new persona of Derek.
Lorraine, a nurse from Surrey, said: "I can't even add up the amount of hours I've spent on the phone being passed from pillar to post. I'm just so insulted and humiliated.
"I get it all - Sir, Mr Lorraine, buddy, the list goes on. I tell them you are speaking to Lorraine and then they just turn around and say 'well is she there?'"
It's got to the point that she has avoided using telephone banking, but if she loses her purse or card, or can't log into her account online, she has no choice.
She said: "If I have to phone the AA when I breakdown or if I'm calling someone to fix the house I just go along with being a man to make life easier. That, I'm used to and I can understand as my voice is deep.
"But when it's my own personal account and I've told them time and time again about it, it's just poor customer care. It's almost like I have to grow a pair of balls.
"It's the same conversation over and over again. Yes and no back and forth. I didn't ask for this voice. I've just had enough."
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Lorraine has been with Barclays since 1997, and although the problem has only started in recent years, she has even had her account blocked multiple times.
She said she has even had her account blocked multiple times because of her mistaken identity.
Last week while going through the security checks with Barclays, Lorraine was addressed as 'Sir' at least 19 times when phoning for a new bank card.
"The thing is I have other accounts with Lloyds and Halifax and I'm able to get around that because they have voice recognition. I don't see why Barclays haven't caught on there. I don't bother putting on a high pitch to Barclay's because why should I?"
She's thought about changing banks but because of her job's unsociable hours, she doesn't have the time.
She said: "I don't dress like a bloke or look like one. It's just my voice. It was humiliating. Part of me thought, do I have to take my clothes off in order for you lot to get the picture?
"After I left that bank, I got in my car and I was in tears. To them I'm just a number. They don't care how they make me feel. It really does get me down and it's horrible for my children to see."
A spokesman for Barclays said: "We have apologised to Miss Chademunhu for the inconvenience she has experienced.
"Protecting our customers' accounts is our top priority, and we have robust measures in place to identify and verify a customer when they call.
"We have reached out to Miss Chademunhu to implement a verification process that will identify her more quickly in the future."
Featured Image Credit: PA/SWNS
Topics: UK News