“We already sent you one”

Today, I spent a good chunk of the day trying to get everything for our taxes together so we can give them to an accountant to get them done. Yes, we procrastinated again. Who enjoys tax time, after all? I don’t think anyone can blame us.

As of this evening, I still need:

• Ben to print a few things for me. We’re missing a few receipts for orders he made on technical references and office supplies and equipment.

• To find the receipt for our “radiant barrier” for our “energy” deduction thingy. Supposedly it is deductible up to $500. Ben thinks he knows roughly where it is.

• To type up and print the “donated items” list to attach to the NAM (Northwest Assistance Ministries) charitable donation slips so that they are neat and readable.

• To print out records for my digital scrapbook design stuff. I did better than I thought I did last year. I thought I had only made about $10 all year, but it was a bit more than that. So instead of seeing a 90% decrease in sales this past year, it was more like 56% decrease. That actually brought a smile to my face and gave me some more encouragement in that department.

• To print all the overall summary (what we have) and the spreadsheets for deduction things.

Not too bad as it only took me today to get to this point. Usually it takes me 2-3 days to get this far.

Of course I spent part of the day trying to track down all of our DSL bills for the past year. Now, if we were more organized this wouldn’t be a problem. We always say we’re going to keep track of this stuff and some of the time we do OK with it, others we don’t. We’ll try again in 2009 to keep track of these things throughout the year so we aren’t searching for them coming tax time again.

I wasn’t too worried as I knew you could view past bills online and I could just print them real quick…in theory, anyway.

So I go to ATT’s website to get my bills. The ATT home phone services part of the website works just fine. I have all my bills from there. Yay! Part of the year done.

I then switched over to the ATT U-Verse website because we switched to u-verse in May or something like that. Let us refer back to the “should be able to print them real quick” line of thinking…it was quickly getting smashed to bits as the strikes against ATT start racking up in my mind…

Strike #1
The link on the ATT home phone services website that is supposed to take me to the ATT U-verse log-in page doesn’t take me anywhere. I figure that this is a Firefox web browser not playing nice thing.

Strike #2
I have to load Safari. At least with this web browser I am able to log into our U-Verse account.

Strike #3
The ATT U-Verse online account management “view bill summary” will only let me view the current bill. Keep in mind that we are almost done with March in the year 2009 and I am working on taxes for 2008. This is NOT going to help me for 2008 taxes!

Strike #4
I have to call ATT customer service to have them help me figure out what is going on. I am on the phone with this guy who is also a Mac user and he’s trying to be as helpful as humanly possible. I give him a big kudos for that.

Strike #5
While I am on the phone and he’s trying to see if he can pull up my account information and whatnot, I am loading Windows XP on my Mac. Gee, I like VM Fusion and how it puts the best of both worlds right there at my finger tips. They still get a strike because I had to load Windows in the first place.

Strike #6
I load Firefox and while it would allow me to log-in, it wouldn’t give me more than I could see using Safari. I can only view the current bill. Again, this is not going to help me with my records for 2008 taxes. At least they got somewhat of a clue and at least allowed me to log-in using the web browser of MY choice.

Strike #7
I have to load Internet Explorer. Hey, at least now I can log-in AND see all of my bills from the past. Or so I thought…

Strike #8
I sit and open each of the past bills which they are nice enough to provide to me in PDF format. I thought my problems were solved. The good news is that I have MOST of the bills I needed. The bad news is that their website still wouldn’t allow me to view ONE bill. *angry face* The guy could not even view that particular bill on his end, so he transfers me over to the billing department.

I do have to say that this guy was very apologetic for my inconvenience and truly did try to help me get what I needed. He even checked to see if ATT U-Verse Voice was available in my area yet. It isn’t.

Strike #9
So he leaves me to talk to the billing representative. I explain to the person on the phone what I need and how the website is not working or I could just print it myself. This person then tells me that they can send me a duplicate bill for $5. Excuse me? I am NOT paying that much for something I am SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO VIEW ONLINE! “Well we already sent you a bill, there is a $5 charge for sending duplicate bills.” *scratching head* It is your website’s fault that I can’t see my BILL ONLINE like I am supposed to and you expect me to just hand you another $5 per bill to get what I should have been able to get an hour ago by simply clicking a few links and hitting print? I don’t care if you sent me one already I am not paying $5 for a duplicate when I am supposed to be able to view it online. *really angry face*

So it is official ATT’s Uverse website sucks big time!

Get with the program people! People do use Macs and in fact the Mac user margin is increasing. People do use browsers other than Internet Explorer. I’m not just talking about Firefox here. We’re talking any web browser besides Internet Explorer. Remember I couldn’t even access the information I needed using Safari, the Mac default browser. Did you know that they don’t even make Internet Explorer for Mac? They quit that a few versions ago. Evidently, they didn’t hire enough people to do “user testing”.

The good news is that I have all but 1 bill and I can get that in the future if I need to verify. For now I have the before and after bill so I can plug in the price we paid without issue. It is just the simple fact that “simple online access” required me to jump through hoops…2 operating systems and 4 browsers. Not cool!

To scrap or not to scrap…

I have been feeling more of the “itch to scrap” that last night’s scrapping session helped fuel. This is a good thing. I really haven’t scrapped much in the past couple of months. So it felt nice to just sit and scrap.

Today while I was working on gathering the tax information, I was totaling up what I made last year doing my digital scrapbook kit design stuff. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought that I had only made about $10 last year. How easily we forget. I was shocked at how much it totaled up to be. So instead of a 90% decrease in sales last year, I had something like a 55-60% decrease in sales. Still a decrease but not nearly as bleak as I had thought it was. This simple find gave me some encouragement and a new spark of hope that this will be a better year. We’ll ignore the fact that the economy is in the crapper.

I have also worked some more on a kit that I am working on. I am almost finished. I just need to push it over the edge and get it done. I just have a couple more things to do and then do some quality control and checking (double checking), packaging, and uploading. It will be interesting to see how this year goes.

I also updated a post on my Digital Scrapbooking blog. I updated the post from February entitled “I’ve been scrapbooking…” with more pictures and credits. I also made a new post with another layout I have finished.

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