Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the unemployment office and website aka DOOM

Today I filed for unemployment (I also did keep up with my previous claim and watched a movie to pass my time) and it was hell. I know that this nation currently has a 12% unemployment rate, on the news they said that really means 17%, either way it is HIGH. You would think with this many people needing to file and check their unemployment claims it would be an easy process to get through. Wrong.

There I am googling on the web "unemployment office pittsburgh pa" and I get a list of agencies that are temp agencies. Does the PA Department of Labor and Industry (which I did later find out by making a call to a friend) come up in my search? The answer is no. With unemployment at this all time high I think that maybe they are just hiding the website so that it takes longer for people to actually file and to frustrate them into possibly not filing a claim. If someone can't find the website to file, then in the eyes of the government they still must be employed.

I get through the web forms. That part was really easy--oh except for it freezing twice on me and me having to restart it, twice. Then at the end of the form it says what days I have to call and all that. Problem, while I am no longer employed by the dreaded employer, I am still on the books until February. I need to figure this out and so I sent an email to the Department regarding my questions because it says

"We encourage our customers to send us feedback on how well these services are being provided and/or functions are being performed. If you want to make a general comment on UC services or if you have UC questions not covered by the information available on this Web site, please e-mail: uc-news@state.pa.us."

Please make note of the italicized bold line. If there are questions not covered by the information available email. I knew that getting on the phone would be a pain so emailing suited me, in my generation anything on the web works.

This is my email back, "This will respond to your e-mail.
This e-mail site is not a UC Service Center and is for general UC information.
You should call 1-888-313-7284 and speak with a UC representative. The UCSC hours of operation are M-F 7 am - 8:30 pm and Sunday 7 am - 2:30 pm. Monday and Tuesday are the busiest days. You should continue to try until you are successful."

UM... Did I read the it wrong? I thought for questions you could email that email address. Guess I was wrong. Another way for them to halt the process of the unemployment checks.


Back to the website I go to find the numbers. I go to call the information line listed on the website.

1.888.313.7284

The first number I tried calling 10:06 a.m. Busy and hung up on me

1.717.787.3547

The second number (I didn't know which one worked at the time of me calling, I kept trying both) 10:07 a.m. Busy hung up on me.

This pattern repeated until 12:38 p.m when I used the first number listed above and actually got through. You have to press #1 and then #5 when it answers. There I was so excited to get through and have this question answered. But I underestimated "the system".

"Your call will be answered by the next available representative. Estimated wait time (a pause for dramatic effect) 40 minutes."

Seriously.

I waited about seven until the prompt told me that if I put my number in the phone by pressing #1 that they will call me back. I did this not expecting anything because the prompt also added that it could be answered the next business day. My call came at 1:19 p.m. and when I answered the lady on the other end was wonderful.

Granted I think my salutation of, "Oh sweet Jesus it actually worked," put her in a laughing mood. She told me that the web filings won't be in the system until the next business day, and that I will have to call back on the 5th to tell them that I am off the books. Very efficient and very helpful. I wish I would have gotten her name to give her a praise or a shout out.

Now I know, just leave your number if you need to know anything, they will get back to you. I wait now til the 5th and see what problems that will eventually bring up.

Until then, keep me in mind for any jobs. I can handle waiting.

1 comment:

  1. this website correctly shows how i felt that day. enjoy!

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/customer_service

    ReplyDelete