New Year, Same Ol’ Byoo-rah-krah-see

So this morning I call up the company handling my 403b (the nonprofit version of a 401k) made stagnant and soon subject to administrative fees because of my change in employment in November.

I’d called the company up at the end of that month to see what my options were, and after hearing the rep out told him I’d decided to take the 30% tax chomp and cash out. I was wisely advised to wait until the new year to do the disbursement so that I wouldn’t absorb the slam on my ’05 taxes and I agreed that was a capital idea. What I wasn’t told was that the paperwork to get my money could have been mailed to me so that I could have it filled out and ready to go right now.

Instead, as mentioned at the top, I called today to get the ball rolling and I’m told it could be up to five days for me to receive the forms I need to complete. However long it takes for me to turn those forms around and get them back to the company, then I’m looking at up to two weeks for the check to be cut and sent to me. So essentially the worst-case scenario is it could be up to four long weeks for my money to get to me. Gah!

I stewed over this all morning and finally called the company back. After being on hold for close to 10 minutes I finally get a rep on the line and he says how can I help you and I tell him I’ve got a bone to pick.

“Very good,” he said. “Let’s have it.” So I laid out the background and my predicament as stated above and said how it woulda/coulda/shoulda been oh so very nice had the initial rep I spoke with back in November come up with an “in the meantime while we’re waiting for 2005 to die, howsabout I send you out those forms so you can John Hancock ’em and have it all ready to roll when the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. on 01.01.06 perhaps shaving upwards of five/six days offa what may be a worst-case scenario wait of maybe like 28 days.”

There was a beat or two of silence on the other line and the rep totally agreed with me that perhaps had I encountered a more intuitive member of their customer service pool I would now be mailing out my forms rather than sitting here fuming. The good news is that by calling back and diplomaticaly venting I was advised by this rep that I could shave a few days off that wait time by faxing the required forms in and requesting my money be deposited directly into my checking account. Nice. He even gave me a direct toll-free number to the department that will be in charge of getting me my green in case I wanted to check the status of the disbursement. Very nice.