Application lost in cyber-space

Homeowner issued penalty after online grant request goes astray

What’s up with the tax department at City Hall?

I am faced with a situation which appears to have been caused by the wonders of modern technology.

I paid my property tax online on July 20 and applied for my homeowner grant, also online, at the same time.

Last week I received a notice that my taxes are delinquent, and a 10 per cent penalty had been added.

I called the phone number provided and eventually spoke to a female with attitude. She told me that because my HOG application had not been received, my property tax payment had not been credited. Yes, my money had been received, but she wasn’t interested in hearing that my HOG application had got lost in cyber-space. She also told me, many times, that penalties are never, never ever waived, under any circumstances whatsoever, and furthermore will start to accrue interest if not paid by the end of the year.

The dollar amount involved is insignificant, right now, but I imagine that it could quickly become major with interest added every month.

I have since sent another application, also online. I’m waiting for another delinquent notice.

I quite understand that bureaucracies operate under rules and regulations, but I don’t understand why they appear to be so inflexible, and why the front-line people are so unpleasant. The woman I spoke to could certainly benefit from a course in customer relations, also one on common courtesy.

Glenys Wood

Penticton