Friday, March 24, 2006
Living in DC
I just attempted to file my DC taxes online, through their Electronic Taxpayer Service Center. After I entered my itemized deductions and clicked "save and continue," the deductions screen re-appeared with this note: "Please verify your DC deductions." However, there was no button with "verify" on it, no link to what this sentence means, no identifiable way to move the process forward. I called the DC tax office, and was given a phone number of the ONE person who can help in these online matters. I said "You mean you only have ONE PERSON who can answer questions on the web site's tax form?" "Unfortunately, yes, that is the case," the person on the end of the line said. "You'll have to leave a message and have her call you back." I told the tax office I wouldn't even bother to call. Doesn't DC realize that, when you're offering an online service like this, that there will most likely be THOUSANDS of people with THOUSANDS of questions, who don't want to wait around for someone to call them back? Oh, yeah, right. I forgot. I'm in DC.
In the end, I did call the number I was given, and got voicemail. I didn't leave a message. DC needs to learn a lesson from grants.gov about effectively building an online system of forms and customer service.