Props: Canada Revenue Agency
Adam and I moved in together on May 1, 2007. That means we’ve been at our current address for 8 months. When I moved, I registered for 6 months of mail forwarding from Canada Post. Those jerkfaces charged me $6/month to put a sticker on my mail to get it to the new address, and it was a pain in the butt to set up. The first few weeks, not all my mail was getting stickered, so I still had to go to my old place to pick up my mail.
The other problem with it, was that it let me be a total lazybones about making sure my address was changed for all the people who send me mail. Friends and family were easily taken care of with a big email, but everything else was a big effort, involving much cursing, time on hold, and general disgruntlement.
On New Year’s Eve, about ten minutes after everything shut down, I remembered I had never changed my address with the Canada Revenue Agency. For you non-Canucks, that’s the federal organization in charge of useful things like our tax returns. This is mostly only a big deal because my income is still low enough that I get a GST credit every quarter. Basically, free money four times a year, meant to offset the impact of GST on my income, but really just an excuse totreat myself to something I can’t otherwise afford, like a pedicure.
I called them today to change my address, and expected to be on hold for ages, deal with a grumpy operator, and spend an hour proving I was myself. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised.
I googled and found this great page with different options for changing your address. I called at 3:03, listened to ONE menu, chose my option, and got a message saying that they try to answer all calls within 2 minutes, but it may take longer on high volume days. By 3:06 I was speaking with a cheerful operator, who was patient with my flaky knowledge of my past addresses and 2006 employers (3 in 2006), and laughed when I said I had no idea how much I made in 2006 and that “I think my last GST cheque started with a 6?” After a minute or two of these identifying questions, he asked for my new address, and confirmed my phone number. He apologized and said my cheque had already been printed, so I would have to get it from my old address. I was done and off the phone by 3:09.
This is how it should be, people. It shouldn’t take hours to get through to a government agency, and then more hours to deal with your query or need. It should be quick and efficient, and the staff should be as pleasant as the operator I dealt with.
Props, CRA. Now don’t screw me on my taxes in the Spring!
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