https://www.proz.com/kudoz/english/general-conversation-greetings-letters/6305918-the-first-time.html

the first time

English translation: (in the given context) in the first place

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:the first time
Selected answer:(in the given context) in the first place
Entered by: Jack Doughty

10:02 Apr 1, 2017
English language (monolingual) [Non-PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
English term or phrase: the first time
Hello everyone,

A related challenge for businesses—and an extreme annoyance for consumers and complainers—is the inability to provide customer service representatives easy access to all information necessary to resolve problems.

How maddening is it when you call a company and enter your account number on your phone’s keypad, only to have to immediately repeat your number once you’re connected with a representative?

Why did they ask for the number the first time? Is this a joke? An intelligence test? I hate this. You hate this. Research proves it: 85 per-cent of consumers feel negative toward businesses that require them to provide information multiple times. That statistic causes me to think these two things: “Of course” and “Who are the 15 percent who are not bothered by this, and how do they have so much free time?”

Although I'm not sure what account number they are talking about (unless the company is a bank), the problem for me is the phrase "the first time" in "Why did they ask for the number the first time?"

Does it really mean "Why did they ask for the number in the first place?/Why did they ask for the number at all?", i.e. simply "Why did they ask for the number?"

Or do they mean "Why did they ask for the number _for_ the first time?"

Thank you.
Mikhail Korolev
Local time: 12:22
in the first place
Explanation:
Your suggestion "in the first place" is OK.
Why does the information you have from the company tell you to enter your number on the keypad if someone is going to ask you for it anyway?
Selected response from:

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:22
Grading comment
Many thanks to everyone.
Thank you, Jack.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
4 +5in the first place
Jack Doughty
5 +2in the first place
Tony M
4 +1why bother asking at all
Yvonne Gallagher


  

Answers


12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
in the first place


Explanation:
Your suggestion "in the first place" is OK.
Why does the information you have from the company tell you to enter your number on the keypad if someone is going to ask you for it anyway?

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:22
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 370
Grading comment
Many thanks to everyone.
Thank you, Jack.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M
3 mins
  -> Thank you, Tony.

agree  Yvonne Gallagher
5 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Yasutomo Kanazawa
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  acetran
3 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  AllegroTrans
4 hrs
  -> Thank you.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
in the first place


Explanation:
They asked for it two times: once on your keypad, and then the person who answers the phone asks you for it verbally.

It often seems pointless that they should ask you to enter it via your keypad — especially since if you CAN'T enter it for some reason, you can often get connected anyway.

As for 'account no.', of course it isn't only banks with whom we have accounts — the phone / water / gas / electricity company will each have their own 'customer account / reference number'.


Tony M
France
Local time: 10:22
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 297

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Yasutomo Kanazawa
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Yasutomo-san!

agree  acetran
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Ace!
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
why bother asking at all


Explanation:
you kow when you phone a company and the automatic system asks for you ref no. or account no but finally when a human (the service rep) answers, they ask for that same bit of info again. *85% of people find this really anoying.

What should happen is that that number (answered) pops on through to the rep's screen so they can get down to answering your questions faster or at least ask you a diffferent question...maybe an address to confirm identity or another security question.
But it's ridiculous and annoying to be asked the same question a second time

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Note added at 16 mins (2017-04-01 10:18:50 GMT)
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typo: kNow

Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 09:22
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 503

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  AllegroTrans: hear hear!
4 hrs
  -> Thanks. I'm definitely in the 85% category! I hate it!!
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