February 25th, 2010

USPS sucks.

We had to file our taxes via snail mail this year as we qualify for the First Time Home Buyers credit. We fill out all the forms, write everything down, sign it, put a stamp on it, and send it on it's way via USPS. First Class. This was on the 27th of January.

Thinking that we should have heard some word from the IRS on the status of our return yet,my husband calls the IRS yesterday. They inform him that they have not even received our tax information yet, much less started to file it. Really? We sent it 4 weeks ago. The IRS representative told him that if it had not gotten there yet, they were likely not to receive it. He recommended that we call our local USPS office and ask them what happened.

So we do.

They tell us that they have to have someone investigate our claim. That's fine. We ask about some compensation (at least allowing us to send it with tracking for no cost). The women said "Sir, do you have any idea how many people call every day, claiming that their mail was lost?" My husband is taken a bit aback at this. She then tells him to wait and see what the investigator says.

The investigator calls this morning, and basically just says, "We don't know what happened. Has this ever happened to you before?"
My husband says "It hasn't, but that it doesn't make it OK. This is very sensitive information that is just floating around out there right now." He asks "Well, I have to resend it, would you guys be willing to pay for me to track it?"

The investigator tells him that they'd be willing to give him a stamp.

My husband replies that that's not good enough. He asks to speak to a supervisor. The investigator replies that he doesn't have one. My husband asks if there is anyone above him that he can talk to. The investigator hedges a bit, but finally gives him a number and tells him to call in one hour.

We're waiting on this one hour to be up now, but I thought I'd ask you guys what you think. Are we crazy for wanting them to take a little responsibility? Have any of you had experiences like this? Any advice would be appreciated greatly.

(sorry for the disjointed read of this post, I've got a very fussy baby on my lap!!)

Adventures with Liars

I'm changing my banks!

I had to get an employment eligibility verification document notarized. I've done it before, and it's always a pain in the ass. So before I set off on my adventure today, I called both Bank of America and Chase, where I have accounts.

This is the conversation had with both places, more or less.

Me: Hi! Is your notary in today?
Phone Person (PP): Certainly!
Me: I need an I-9 form verified. Can they do that?
PP: Let me check! [elevator music] Yup!
Me: Awesome, I'll be in this afternoon.

So I felt pretty confident that one of the two could help me out.

I went to Bank of America first, where I found out that - nope. Can't do it. We went back and forth for a while over what the form actually said, and what the letter from my employer said, and the earlier phone call, but the notary refused to help.

Chase was the same, except with the added fun of the following conversation.

Me: But I called and asked specifically if you could do an I-9. The person on the phone checked.
Notary Public (NP): There's no way they did that. We didn't get any calls from people about this.
Me: No, I really did. I talked to *Totally Uncommon Name.*
NP: You must have called a different branch with someone else called a different place where there's a *Totally Uncommon Name.*

Oh no, she did not just accuse me of lying. I had the number in my phone and proved it by calling them right there! Then I left, not bothering to get corporate contact info, because I already have the number from past bad interactions.

I did manage to get my form notarized, though. There was another, local bank across the street. I went over, explained the situation, and offered to open an account then and there if they'd notarize my form. The manager said I didn't need to do that - he'd be happy to notarize it (no fee) even though I wasn't a customer. Ten minutes later, the form was notarized, the manager made me several copies and he gave me a free envelope. My partner and I have an appointment to open our account there tomorrow.
evil half full


I joined Costco in March of 2009 partly because I'd heard amazing things about the company, their employees, their products, and how they like to keep customers happy. At first, everything I'd heard was true. But over the last year, it has gotten to the point where I dread shopping there.

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Witnessed Suck

So I witnessed something yesterday that was most definitely bad service, it was a situation where I didn't know what to say or do but was over as fast as it started.

Anyways, in my town we have an extensive bus transportation service, and I was at one of the stops where multiple buses stop and have a short layover before finishing their route.

I'm waiting at my stop and there was a woman--a very large woman--standing with her 2 children there. The kids were playing, goofing off, holding McDonald's bags and their drink. One of the buses stops, the driver gets off, and walks directly to this woman who was on the phone and says in a very confrontational voice "I can't believe someone as fat as you would eat McDonalds and feed your kids McDonalds too, you're disgusting!" and walks away, gets on the bus, and drives away.

So I am sitting here with my mouth open, totally couldn't believe that the bus driver would do that while he was working.

Do I think the woman needed to lose weight? Sure. I am not kidding when I say she probably weighed at least 350 pounds. But the kids were of normal weight, and besides that... no one needs to say that to someone. Especially when working. And in front of the woman's kids too... that's just crap.

So I called in and complained about the driver to their comment line. Probably was a bit of an over-reaction, but I don't take kindly to people who are supposed to be working and act like that in front of people who are essentially paying for his paycheck.