In a letter she posted on Twitter, Dr Gilchrist said she was “absolutely disgusted and outraged”
A doctor has publicly blasted Hastings Direct and accused it of “everyday sexism”.
In a letter from the broking group to Dr Bushra Gilchrist posted to twitter, Hastings thanked Dr Gilchrist for “helping Mrs Gilchrist with renewing her car insurance premium,” not realising that the Dr Gilchrist in question was a woman.
Hastings even said “the loan is in Mrs Bushra Gilchrist’s name, and you’ve agreed to make the direct debit payments.”
Dr Gilchrist accused Hastings of not realising that women can be doctors too, and said she was “absolutely disgusted and outraged”.
She tweeted: ”Interesting to know that @HastingsDirect haven’t realised that women can be doctors too. Just received this letter having renewed my car insurance. Absolutely disgusted and outraged!”
Interesting to know that @HastingsDirect haven’t realised that women can be doctors too. Just received this letter having renewed my car insurance. Absolutely disgusted and outraged! #everydaysexism #womencanbedoctorstoo #IamDrGilchrist pic.twitter.com/V41NCZKCwC— Bushra Gilchrist (@BushraGilchrist) July 24, 2019
In the Twitter thread, Hastings did respond, claiming the mistake was made due to the “system thinking they were two different people,” as Dr Gilchrist filled the application out under the ‘Mrs’ prefix.
Hi Bushra, we can see it’s due to your policy being taken out under ‘Mrs’ but your payment (the name with your bank) is ‘Dr’, our system thinks you’re two people. We’re working on fixing this. If you'd like us to update your policy with 'Dr' send us a DM. https://t.co/LOZeAVzW1f— Hastings Direct (@HastingsDirect) July 25, 2019
But Dr Gilchrist responded by saying that there is ”no facility in the application process to enter “Dr” as ones title.”
She then slated the ”patronising tone and so many assumptions” in the letter sent from Hastings, labelling it “unacceptable.”
Thanks for the reply. There’s no facility in the application process to enter “Dr” as ones title. Something as simple as this would have alleviated all the hassle. The patronising tone and so many assumptions in the letter that was sent are also unacceptable. I will DM you ....— Bushra Gilchrist (@BushraGilchrist) July 25, 2019
Hastings responded by saying it was ”in the process of amending the online forms so that misunderstandings of this nature do not occur in future.”
A Hastings spokesperson said: “We have looked into this and have identified that letters similar to that received by Dr Gilchrist have been issued to both female and male policyholders, where the title entered during the policy application process hasn’t matched the details on the direct debit payment instruction.
”In the case of Dr Gilchrist, she selected ‘Mrs’ on the price comparison website where she started the application process as there was no option to select ‘Dr’. When subsequently entering her payment details via our own website she selected ‘Dr’, which led the system logic to think that it was two different people.
“We are of course, very sorry for any distress this has caused Dr Gilchrist and as a priority, we are looking at how we can refine our system rules to better identify when presented with differing titles so that misunderstandings of this nature do not occur in the future.”
“Are we still in the 1950’s?”
Other Twitter users reacted to the exchange and letter, with understandable shock and confusion at how these mistakes were still being made.
One responder called it “utterly ridiculous,” another labelled it “unbelieveable,” while another asked if we were “still in the 1950’s”.
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