Thursday, January 22, 2009
Child Support and the Government
You have to love the government and it's ability to grab on to money and not let go..
Upon my separation from my husband I was granted child support that was supposed to go through the public aid system. This program was developed to protect women from dead beat dads.. Yeah, right. In the beginning my checks were often late, at least 3 times in the first year they were 8 weeks late. My anger at this culminated in me writing a scathing letter to just about every politician I knew from the president on down. Contacting my local state representative personally and calling the governors office. My desire to escape this program worked they let me out (I know they just didn't want to listen to me anymore but I was free).
For 10 glorious months I received my checks from a county seat, they came on time every week of course that was not to remain the case. In steps the federal government who declared every state had to have one central location to send their checks.. of course the transition was rough and the checks were late and hey who cares if I lost my home over it? Of course the county clerk lost his job but I bet he got to keep living in his house. And yes, I once again contacted every resource I could and this time I had made the paper.
That was 10 years ago, up until now things have been better. Oh an occasional check would come late but in generall I would receive my checks within a day or so of when they were expected. But they have gotten complacent! Over the past year they have been late well over 20 times and behind as much as a week if not 2 12 times.. even now they are behind 2plus weeks.
When I call, I am told that they have not received the check for one of the following reasons.
A. the company has not yet sent it (the company which has sent their checks on the same day for over 12 years and has the paperwork to prove it)
B. The post office lost it.. what an interesting theory. The PO does not loose quite as many items as one would believe and seriously the same check week after week after week? Of course they really shouldn't use this argument on a child of the postal system. I understand how it works. When you mail a letter it goes to your local Post Office, if it is leaving that town it is sent to a distribution center THAT SAME DAY and forwarded on from there. For example if one worked in Bloomingdale IL and mailed a letter it would go to the Bloomingdale PO then get sent to the Carol Stream PO which is it's distribution center. From there it will be processed to go on. Now if one was sending a letter to say oh the Child Support system of Illinois you would be sending it to a PO box AT THE CAROL STREAM PO. so it would leave your office, go to the Bloomingdale Office and then to the Carol Stream one where it would be placed in the correct PO Box (the very same day) and not leave that Post Office in anyone's hands but the person from Child Support designated to pick it up (which would happen the very DAY AFTER it was mailed)... the odds of it getting lost are very very slim.
Now when speaking to the Customer Service people (and I use that term with a bit of contempt as more than a few of said employees are rude, arrogant and insufferable - not all quite a few) they will tell you that the checks are processed the minute they arrive. Hello? that is physically impossible, it would imply that for every check there is one single person waiting there to process it... yeah right!! Since that is obviously not the case each check is not processed as soon as it comes in, rather as soon as possible. Allowing for lazy, inept employees to enter it in. I am sure an occasional honest mistake is also made. Often these times come around the holidays or days when the PO is not delivering (where the argument lost in the mail or delayed by the mail still would not work do to the proximity of the Post Offices I am discussing).
Now, I always know when they are seriously behind in the checks because I call and am kept on hold, listening to their ghastly hold music. When I comment on this I am told that the two locations are not together and thus their delays have nothing to do with what is happening with the checks. Again, hello?? they are getting more than the usual amount of calls because more than the usual amount of checks are late.. Do the math..
Of course, what do I know? years as a senior Customer Service Rep would surely not give me a clue as to how to speak with a customer making sure they at least feel like something is being done for them. And of course the time, I spent in Order Entry would never allow me basic knowledge of how an item is processed and handled.
I am serious these people need me to come work for them, give them a clue as to how to get it right.. because they just keep screwing up over and over again.. Child Support Give me a call, I know you have my name, number, address, SS#, docket #, name of my children, my ex, my dog's name, my sister's husband's cousin's fishes name.. etc. What you haven't yet learned is not to keep my money.. I am getting seriously irked.