Thursday, October 22, 2009

Incompetence as Usual at the Ohio BMV

Incompetence, is there a stronger word? Stupidity mixed with arrogance, perhaps. Who do they hire at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles anyway? Is there a competency test or is it the good old boy system? I think of my 5 grandchildren in the Ohio school system who must pass proficiency tests to move along, yet these adults at the BMV display no hint that they passed a competency test themselves.

Look at my copy of the check I wrote to the BMV to renew my license plates. Is it crystal clear to you? Each car we own cost $54.87 to renew, for a total of $109.74. Have you seen anything wrong with my check? Neither do I, yet, upon calling the "BMV Citizens Advisory Committee" I was told that my application was denied. By the way, if you notice the date, it is one month to the day and I am without a sticker- a violation of state law, I am told! Try calling 1-800-589-8247 and let me know when you get through. That's the number for "questions regarding your registration." It has been busy since 9 AM. it is noon and still busy.

As a result of not being able to get though ,I found the BMV Citizens Advisory Committee, a service that "is to provide feedback to the BMV on the state of its relations with the public by undertaking a review and evaluation of the client service practices of the BMV and advising the BMV on methods to improve its interaction with the public." Yes, that's what it says. So I called.

"Did you call 1-800-589-8247 before contacting this department?" asked the agent. "Oh, it's busy, been busy for quite some time," I replied in a restrained voice. I the I explained my 'case' to the 'agent' who checked for me and I was told that my application had been denied. "Denied?" I asked, "why is that, an outstanding warrant, a traffic violation?" [joking!] "No sir, they cannot read the amount on your check." "You mean, $109.74?" i said, looking at the copy of my check. "It's the '4'" he said, it looks like an 'x'." "What '4'?" I asked, looking more closely at my copy of the check, "It looks like a '4' to me." "Oh, not the numerical four, the one written," he stated, " the one over the 100." Then he went on, "The 'y' of Boyer obscures the 4 and makes it look like an X or a K." "You must be kidding!" I said. "What else wouild it be other than a 4, for crying out loud!" Then I did the math, "$54.87 plus $54.87 equals a number ending in four, like 7 + 7." "Well that may be, but they could not process the check due to that problem with the 4."

Seriously, that was the conversation. I'd like to tell you that this is a Halloween joke, but it was true, word for word. I told him that this was insane.

"I'm contacting my supervisor," he told me."Good," I told him. "It will be a few minutes." We waited and during this time, he thought it would be a good idea to recap the 'problem' for me as though I were a complete jackass. I told him that the BMV clearly hires incompetent people if they cannot distinguish a 4 from an X or K. Yet, he assured me that each check needed to be verified by a person before continuing the registration process.

By a person. As opposed to? "if the person cannot read the correct amount," he droned on...

Luckily, before he raised my blood pressure even higher, the supervisor came on. Fortunately, she must have passed a competency test along the way. She told me [and the agent] that the check would be processed. I thanked her and she disconnected, but the agent was not yet done. He thought that he should finish his last lecture, but i interrupted and I said to him, "So, you are part of the Citizens Advisory Board created by House Bill 182..." I was reading to him what the website stated. "Surely, you will be passing on my complaint to the Board and Senator Bill Harris, won't you?" "Yes, but you have to remember..."


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