NHT needs to do better
The Editor, Sir:
I was in Jamaica recently and called the National Housing Trust (NHT) regarding my contribution refund. I was encouraged to apply online. I had this uneasy feeling about doing that, so I insisted on going to the office before leaving.
My first hurdle was being told that someone else had been issued my National Insurance Scheme (NIS) number and that I had to go to the NIS office to get a verification/validation letter before my application could be processed, which I did. To my surprise, many other people who were at the NIS office were there for the same reason.
On my return to the NHT, I provided all the required information. I also asked the representative who assisted me (she was courteous) what would have happened if I had waited to apply online when I got back to the US. She told me that my application would have been rejected.
I got back to the US and on Monday, January 11, I sent an email to the NHT enquiring about the status of my application. I promptly received a call from their office asking about my employment history. I provided them with the same information that I had given while I was at their office. Tonight (January 14), I decided to check the progress online, only to realise that the matter has still not been resolved and a notation made for me to contact the NHT.
NHT should do better than this. This is unacceptable. It is as if they are trying to frustrate applicants. I provided all the information that they requested but I seem to be going around in circles.
As for the NIS, the receptionists were rude. They asked me what I wanted. I told them and they took the information they needed from me and left me standing. I waited by the window to ask what the next step would be and was rudely told to go sit and wait until I heard my name. This kind of service is also unacceptable.
While the representatives I dealt with at the NHT were polite, their office is inefficient. Our country cannot afford to be inefficient as it wastes time and money. This whole delaying tactic is counterproductive. I would like to see my country become more efficient and, ultimately, more prosperous, but with the attitudes and all the bureaucracy that go on, it is hard to imagine us moving forward.
We need change agents and 'forward thinkers' or, as a country, we are going to be left behind.
I am, etc.,
Bronx, New York