Secret Eyes Mystery Shops: Internal Revenue Service

By: Customer’s Poet

Ahhhhhh. The dreaded IRS call.

I am referring to the call dreaded by millions of Americans when they have to call the IRS for any (and I mean any) tax issue.

No one wants to travel through their maze of call prompts before getting to the proper IRS agent. Let alone wait upwards of an hour or more (during peak season) for help. Staying on topic, I too have found myself ringing the IRS multiple times between February through May.

After filling my return at the end of January, I received a letter a few days later requiring that I verify my identity to receive my 2016 tax return. Which I did. After verifying my identity, the agent stated it would be estimated 9 weeks before my return would be issued. I am sure you could imagine my frustration. Yet, 9 weeks came and went. No refund.

After calling the IRS multiple times, speaking to many agents (even having the one hang up on me without offering help), and receiving many different answers; there was still no refund. Only estimated dates of when it would be released. Again, those dates came and went. Unfortunately for me, the agent I spoke to in February misfiled my return as an identity theft issue instead of putting it in processing.

What have I learned from all of this that I can share with you?

Always ALWAYS write down agent names, id numbers, and the date

I know, I know. I am the customer service person. Yet, in my hast to get in the call que and multiple task, I admit. I have failed multiple times at writing down the agent’s name. Sadly, many of them could care less if you get their name and agent id numbers as they state them at the speed of light. Yet, it’s vital that you record this information. It could later build your case. Not to mention, it allowed me to report that rude agent who hung up the phone in my face without even getting my information to check my files.

Call and call some more

Using some of my customer service sense, I found myself calling the IRS multiple because I wanted to double what was told to me not just accept it as fact. Yet doing so got me many different answers. Which lead to me finding out the real truth about my refund: the agent made a mistake. One which cost me in the long run.

Not all IRS Agents are assholes

Piggy backing off of making multiple calls, I spoke to many different IRS agents. Some were complete assholes I will admit. While others seem to genuinely care and did I thorough investigation on my behalf. Which I utterly appreciated.

In the end, my refund check which was promised by late February has still not arrived. In my quest to get answers, I remained cool and was able to get the help I deserved.

Should you experience a similar tax issue, contact the IRS Tax Advocate office in your state by visiting https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/contact-us.

As always be smart, be savvy, and equip.

Racial Profiling while Shopping: Here’s What You Should Do.

HOLIDAY SHOPPING

In the midst of high-profile cases which involve police shooting unarmed black men, the nation is embroiled in a heated debate over the racial profiling of American law enforcement.

Aside from these breaking news cases, a Gallup poll suggests that African-Americans are 10 times more likely to feel discrimination at a store than when going to a restaurant, or dealing with police during a traffic incident.

Understanding that retailers have the power to stop and detain people in their stores, criminal justice experts, some retail executives, and consumers are calling for greater scrutiny of the private justice system of the nation’s brick-and-mortar stores when it comes to people of color. With the strong parallel between racial profiling in retail settings and the national discussion over police use of force against minorities, it’s no wonder why online sales keep growing, while brick-and-mortar stores continue to die. In several recent consumer lawsuits, major brands including CVS, Apple, and Best Buy have come under fire for allegedly targeting minority shoppers as shoplifters because of their race.

Yet, when it comes to demographics, the buying power among people of color is steadily increasing. According to a Nielsen Company report, non-white consumers are deemed the “growth engine of the future.” The group accounted for some 92 percent of U.S. population growth from 2000 to 2014. Between 1990 and 2014 their buying power skyrocketed 415 percent, from $661 billion to $3.4 trillion. For African-Americans, Nielsen found, household income grew faster than households of non-Hispanic whites in every income bracket above $60,000 from 2005 to 2013. The difference was especially pronounced at the $200,000-level, where black households increased by 138 percent compared to a 74 percent increase for whites. Black buying power alone is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2019.

Should you or someone you know become arrested and/or detained due to racial profiling while shopping, don’t remain silent. Here are steps on what you should do:

Do Not Run

Running confirms the security officer’s acquisition that you may have stolen something. It also gives them the power to use reasonable force to restrain you. Instead do the following:

Demand to speak to someone in authority

Recount the facts as clearly as you possibly can

Demand to bring along a third party – a lawyer is ideal but a friend or relative is better than no one

Take a note of times, names and contact details

Refuse to be bullied – be polite but assertive

Demand sight of any CCTV footage as soon as possible

After being released, do the following:

Record your version of the facts in a letter as soon as possible to a senior level exe at that organization

Create a paper trail to gather your thoughts and record of the facts of your case

Being arrested and/or detained due to racial profiling is a very serious issue.  If a company has made an error they should apologize and compensate you.  For more help contact stopracialprofiling.net.

As always be smart, be savvy, and be well equip.

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Customer Tolerance: Is it 3 Strikes You’re Out?

Customer Tolerance Is it 3 Strikes You’re Out

By: Customers Poet

Originated: May 21, 2016

Boiling points.

A commonality among all humans. It’s the point of no return. The point which exposes our true selves and true emotions. The point where one decides to defeat or be defeated. But what triggers this?

For some of us, we can be easily set off if we perceive something as unacceptable. For others, it’s a gradual build up or it simply may not phase us.

Think back to the early 2000s when MTV launched its show Boiling Points which created hostile customer service environments and captured the candid responses. The show took the virtue of patience to a whole new level by rewarding customers based on their level of patience at the end of a prank. The payment was based on the amount of time a customer endured the annoyance.

Considering this Secret Eyes received a complaint from a customer regarding their improper experience with a globally famous fast food chain. According to the customer, they went through the drive thru line twice and their request still was not aided. This made Secret Eyes wonder how many times should a customer give a company to make things right?

Should the baseball rule three strikes you’re out be applied? Or should customers have patience and continue to tolerate the mistakes of companies until things get properly fixed?

Share your thoughts.

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Join the hundreds of other Secret Eyers and support the movement!

Help Secret Eyes Spread the word of improving customer service by passing the message forward!