Jul 29, 2008

On Hold In Sioux Falls

From a piece in the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader by Terry Woster, who had called Social Security to report an error in the earnings record he had received in the mail:
I set aside a noon hour to call. I should have gotten a sandwich before I dialed.

My first electronic encounter was with a menu of options, along with the helpful advice that many questions are answered on the Social Security Web page. I expected that. No way did I think I'd get a human right off.

Several menus later, I was starting to think it was about human time. I answered an electronic voice's questions and then waited for the next available representative. The hold music began, perhaps the most obnoxious music I've ever heard, and that includes some keg-party sing-alongs. Someone pounded a piano, with their fists, maybe, and the product was loud, piercing and without discernable melody or pattern. As a kid, I had an 78-rpm record about a boy who dreamed he had a magic piano that played anything, until he reached Carnegie Hall and the magic ended. He pounded away in frustration until he woke up. His pounding sounded like the Social Security recorded music.

Only thing I could figure was they were trying to force me to hang up. Not a chance, not after 25 minutes. (While I cringed at the music, I tried their Web site and found the question section where I learned that for my question, I needed to call the number that had me on hold.)

The human I finally reached was courteous and pleasant. She asked numerous questions that I'd already answered for the recorded voice. She put me on hold - without music, which was a relief - a couple of times while she checked something or other. Finally, 52 minutes into the visit, she gave me a toll-free number for the Internal Revenue Service.


Anonymous said...

What the hell does the IRS have to do with correcting an earnings record error? The 800 number is OK to report a change of address or schedule an appointment, i.e. simple stuff, but for anything else you are better off going into an office.

Anonymous said...

I think that TSC's get a bad rep, Just like our FO it depends on who you talk to, if you are getting a spike or some other person who's primary job is not as a generalist then you cant fit a square peg into a round hole. There are highly capable employee's that are just as good if not better then SR's in the field. What does the IRS have to do with earnings.. how about SE? I am not sure the prior poster deals with 2.8's either.

Anonymous said...

Yeah it depends on who you talk to, so it's a crap shoot to see if you get someone that knows their @ss from a whole in the ground. Plus once again what does IRS have to do with an earnings correction. You go into a FO with proof of earnings even if it's from self-employment.

RS 01804.050 Acceptable Evidence of SEI - Policy

Whenever development of SEI is required, pertinent portions of the claimant's tax returns are required; i.e., Schedules C, F, and SE.

The claimant's copy of the tax return is acceptable evidence of SEI...
If it isn't covered by CHIP (which is like the pictures on the cash register keys at Burger King) or the OP Guide the 800 number folks generally don't have a clue.