This year I purchased a snazzy pair of black Ray Ban frames and took them to my optometrist to have prescription lenses placed in them. For years I’ve purchased frames and lenses from different businesses. I didn’t give it a second thought until my flexible spending account rejected my request for reimbursement for the frames. When I called about the claim, a customer service representative informed me that I needed a letter from my optometrist stating the frames were used for prescription glasses. I asked if this was a new rule, explaining I’d never had to produce this kind of documentation before. To my astonishment, the customer service representative told me she might need to look into my claim record and report me to the IRS for possible fraud.

stock-photo-tax-money-irs-175801328I asked to speak to a supervisor, but the customer service representative refused to forward my call. This wasn’t a problem for me. I hung up, called back, and spoke to a supervisor immediately upon request. I explained what had transpired during the previous call and strongly urged this supervisor to dissuade her staff from randomly accusing customers of illegal activity. She apologized profusely and agreed to process my claim as soon as my optometrist wrote the necessary letter.

Rules change. Things that used to be simple sometimes become complicated. People who are hired to help us occasionally make our lives more difficult. When that happens, I never hesitate to request clarification, and if needed, to take my issues up the power chain. To date, I have always been able to advocate successfully for myself.


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