I used to work for an online textbook store, which meant that all of my customer interactions were via email.
This customer will be known as "Two Names", or TN for short. Now, one of the services the store offered was a program to sell your books to us. It's a fairly simple process: Create an order, send in your items, and wait for them to be evaluated. Everything was going well until Two Names received a payment.
TN: I received the incorrect check. Could you please send me a new check with the correct name?
Unfortunately, check mix-ups do happen but we're more than happy to fix it.
Me: I apologize for the inconvenience. Could you please confirm your order information so I can look into this?
They reply with their order information, including the amount they were supposed to receive, their address, and their name. I check the order only to find that everything matches...except the name. However, the name in the order doesmatch the email signature they've been using to contact me.
Me: I've checked our system, and the order you're inquiring about appears to match the information you provided.
TN: The check you sent me has my American name, and the bank won't let me cash it.
Ah. Now we get to the real problem. People adopting American names when they emigrate is nothing new. Most of the time, this can be easily resolved by showing two forms of ID, one with their birth name and one with their American name. I explain as much to the customer, which is apparently where I go wrong.
TN: [National Bank] won't let me do that. I showed then my ID and they won't let me cash the check because the names don't match.
I know what bank they're using. I know for a fact that as long as you can prove your identity, that bank will cash your check. At this point, I'm beginning to get frustrated, as we've been going back and forth for a couple of days.
Me: I apologize for any confusion, however if you have two separate forms of ID that show both names are yours, you should be able to cash the check.
TN: You put the wrong name on the check. Can't you just send me a new check with the correct name?
Me: I'm sorry, but we can only issue checks to the name provided when you placed your order for security reasons.
TN: Well I already sent the check back, so I need you to send a new one.
It is at this point where I lose my capacity for words. No one instructed them to return the check and I haven't seen it in the pile of returned mail in the office. I have no idea where this customer returned the check to, nor can I issue them a new one.
Me: I'm sorry, but we haven't received your returned check and as I explained in my last correspondence, we can only issue checks to the name that was provided when you placed your order.
TN: If you're not going to pay me, then send my books back.
Me: Unfortunately, once your books have been accepted, they're given to the buyers.
TN: This is stealing. You're illegally holding my property and you won't provide payment.
I decide to relay this catastrophe to my manager, who basically tells me the same thing I told the customer. They continue to insist that we're 'stealing' and eventually, I hand off the email chain to another coworker.
I left before Two Names had their issue resolved, but I was told that last time someone did this it took 6 months to get everything settled.