|Peanut, last week|
We were late getting Peanut's license renewed. We had gotten to the threatening pink postcard level (I think that's 3rd in line after initial notice, then a yellow warning letter). Somehow we had managed to register the pups independently - TJ registered Peanut when we moved to Seattle and I registered Spike when we got him in 2003. So they're on completely separate schedules and we each have to take care of one.
I renewed Spike's license in 5 minutes online - I love their system. You enter the license # (conveniently provided on the notice they send) and your phone #, get a chance to update your contact info, and then pay for the license via credit card. A week or so later, they send you the new collar tag.
This is my ideal world - I can take care of it online at any hour, don't need to talk to anyone on the phone, or fill out a form, find a stamp and mail something in. When it works, it's stupendous. Amazing! Awesome.
Until it doesn't. TJ asked me if I could take care of Peanut's renewal, having ignored the first couple of letters. So we were late, and they were threatening late fees.
That's the other thing I luurve about King County Pet Licensing - they threaten late fees, but never seem to *actually* enforce them. Once you pay the fee, they're perfectly happy to waive any late charges, regardless of how late you are. One year we renewed the pups several months late, and it was like they were so happy that we bothered at all, that they waived the $60+ late fees on the spot. LUUURVE.
Aaanyway, so I'm trying to access Peanut's record online and it just.won't. log me in. I tried every phone number I could remember. No luck. Sigh. I got on the phone and called the support number, bracing myself for multi-leveled touchtone menus and a recording that finally would tell me the entire office was at lunch.
But amazingly, after two rings, a dude answered the phone. A real dude, not Automated "Press One Now" Guy! He asked me for some basic info and told me the phone number it was listed under (our home phone from 9 years ago!). He offered to change it on the spot to our current number (he goes above and beyond!). I was batting a thousand at that point, so I figured I'd ask if he could combine Peanut & Spike's records into one. And surprisingly, the answer was Yes, and he took care of that in another minute. Dang. I had no idea an interaction with a public agency could be that pleasant. And seamless.
It's kind of sad that I don't expect that kind of interaction with agencies/companies I deal with, but it's such a rarity. The human was nice, the system worked to do what I needed it to do, and it did not take a ton of my time and energy. That *never* happens.
So hooray for you guys, King County Pet Licensing. We promise to always license our pets!