Dear Ontario Student Aid Programs,
I'm willing to guess that you are staffed by kind, helpful people who genuinely care about the education of Canadian students. I'm also willing to guess that in general you're pretty willing to work with US colleges to make sure Canadian students can borrow money to attend school in the US. I'm even willing to guess that you're okay with Canadian students borrowing money to attend performing arts colleges.
You know why I have to guess at all of these things? Because I haven't gotten to talk to any of your kind, helpful people about it. Unlike most US state and federal college funding agencies, you guys don't have a special phone number for colleges and universities to use. Okay, no problem, I'll leave a voice mail just like the students have to do.
Oh, I take that back, you don't have a voice mail option. Okay, fine, I'll wait on hold, just like the students have to do. I know your automated phone attendant says there are 40 callers in the queue ahead of me, but, I mean, how long can 40 callers take? It's not like you only have one person there to answer phones.
During the 71 minutes that followed, I was reminded repeatedly that I could visit your website to get an update on my loan status. No, no I can't. Your website only admits students, not colleges, and anyways I'm calling to find out if my college is approved to receive loans, not if a specific student is approved to borrow one.
In the end, after spending 45 minutes being told every 60 seconds that there were zero callers in the queue ahead of me--without anyone actually picking up the phone--I gave up and went home.
You read that right, Ontario Student Loan Programs. I spent over an hour on your telephone hold and never actually got to talk to anyone.
I have no wish to reinforce the widely-held Canadian belief that Americans are profoundly rude, but: Go step on Legos.
greenlily, who does not look forward to repeating this charade tomorrow and, after she gets done with you, also has to talk to Newfoundland and Manitoba