If you've ever called a credit card operation centre and been met with an IVR (integrated voice response) system that requests you enter your card number (followed by hash, naturally) and then asked to be passed to a human operator, you'll always be asked for your card number again.
I used to think this was a security check procedure, but after visiting a major card call centre not a million miles from Northampton last week, I'm not so sure.
It seems that the card issuers fight shy of integrating their automated IVR systems and the call centres because of security worries - isn't that a laugh, eh?
Coupled with the fact that a number of banks are moving their call centre operations to non-EU destinations, they are also worried about data protection legislation.
And so they should be. But to cripple a computer-human hand-off system by not relaying information already given by the customer?
That's just plain rude - as well as rubbish IT planning...