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Customers Are Taxing

, , , , | Right | May 23, 2022

In the US, some entities are tax-exempt, like federal or state government locations. As such, for a long time, the company I worked for used to set up government accounts as tax-exempt without asking for documentation first.

Following a nightmare incident with some top-notch bureaucratic stupidity, my company made the change that all new customers would default to taxable, no exception, and would only be changed to tax-exempt after providing the necessary tax form/certificate/whatever. It was a mild annoyance for entities that weren’t used to giving us documentation up front, but usually, the government-related ones understood when we’d say, “We just need to have the paperwork on file.”

Customer: “You all charged tax on [invoice], even though we’re a state government facility, which I would figure was obvious enough to anyone with a brain, but I got an email saying you need our tax certificate before you’d refund it.”

Me: “Sure, if you have the proper documentation, I can take care of that for you and get that information on file.”

While pulling up the necessary documents and screens, he continues complaining.

Customer: “I don’t see why this is necessary. It says, ‘State of [State],’ right in the name. Or are you all too stupid to know that the government is tax-exempt?”

Me: *Trying the line that has worked countless times before* “I apologize for the inconvenience, but you know how it is when you just need the paperwork on file.”

Customer: “No, in fact, this is absolutely pointless. It should be fairly obvious to anyone with half a working brain, though it’s clear now that anyone who works here must not qualify for that.”

It’s early morning, this jerk has called me stupid several times for the sake of seventy-four cents on an invoice, and I’m running out of patience. I see the department he works for called out on the invoice, and say in my absolute sweetest voice:

Me: “Yes, I’m certain that when the state of [State] distributes unemployment benefits, you take their word on it and don’t require backup documentation?”

He gave me the fiercest glare I’d ever endured and gave one-word answers for the rest of the transaction. I am certain my supervisor overheard and, thankfully, just let it go. Would’ve been worth the write-up, though.

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