Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dear IRS......

Please have your people consult with their co-workers before writing and mailing letters. I am a believer of too much government in the sense that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. In your case, it is a matter of Austin, TX, not knowing what Memphis, TN, is doing. Below is an abbreviated version of the work your teammates did this week:

Letter sent via USPS dated 8/13/15 and from Memphis, TN: "Thank you for making payment arrangements to resolve your account...." This letter weighed about a pound and must have cost you (or actually us, the taxpayers) a fortune to mail. Why does a thank you note have to weigh a freaking pound? But, I am honored that it meant that much to you.

Letter sent via CERTIFIED mail dated 8/17/15 and from Memphis, TN: "Notice of intent to seize...." (Note that this letter was sent after the "thank you" letter on 8/13/15.)

Letter sent via USPS dated 8/19/15 and from Austin, TX: "Thank you for using the IRS online services. If you did not, contact us at..." This is kind of a thank you and that is taken back. Or like when someone says, "I'm sorry, but.."

So to quickly audit your efforts of the last few days, you spent time, paper, and money...let's say my neighbor's money, to make it simple and real...on three letters, one weighing a pound. The first letter said thanks for the payment, the second one threatened to seize assets if we didn't pay, and the third, which came from the idiot who sent the second one, was a thank you for using your online services.

Wouldn't it had been easier and more economical to just have your online service operate in reverse and send a thank you note or confirmation as soon as the payment was made, thus, eliminating the first two letters, of which, one was an unnecessary, untimely, and unacceptable threat? You know, kind of like Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Sears, Walmart, Target, my little website, and every other e-commerce site does? I would even bet that eHarmony, a dating advertisement I just saw on television, sends an immediate response electronically. And, having transactions with you IS kind of like dating...except you go directly for the screwing.

You sent three letters in less than a week, with the last one being managed by someone who must have been following Donald Trump's fiasco with Megyn Kelly and lost track of time. If the people of this great country cannot trust your office to lick a stamp and mail letters that are significant and timely, how are we to trust your MATH with our money?

Please get your stuff together - maybe create an electronic filing and communications system between your departments (it's called email, the cloud, bestmarking, private messaging, instant message, etc) - before sending me another letter. At the very least, please try to send the applicable letter in the correct chronology. In my former life working in customer service for a Fortune 500 company, this would not be tolerated. Your team, which services every social security number in the country you can acquire, should be held to higher standards than my team, which only services construction companies in the southeast. Right?

I am business savvy enough to realize the response will be that "the system did it, not a person", and I know there are "systems". There is someone in the news every day saying the system is racist, the system failed, the system didn't work. The system should have very low self esteem, and I will do my best to cheer it up if I ever bump into it.

I am also business savvy enough to realize that form letters are used, so your letters were not thoughtful, sincere, nor original. I am also smart enough to realize that someone is responsible for managing "the system" and ensuring it is working properly, including the timeliness of form letters. While the system cannot be held accountable, the person managing it can.

Again, if professionalism is expected and does exist in every small business in America, shouldn't it also exist in a branch of the American government? Shouldn't the IRS, who is never audited but can audit us, want to work as smoothly and efficiently as possible so that people trust you with their money? People have maintained the perception that you screw people for almost as long as you have been in business. That, alone, should make you want to get things right.

But, in reality, nobody in your department is aware of the stupid things you do. I'm not the only one in this 300-million-people land that received letters such as those that week. That means you were an idiot a bunch of times. Probably thousands. But you are unaware because of automation, and because you are inaccessible. I tried calling, but you do not provide much telephone support. After finally finding a number, the hold time was 30 minutes every time I called.

I guess you are busy stamping envelopes.

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