Tag Archives: bank

Handling Problems or Poor Customer Service

Places like the MVA and Social Security office can be challenging for Americans, so I can understand how difficult it could be for an au pair to run into problems there.

If you encounter a problem in one of these locations or at other places like college enrollment,  a store, bank, etc., here are some tips:

  • Remain calm and polite, even if the person you are dealing with doesn’t. You don’t want to be viewed as being unreasonable or out of control, because that will not help your situation.
  • Ask to speak with a supervisor, if you are being told something that goes against the procedure you have been told (by your counselor, host parent, Au Pair in America or a previous encounter with the office you are visiting).
  • Ask for the name of the person with whom you are speaking. It is a reasonable question and can help if you need to reference this conversation later. It also adds some accountability for the person who gave you the answer.

If the supervisor is still unable to help you, please discuss the problem with your host parents and/or your community counselor. Maybe there has been a change in the procedure. If there has not been a change and you just got unlucky with the person with which you were dealing, you may find success going back another day.

How to Write a Check or Money Order

This question comes up from time to time and with the tax deadline approaching, I thought I would post a link with a great step by step tutorial.  Click on the image of a check below to go to the tutorial on About.com.


Remember: Use pen and don’t leave extra blank space where someone can make changes.

If you don’t have a checking account and need to make a payment by check, you have two other options: money order or cashier’s check (bank check.) Money orders are available for purchase at your bank, the post office or the customer service desk of some retail stores (CVS, Safeway, WalMart.) You will be charged a small fee, $1.50-$5.  Money orders need to be paid for with cash (not credit cards.) You will fill out the money order similarly to a check and keep your receipt portion for your records.

If you are paying your taxes:

  • Make check or money order payable to “United States Treasury.”
  • Write this info somewhere on the check:
    • Your full name
    • Your address and phone number
    • Your Social Security Number
    • 2015 Form 1040 NR-EZ
  • Mail your tax forms (keep copies for your records) and payment to:

Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 1303
Charlotte, NC 28201–1303