Now, a suspicious person (who--me?) might believe this is the government's way of keeping the citizens at arm's length. If they can't reach you, they can't bitch, right? And let's face it, who would call THIS government to say anything nice?
I haven't had the pleasure of personally dealing with the healthcare site yet, but I did spend a month TRYING to apply for unemployment on Florida's new CONNECT site, and let me tell you, the term "going postal" didn't come close to describing my frustration. The best part was, after four weeks of fighting to get logged in, they informed me that I couldn't receive benefits until after my waiting week (which would have been three weeks earlier if the fucking site had worked!).
SOMEBODY CALL AL GORE TO COME FIX THIS SHIT. HE CLAIMED TO HAVE INVENTED THE INTERNET, SO I'M BLAMING HIM NOW.
The funny thing is, I'm a web designer, and while I like to pretend to my clients that what I do for them is really hard, it isn't. Brain surgery is hard. Finding parking at the mall this time of year is hard. Web design (once you know the code) is a walk in the park, which should be an indicator of just how stupid this government is.
Still licking my wounds from the CONNECT debacle, I come up against the latest government FUBAR, the Social Security Administration, who by the way, just updated their site. Three guesses who handled that update. This must have been one of those Lockheed-$500-toilet-government-contract fuckups.
This all started when I got this email two weeks ago:
We’d like to remind you to review your Social Security Statement online. The Statement has important Social Security information and, if applicable, estimates of your future benefits.
If you are working, we encourage you to check your Statement yearly to make sure your earnings record is correct. The Statement also will help in planning your financial future.
To view your most recent Statement, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/signin and sign into your account.
Please do not reply to this E-mail, as we are unable to respond to messages sent to this address.
So, like any curious citizen, I clicked on the link and entered the login information I had used to create my account last year when the SSA decided mailing statements to people was too much work and insisted that we all use their (cough cough) wonderful website to view them instead (I'm not even going to think about how much stress this is causing elderly people who can't even figure out how to turn on a computer).
SIDE NOTE: I now know how they're going to solve the social security going broke problem. If no one can log in, no one can apply for benefits.
Anyway, here is the result of that login attempt:
Now, first of all, this is a WEBSITE. There's no one sitting on the other end answering url requests, so insisting that people attempt to access the site ONLY during regular service hours is RETARDED.
Second, the first time I attempted this was at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Tuesday, which, unless I'm sitting in China, is within their definition of REGULAR SERVICE HOURS.
Third, I tried this over and over at various times of day over the next two weeks and got the same message every time. So finally, I decided I'd call to see what the hell the problem was (big mistake, but hey, I'm a sucker).
I think I deserve some credit for not smashing my phone because the robo-voice that answered was the most annoying male I have even heard. And the options he gave weren't even close to why I was calling (I guess they don't want to include the option "If our website is fucked up and you can't log in, press 9.")
So I waited until the annoying voice finished it's litany of stupidity, then was informed that if I wanted to wait on the line, my wait time would be four hours.
FOUR MOTHERFUCKING HOURS!!
If your customer service line is backed up for FOUR MOTHERFUCKING HOURS, that should send up a red flag saying, hey, we might have a problem here.
*Smacks head* What am I thinking--it's the GOVERNMENT.
Rather than sit on hold till my phone battery died (and you know, because I have a life to live) I left a callback number. By the time they called I had forgotten all about it, so that was a surprise. Then when I answered I got put on hold for ten minutes, then sent back to the voicemail labyrinth so I'd be good a ready to treat the public servant who finally answered with the proper amount of respect.
And can I just ask this--why would you call me back to put me on hold when the reason you made me give you a callback number in the first place was so I wouldn't have to sit on hold? Every government site does this now.
SIDE NOTE: I used to be an advocate of gun control.
When I finally got connected to a (cough cough) human being, she informed me that they had updated their website and all the old accounts were deleted so I had to create a new one. As a credit to my humanity, I didn't even to waste my breath commenting on that one, though I was thinking some pithy stuff real hard.
So I go back to the website to create a new account, and I put in all my information, and it informs me that there is already an account in that name and to log in using those credentials. Not trusting that, I created a new password (it wouldn't let me create a new username, bastards) then attempted to login .
Guess what happened
At this point, I don't even care anymore. Besides, by the time I qualify for Social Security, the money will be paying for some politician's mistress's boob job. I hope she enjoys it.