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Old 05-31-2014, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Oceania
8,623 posts, read 6,255,626 times
Reputation: 8318

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My local SS brick and mortar store in MD is a nightmare. I wouldn't wish it on anyone else in the USA.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,121 posts, read 22,989,204 times
Reputation: 35310
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Like most older people, I've had internet since around 1997 or so (many had it much sooner) but I still want to speak to a human being in person. I've had bad experiences with SS when talking to them on the phone. If I called the local office I got one answer, if I called the national office I got another answer. Finally I made an appointment and went there in person. I was given plenty of time to explain and they listened and asked questions. It made a huge difference and I don't care if I had to wait 15 minutes for my name to be called (or number or whatever) it was well worth it. There's something to be said for actual face to face human contact.
Wow! 15 minutes? Try HOURS in San Jose, CA. I only had to wait about 1 hour in Redding, and I thought I'd died and went to heaven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by armory View Post
My local SS brick and mortar store in MD is a nightmare. I wouldn't wish it on anyone else in the USA.
Yep, I only had better luck with SS worker in person, than over the phone, once. And that was when my file was being reviewed, and I got a specialist. She caught an error made by someone in person - with her supervisor there who backed her up, after I asked her to be sure she was right, because it seemed wrong to me. Sure enough she and her supervisor were wrong, and the specialist could only fix the error back so far. In other words, the first worker and her supervisor cost me a couple thousand dollars.

So, getting them in person isn't any better than dealing with them over the phone, in my experience.

There are just so many businesses I deal with now, where I don't go to a brick and mortar store to get help. PayPal comes to mind. Even banking issues with my bank is rarely done at a branch anymore, and I hate having to drive there and stand in line.

I would be very unhappy if the call center went overseas, though. But, I really don't think the field offices are necessary. Regional offices would suffice with call centers and workers who process paperwork, etc., and then for hearings, etc., people would just have to potentially drive farther.

But, if this can save millions of dollars that can be put back into the SS fund, that's okay by me.

Sorry SS field workers, but maybe you can all get jobs in the new huge call centers that will be needed.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:31 AM
 
1,176 posts, read 1,380,999 times
Reputation: 1256
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb View Post
Their phone services leaves alot to be desired.

They basically told me to go to their website and figure it out. I have a complex issue in that I had all my points - then I went to work for a government agency that does not pay into Social Security.

I want an appointment, dammit.
I am currently unable to access any SSN info online. I called and was told it is due to having fraud alerts on file with the credit bureaus, which I have in place due to personal info (including SSN) being stolen through different companies by hackers.

I'd prefer online to a call center, but given my situation that would not be an option.

I hope the call center staff would be trained and located in the U.S., but I wouldn't count on it.

My latest call to the nearest office proved most unproductive and I've been putting off going into the office; now I'm thinking I'd better do that before they're gone.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,220,203 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
Social Security Threatens to Close All Field Offices


Need to figure out whether it makes sense to retire at 62 or 65? Wondering how much your monthly Social Security benefit will be? Been married three times and wondering what that means for your benefit?

Answers have never been farther than your local Social Security office, where employees are extensively trained to give you accurate and helpful answers. There’s a reason Social Security is the most popular of all government programs.

But that will change if the Social Security Administration’s “Vision 2025” comes to pass. Bureaucrats are mulling closure of most of SSA’s more than 1,000 community field offices in the U.S., where 43 million people sought services last year.

Even as the number of visitors continues to grow, Vision 2025 would virtually eliminate face-to-face service, replacing it with Internet services and an 800 phone number.




Read the rest here:
Social Security Threatens to Close All Field Offices
Catchy title for the link, but no, Social Security is not threatening to close all field offices. Here's a summary of the strategic vision drafted by the Academy of Public Administration, minus the Union's hyperbole.

SSA draft vision calls for smaller workforce, fewer offices | Federal Times | federaltimes.com
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,467 posts, read 5,935,374 times
Reputation: 16170
Quote:
Originally Posted by armory View Post
My local SS brick and mortar store in MD is a nightmare. I wouldn't wish it on anyone else in the USA.

Which office did you visit?
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:31 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,622 posts, read 39,986,663 times
Reputation: 23780
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpineprince View Post
Expats have been dealing with this for years. ...
yes, and Expats have internet coverage, Which is much more than can be said for rural America. 16 miles from an 800,000 pop. metro area, and our only choice is 'pay-by-the-byte' dial up... bong-bong,,,

No Satt. dishes, no cell towers allowed, no dsl, no cable.
left wing conspiracy to get everyone to move to population centers to improve their 'democratic' voting concentration. Much cheaper if you only have to poll a couple cities / state. Close the rural election offices next. They serve no value.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:57 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,774 posts, read 14,877,508 times
Reputation: 11886
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
No, no, no.

There is nothing like face-to-face with an experienced SS worker. My benefit is higher because of it. Correspondence to SS in DC got me nowhere. Couple of years later, I went to a local office, career SS person there said I was given wrong info - in a letter from DC no less. When I returned w/tax returns and same info I had mailed to DC, the issue was corrected on the spot.

Routine things can be done online. Complex problem-solving, not so much.

I HATE, absolutely HATE the online world we've become. In many cases, only local, face-to-face will do. That option should NEVER be eliminated.
++++++
Agree completely, unfortunately the entire country is being operated by drones sitting in front of computers "talking" to unknown voices on the other end of the line.

Like yourself I was lucky to have a face to face with a SS official and I had a positive outcome.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:19 AM
 
894 posts, read 733,360 times
Reputation: 1582
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
I'm actually OK with it.

As long as the people in there call center are As good or Better qualified as the Brick & Mortar offices. But they need to set up a Call in Appointment time, So you don't sit on hold for hours, and don't send you into IVR Loops, when you want to talk to a person.
We are talking about the govt here. It will never happen efficiently. But let's let them run our health care!!!
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,028,032 times
Reputation: 1046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
No, no, no.

There is nothing like face-to-face with an experienced SS worker. My benefit is higher because of it. Correspondence to SS in DC got me nowhere. Couple of years later, I went to a local office, career SS person there said I was given wrong info - in a letter from DC no less. When I returned w/tax returns and same info I had mailed to DC, the issue was corrected on the spot.

Routine things can be done online. Complex problem-solving, not so much.

I HATE, absolutely HATE the online world we've become. In many cases, only local, face-to-face will do. That option should NEVER be eliminated.
I so agree!

Three years ago I called SS to find out what my widows benefit would be if I delayed starting to collect it until my full retirement age (knowing that my own benefit would be paltry). After giving my LH's info and SS# (which was repeated to me to make sure it was correct) I was given a specific figure. All my financial decisions for the next two years were based on the "certain knowledge" that starting in 2015 I would be receiving this amount every month.

Fast forward to last year, when due to circumstances I had to consider taking my own benefits at the reduced (pre-full-retirement) rate in order to have any income at all. This time I made an appointment at my local office. Sat down with a worker who reviewed all my paperwork and also did the widows benefit calculation even though I said I already know what it is. Guess what? The CORRECT amount is almost $500/month LESS than what the phone rep had told me. I felt like the floor had just fallen out from under my chair, as I watched $6000/yr go flying out the window.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:48 AM
 
9,205 posts, read 9,280,929 times
Reputation: 28865
They can close all the field offices for all I care. My experiences going to the local SSA offices in Salt Lake and Ogden have been horrific experiences.

My son lost his social security card and we couldn't get him a driver's license without one. I went to one office on a Spring morning and found over about 150 people waiting for service. Since my own office was nearby, I called an employee and asked her to come over, take my number, and hold my place in line. The total wait was over 2 hours. Finally, I returned and met with the representative. The SSA representative was one of these gals in her late twenties who I suspect got the job based on her looks and the way she dressed rather than her intelligence. These kind seem to proliferate like weeds at many government agencies. She than proceeded to tell that the i.d. I provided would be unsatisfactory to issue a replacement card. I understand employees have to follow rules, but what I couldn't understand was the absence of a sign in the office explaining that before all the waiting was done.

The other office was a bit better, but still the long wait before I got what I needed.

They might as well make us doing everything on line. Trying to go to the SSA office here is a fate that is almost worse than death.
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