Sunday, March 20, 2011

I miss Syed!

Well, another Philadelphian special. Justin and I are finally done with our taxes, but it wasn't easy. A few weeks ago I scheduled an appointment at H&R Block. We have used a Kirkland branch in the past, had our "own" preparer, Syed, and have been very pleased. It was a good company, efficient and professional. So why wouldn't I pick H&R in Philly? Right? So I scheduled the appointment for a Wednesday evening at 6:00. The very next day I got a call saying the person my appointment was scheduled with didn't work on Wednesday so if I wasn't busy, maybe I could just come in now, or maybe Saturday morning. No, that is why I scheduled it for Wednesday night. Turns out we were waiting for 1 more form anyway, so I cancelled and rescheduled it once the form came. Two days before the appointment, I got four calls in one hour, and finally on the fourth call they left a message to remind me of my appointment, and then to tell me since we were new customers, they were going to have the best accountant (the manager) of the branch prepare our taxes. Super! So when we arrived to our appointment, the manager comes to the front desk, wearing dark, reflective aviator glasses, and told us he wouldn't be able to do our taxes but directed us to someone else. For the next TWO hours, our tax preparer, let's call her Tina, shuffled around our papers, asked the same things at least 3 times, and went back to the sketchy manager with "issues." Meanwhile, the receptionist, who was at the cubicle next to us, was on the phone, shouting (maybe I mean talking loudly, but it sure sounded like shouting) at previous customers to try and get them to make an appointment but kept saying things like "We really miss you," "We can't wait to see you again," and "Tina would love to do your taxes again for you this year." This may sound rather benign, but it was so loud, vexing and annoying. After the two hours, Tina and the manager came to tell us they would not be filing our taxes because they wanted someone else to go over them again. Now I can appreciate them wanting everything to be correct, but were they really that complicated? And now we were going to have to go back to the hole in the wall (it was in a very ghetto shopping plaza) with hoodlums and loiterers all around. Tina told us to come back in two days. Two days later I called to make sure everything was ready, Tina assured me it was and we could meet her at 5:30 to sign everything and file. My train was running a few minutes late, but I got there right at 5:30. Justin was already waiting for me. We walked in and the receptionist told us Tina had just stepped out. She had no idea where she had gone, but kept telling us she would be right back. What? How do you know she'll be right back, you don't even know where she went? And we had an appointment! The manager came out and started walking up and down the strip looking for her. She came back in at 5:45. Then she asked me many of the same things, all over again. But alas, we finally signed and were able to file. Plus, we never have to go back again! Now I know this was another complaining entry, but this is just another fine example of how things are different here. There were many other little incidents that kind of irked us, or that were completely Philly, but guess you had to be here ; ) But don't come.