I switched departments recently and I don’t have to be on the phones in this new department for about a year, thank you baby Jesus.
I worked customer service for a federal agency. While it’s not called a “customer service job”, it basically is. What I like about working there is that if people curse you out/abuse you, you can just hang up on them. I only really hang up after a warning and they specifically direct insults at me.
My last call on the general line was quite special.
Me: Thank you for calling the Tax Agency. This is miss Bjarke speaking. My ID number is 473-839-8491 (random numbers). How can I help you?
Caller: Hey uhh so what had happened was I got a letter in the mail asking for money from you and I don’t know why.
Me: Okay! I’d be happy to help you with that today. First, I need to ask a few questions to access your account.
I ask for his name, address, DOB, etc. He passes the security questions.
Me: Okay sir, I see that you owe a balance of $3,500. It looks like you owe this balance because you claimed $0 in withholding and claimed the Premium Tax Credit (refundable credit for having the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare) but you did not qualify for it because you had insurance through your job and not through the marketplace.
Caller: So why do I owe? I don’t get it. I’m really pissed off! I already spent the money!
Me: Well, withholding is taken out of every paycheck to go towards the tax you owe at the end of the year. Because you put NO money towards withholding, you had nothing to cover your tax obligations.
Caller: That just doesn’t make sense. Do you think I have time for this? My friends got refunds. My baby’s mother got refunds. I HAD a refund until YOU sent me a bill demanding I give you my money!
Me: Okay, if you don’t want this to happen next year then you need to speak to your employer and claim zero exemptions on your W-4 form. This will guarantee that you won’t owe tax at the end of the year and even get money back! How many exemptions do you claim now?
Caller: Ten. You said I’m supposed to claim zero? I DID THAT! I CLAIMED ZERO WITHHOLDING AND NOW YOU’RE CHARGING ME! I don’t have time for this shit, I have a job that I work every day (wow amazing).
me wanting to slam my head into my desk
Me: Alright, let’s move on. Talk to your employer about that and they’d be glad to help you. Now, you claimed the PTC. You can only claim that if you got 1099-A form due to having insurance through the marketplace.
Caller: I got a 1099-B.
Me: You can only claim it if you got the 1099-A and got insurance through the marketplace. You claimed you did, but you did not. This is why we want to get this refund back. You got money you weren’t supposed to.
Caller: I got a 1099-B. It’s basically the same thing, I don’t fucking understand, why do I have to pay you? This is bullshit! I don’t have time for this!
Me: It isn’t the same thing at all. If you want to take care of this problem, you need to set up a payment arrangement. Penalties and interest accrue daily. Could I help set that up for you today?
Caller: I am NEVER going to pay you fucking people. Ever! This is a load of shit! I already spent the money! You’re never getting a dime out of me.
Me: Okay sir. I can’t force you to pay but I highly suggest you set up an arrangement because it can lead to future collection action. If you’d like, I’d be more than happy to transfer you to the collections department so you can let them know in advance that you have no intention to pay your tax bill! It’ll save some time and you will only have to wait a few weeks to move to lien territory, not months! I know you’re pressed for time and all.
Caller: FUCK YOU!! click
Immediately following the call, I put a note history saying he has no intention to pay… and put in a computer code to immediately put his account in collections as he said the magic phrase “I am never paying this” 🙂