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My Paychex odyssey
I was laid off from my job on 6/30/2009. Unfortunately, my former employer (lets called them “company G”) used Paychex (www.paychex.com) payroll services.
My former employer told me to sit back and within 4 to 6 weeks I’d receive forms to enroll in COBRA health coverage.
When that didn’t happen, I called Paychex. No, I wouldn’t be sent the COBRA forms because I was still employed with company G. No I’m not. Yes you are. No I’m not. Yes you are.
So began several phone calls over an hour or two to company G (who by the way, was able to confirm for me that yes indeed I was no longer employed at company G), and further calls to Paychex. Finally, company G, Paychex, and myself, were all able to agree I was no longer employed by company G.
Or so I thought.
I received the COBRA forms from Paychex and filled them out, put a stamp on the envelop and was about to leave the house the next day to mail them. In my mailbox I find a rather thick envelop from the actual health insurance company I used. What do you know, its COBRA health insurance continuation forms, and they look very similar to the forms from Paychex.
Ohhhh I sensed a headache coming on.
So, I went back inside, back up stairs and began another telephone odyssey with Paychex. After about 15 minutes and two phone calls speaking with two Paychex employees (God help them, how do they cope ?) I’m told I should not have received the COBRA forms from Paychex. I should from now on deal directly with the health insurance company directly.
So, I fill out their forms, and send them in and soon it appears I have COBRA health insurance. Great, all is well.
Paychex is still in business and I must still deal with them. They hold my 401K account and I wish to roll over my 401k balance into a private IRA. So, I go to the Paychex website to look for the rollover form. Not there. It’s just not there - I looked all over.
So, I began yet another call to Paychex. Had I known I would be calling them so often I’d have gotten a direct line.
Well, I’m told the rollover forms are on such and such a page. I go to that page and they are now there. So, I’m asked for my name, SSN, etc etc and asked to hold a minute.
Well, I’m told I am not able to roll over my 401k balance as I am still employed by company G. The blood vessels begin throbbing and I’m having trouble focusing. Can you say that again ? You can not roll over your 401k balance until you are no longer employed by company G. I am not employed by company G. Yes you are. No I’m not. Yes you are.
I am not employed by company G I pleaded with her. We went through this same thing with my COBRA insurance ... don’t you remember. No sir, I only deal with 401k account issues. You need to have your company notify us that you are no longer employed. But, they already did that. We have no record of that sir. You need to speak to ... click.
I hung up on the robot and went back to the Paychex website.
I found this page:
and began calling their corporate officers. Some of them I could not reach at the office, so I looked up their names in the phone book and called their homes. Some of them weren’t home, but their spouses were. I left messages with everyone, asking that they please look into this.
I then started with the board of directors. They’re all CEOs, and COOs and CFOs and CxOs at other companies. I called those companies and asked to speak to the Paychex BODs. I left messages for them. I emailed them.
Well, Paychex finally came to realize that I was no longer employed by company G and I would finally be allowed to roll over my 401K balance. I never received an apology. I never received any acknowledgement from Paychex that maybe, just maybe, there was something broken in their system.
I can be deemed to be no longer employed for the purpose of receiving COBRA coverage, yet still employed for 401K issues. Apparently the two systems are not linked. No one at Paychex would acknowledge that. No apologies, no explanation. Nothing.
I’d see Paychex commercials or other mention of their name and begin getting anxious. I’d sweat and want to go home and not go out. I needed help. So, I started a PA group. Paychex Anonymous. People who had been mentally assaulted by Paychex could come to a totally anonymous meeting and share their story. Paychex employees, company HR people that used Paychex services, employees of companies making use of Paychex services, etc. The goal is to let go of the anger and frustration, to not allow Paychex to control our mental state. It’s slowly beginning to work for me.
I have had a few relapses though. I of course blame Paychex. Evil Paychex.
I had trouble finding a copy of a receipt for a prescription I had filled last spring. It took me a while to obtain a new copy, and on 9/24/2009, 1 week before the 3 month anniversary of my being laid off, I mailed my FSA reimbursement request to Paychex. Do you know where this is going ? Yes.
Ok, so it takes them a while to receive the forms, process them and cut me a check. No problem. I’ll wait a bit.
A few weeks go by and I get a letter from Paychex. I am told I am no longer eligible for COBRA health insurance continuation coverage. What ? I thought I already had that. Yes, I did. I did have COBRA health insurance.
I probably should have torn up the letter, took some aspirin and went to a PA meeting. No, I relapsed and went upstairs and called Paychex. I was told that because I did not meet the deadline for submitting the COBRA forms to Paychex that I was ineligible to begin COBRA coverage. But ... you told me not to submit the forms. No sir, we did not. Yes, you told me to ignore the Paychex COBRA forms and instead submit the MVP COBRA forms. Hold a minute please. Yes, sir, you may just ignore the letter.
But why would you send the letter if you told me I didn’t need to submit the forms. Because you didn’t submit the forms. But you told me not to. Yes sir. Then why did you send me the letter. Because you did not submit the forms. My head is spinning and I am getting sweaty and anxious.
The person didn’t seem to understand. I didn’t either.
I shouldn’t have called. I should have gone to the PA meeting.
Weeks more go by and I’m doing better. I’m attending PA meetings and thinking maybe I can stop soon.
I relapsed again.
It is nearly 6 weeks since I submitted my FSA reimbursement request. I have not received anything. It’s time for a phone call. I should have gotten a direct line. Oh well.
Sir, you did not submit the FSA reimbursement request in time. Yes I did. No sir, you did not. We processed it on 9/30/2009.
[I quickly start to do the math, laid off 6/29/2009, mailed 9/24/2009, processed 9/30/2009] ... sir we always process the forms within two business days of receiving them. When did you process my request ? 9/30/2009 sir. Doesn’t that sort of imply ... hold on sir.
Sir, your request is valid and you will be mailed a check on Monday. Apparently our system does not understand to mail checks when the request is processed within the last 2 days.
Miss, I have a meeting to go to.
At the meeting, people try to reassure me.
I have COBRA health insurance.
I have my 401k account balance.
I will be getting my FSA reimbursement check.
It’s almost all over. After the FSA check comes I’ll be through with Paychex.
I had an interview with a company earlier this week. Things seemed to go pretty well. I asked for feedback from the HR manager and she said the Engineering team had been impressed. I thanked her and began to leave.
I stopped, turned around and asked, Miss, does your company handle its own payroll ? We used too, now were switching over to Paychex.
That was probably about 2pm. I was found in a ditch about 20 miles from there late that night. I was drunk and mumbling to myself. I had my tie tied around my neck like a noose and I had apparently tried to slit my throat with my tie clip.
I was released from the hospital today and am beginning intensive therapy.
I did see on CareerBuilder.com that Paychex is looking for a Software Quality Assurance Engineer. Maybe they’ll change. Maybe.
- Location: Rochester
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests