Tilly (geeksicle) wrote in bad_service,

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Study woes

I found a course I really, really wanted to do, which made me happy because I've sort of been skipping from thing to thing for the last couple of years, not sure of what I wanted to do with myself. So back in late November I applied. In January, I hadn't heard anything back (which is odd, because they usually send a letter of receipt when you apply) so I called student services to see what was up with my enrolment.

They said they had no record of it. I asked if I could fill out another one, because the cut-off date for enrolments was still a month away. After a few days of screwing me about they said sure - and told me that as I'd previously enrolled with that tertiary institution I wouldn't need to supply a record of learning. This was awesome, as I'd just moved flat and my new room is tiny, so not everything is unpacked and all my papers had been put away after my original application in November.

When you fill out an enrolment form for this place, you're asked for two addresses: A permanent address and a term address. I put my parents' address for permanent, as I can't be sure I won't have to move. I put the flat I'm living in as my term address, and listed that as the address I want my mail to come to.

A week before enrolment closes, I call them and ask what stage my enrolment is at, as I've had no confirmation letter. They tell me it's all fine, and my letter is on the way. Cool. I sit back and think how awesome it's going to be to finally study something that I know I want to make a life of.

A week before the course starts, I call them, panicking a bit now because I still have no letter. They tell me that I need to submit a verified record of learning, and that they've sent me TWO letters to this effect (note: they have my phone number). Suspicious because I have no letter, I ask them where they sent it, they tell me they sent it to Tauranga, where my parents live - an entirely different city, and not the one I'd selected for my mail to go to. Worried time running out, I protest that I was told I didn't have to and they have all my records on file anyway, and they tell them I need to resubmit because I'm studying with a different department. For some reason, the Media Arts department cannot just email my results to the Communication department. Hell, it's a three-minute walk from the Media Arts block to the Communication block - but no, I need to submit a new record. So I tear my flat up looking for the box my records are in, can't find them, and order an official record from the NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority), which takes three days to arrive. I copy it, get it verified, and turn it in. They tell me they'll call me on my phone, as we've had trouble "getting mail to you" (i.e., putting the correct address on it).

The week the course starts I call them, really panicking. They tell me everything's sent off and not to worry because people are accepted into journalism as late as two weeks into the course. I'm ringing them daily now, which was no doubt annoying but I REALLY need to know what's happening so I can get textbooks and the like. A week into the course, one of the women I speak to discovers that my application is still with student services. The head of department, who makes the call on whether you get in or not, has never received it. AARGH. They forward it, and I get a call to go see him the next day - which is the Wednesday of the second week. He reviews my application, reads a sample of my writing (which he told me was high quality), then turns to me and says "I'm going to say no. You've missed the entire shorthand module, and it would be too much pressure to have you catch up in your own time. If I'd had this a week earlier I definitely would have said yes, but I don't want to set you up to fail". He the listed my options, which we to call about next semester's intake and see if they were running the course then, to move to some podunk town in the South Island and study the smae course there, or to take a different course second semeseter and get my papers cross-credited.

WTF, student services? I'm willing to accept that my November application got lost in the mail or something, but I still had an application in a month before the cut-off date. There were problems with that, but I STILL had an application in before the course started, and you IDIOTS just sat on it until it was too late for me to start. Now I'm going to be half a semester behind on getting my qualification (provided I can count on you not to lose my app for Semester 2) and I have to find full-time work, which is going to be a REAL BITCH when you consider that I want to leave in six months. And the real cherry on top? They don't always do a second semester course - it depends on the number of applicants. Grr.

Mistakes happen, I get that. But these people have set my LIFE back six months - possibly a year - because they can't keep track of their paperwork.

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