I realize that the 100 or so people I've dealt with on this fine Saturday morning do not by any means represent the earth's population, but I've taken enough crap to think that manners and decency are dead.
Let's back up and explain my situation. It's tax season. I prolly don't need to say more, right? I mean, most of you understand the meaning of the tax season. You also understand that there are many things more enjoyable. (Like a root canal or a pap smear, for example.)
During this tax season, I provide customer support services for those filing their own self-prepared tax returns. It is an on-line service, not telephone. They send an e-mail from their account with a question, I(we) respond with an answer. It's a great service. Especially since most of these people without propriety are receiving a free prepared and e-filed tax return. They're also receiving their state return for almost nothing.
To keep the anonymity and my job, I'm not going to tell you who I work for. I'm also going to refrain from discussing how much they charge, because you are all very smart and covert in your deductive reasoning. With limited info, you could figure out who I work for. This is the listening blogger, 'member? This is where I go so as I can be heard. If I cannot throw up my frustrations here, where else will I go to throw them up?
For the record however, I would be over-and-out if I were required to provide service via telephone. No amount of money would be worth the yelling and cussing that people toss at you over the tax return. These people do not realize that we, the tax preparation company, do not make the rules. They also don't realize that the IRS doesn't make the rules. It's the people we elect. If you don't like what you see, write your congressman and/or senators.
For giggles (taxes and giggles - uh right), you can find two of my favorite questions from last year, here and here.
Now. Because I care, I'm going to help you all out. I'm a giver, you know. I am going to give you some guidelines for proper conduct if and when you decide to get help from people who provide help for people who provide help for people who provide help.
- Don't call the person helping you a dummy. Especially if you're the one who doesn't know that you have to wait for a W2 statement in order to file your tax return. And especially if you cannot spell IRS.
- Don't swear. It ain't cool.
- Provide detailed information. Don't say stuff like, "It don't work" or "I'm getting an error fix it" or "how come I owe money" or "why won't it let me do anything."
- Recognize that there is a reason CPAs charge what they do to prepare your tax return. It is hard work. If you are not willing to pay a CPA to prepare your return, don't expect someone else to offer the same service for free.
- Review your tax return over and over and over and OVER before you send it. Once the IRS accepts your return, it cannot be changed without amending it. Amending a return is a hassle that can be prevented easily with proper review of your information. Which brings us to the next one...
- Don't yell at the person helping you if you forgot to include something.
- TURN YOUR CAPS LOCK OFF. Andusespacesinbetweenyourwords. I actually asked someone today if their space bar was broken. Or was that yesterday? It's all mashed together now.
- And finally, say please and thank you.
Incidentally, this is a totally lame post, but I'm going to post it anyway. Then I'm going to run to the top of a mountain. With Ted Nugent. And prolly some other people.