I came across a problem that no doubt countless other trans folk have fought with last week while I was finishing off changing my name with the various companies and official documents that still bear my old name and I came to my phone contract with O2. I walked into their shop in Brighton and presented the assistant with my Deed Poll and she gave me the address to send it to which I duly did. Just as I was about to leave my flat for the weekend I checked my mailbox and saw this letter from them.
O2 seemed confused… A simple name change being made into such a kerfuffle! At one point in the letter they talk about a gender change, which, by the way was never mentioned when I asked for my name to be changed, and later in the letter they tell me when I provided them with the “certificate showing gender change” they asked for, they’ll update the name on their records….?? And what is that bit about “the copy of the Deed Poll that you’ve produced need the signature and stamp of the authority”? (sic) The Deed Poll I have was good enough for my bank, good enough for my national insurance number and good enough for everyone else I’ve had to use it with.
When I called the number to try and explain that I could only get a Gender Recognition Certificate after at least two years of living as female and, at the moment, all I wanted to do was to change my name with them!
So I decided to ask the Twitterverse as I’m connected there to lots of other trans folk who I hoped would be able to help me out with this problem. A few people mentioned they had problems with O2 in the past but I also received a Tweet from someone who happened to work for them who, as luck would have it, was at that same time was working on a project for customer services to make it easier for customers to change their name! I love Twitter!
The next day after confirming some details with O2 I received a phone call from the lovely man who contacted me to tell me that the Deed Poll I sent them was enough and not to worry, he would sort everything out. Wonderful!
Here’s the mail I received from O2 about it:
Just to confirm what we discussed on the call earlier. I have updated your account to reflect your proper name and gender. I am really sorry that you encountered so many problems in trying to do this. Going forward, we are going to improve our internal processes so that other trans-people do not have to face the same issues.
D**** J******* and the Systems Thinking Project Team
O2 Customer Services.
So hopefully from now on any trans person wishing to change their name with O2 will have an easy time of it!
That’s a good result in my book J