Officially mis-gendered: Oh, Boots!

Well that takes the shine off things! And sad that it should be Boots who are the immediate cause of unhappiness since, as I have written in the past, they are usually one of the best.

Over the last few months, my purse has been slowly filling up with new plastic. All manner of stuff, from library cards to loyalty cards and cash cards. All in MY name! So, if I went under the proverbial bus about six months back, I’d guess there’d have been some confusion as to who is was: whereas if such an unfortunate accident happened today, I think the pretty universal conclusion would be that, on the plastic evidence, I’m Jane Fae.

A couple of weeks back, I decided to add to my growing collection by taking out a Boots Advantage card. Simple scheme. Every time you buy something in Boots – and on the basic make-up front, I have become one of their loyallest customers of late – you get points.

Points mean prizes, and with recent purchases including their smooth skin ipl system and new glasses, its well past time for me to be signed up (and backdate the points just gained!).

So I did. About two weeks ago. I filled out an app form in-store. Very clearly. MS Jane Fae. Female.

And last week back came the card. I was so pleased to have it, I didn’t look closely at what it said until yesterday, when I went into my local Boots to have some points added.

MR J Fae! Puh-lease!!! I was…annoyed, upset, deflated. It definitely took the shine off.

On the plus side, I mentioned it to a helpful store assistant (this is Peterborough again, who have always been utterly lovely to me), who walked me over to a kiosk where I was able to amend the details. On screen, Jane was there, quite correctly. Just that rogue title had slipped in somehow.

I say “slipped in”. If it really was co-incidence, it was a massive one. Of all the girls in all the world for this to happen to… either someone in data entry mis-keyed or…two possibilities present.

Either the assistant I handed my original form to decided “helpfully” that as I didn’t quite pass, I must be a bloke and I’d ticked the wrong box. Horrid! I really hope not. Or they run their new data against a database somewhere, on which my old gender is recorded.

The first is unfortunate and one-off. The second needs nipping in the bud. I’ve rung their helpline. Boots are apologetic and investigating: I’ll let you know what the result is.



11 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    spirifer said,

    Could it not be a simple mistake? I really hope so – having worked for Boots as a student (and M&S, Tesco and McDonalds) they are also the best employer of part-timers, in my experience.

  2. 2

    Katrina said,

    I am having similar problems with my phone network (3) They will not just aceppt the change of name deed cert’ They want proof of me as a male! before they will change the billing title. I dont have any.

  3. 3

    Siân said,

    You always succeed in making me smile. You make the most mundane annoyance so, well, entertaining. Let’s face it, an increasing amount of all our time is taken up challenging the inefficiencies of some organisation or other’s “system” or some member of their staff’s foolishness, laziness or bad attitude. Me, I grind my teeth and spit fire. You glide over life’s little inconveniences with a light pen (or should that be keyboard). Thanks, Jane. Always a pleasure reading your blog!

  4. 5

    katrina said,

    That is nice of you Jane. Iam with the Three network have been for years. Forgot to inform name change had no copyies left when I told them of change they req’ deed proof + proof of who I was as of my prev’ name this is not now poss’ this proved unaceptable for them so would not change billing title to ms katrina they did however put me down as co owner of phone so now I get a bill addressed to ms c/o mr and if I nef to speak to accounts as ms they have given me a password. This is true it is laughable.

  5. 8

    Lucy Melford said,

    When I applied for my own Boots Advamtage Card early in 2009 in the name of Miss Lucy Melford there was no quibbling or mistakes, and it came through without this sort of problem. And believe me, I didn’t look especially feminine in those pre-hormone days.

    I’m sure it’s merely an unfortunate production error, but it might be difficult to permanently correct. Perhaps you’d better just reapply for another Advantage Card in another Boots store, and abandon this rogue card altogether.

    If it’s any consolation, about five years back i applied for a Co-Operative loyalty card when I was still in male mode, and when it arrived I was amused to see that I was now ‘MRS J— D—‘ instead of ‘Mr’. It beats me how they concluded that I was a married lady. There must be some defect somewhere in the process!


  6. 9

    Julian said,

    It might not be a massive coincidence that it happened to you of all the women it could happen to.

    If the assistant was looking at you and had “could this customer be a Mr?” at the forefront of their mind, they could well have hit the key they were thinking instead of the key they were planning. It doesn’t make it acceptable but it may not have been malice aforethought. [/eternal optimist]

  7. 10

    Faith said,

    I get mail to Mr Saith Lesberal frequently… but I call them up and correct them…

  8. 11

    andrea said,

    why not just use my card…that way we save up more points

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