NIC: Suggestion from a customer - Coeur d'Alene Press: Nic

NIC: Suggestion from a customer

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Posted: Sunday, July 1, 2012 12:00 am

I’m a big fan of going paperless. I’ve opted to receive my phone and cable bills through email. I also receive my bank statements online. It’s very convenient, but in all cases I chose to receive email notifications as an option.

In my books, I explain to my readers that email is not the first choice to receive any important information; notices from the government or bills come through regular mail. It’s official. Email is not. Email can get lost, and not everyone checks email.

For example, my son rarely checks email, especially his MyNIC account he received when he enrolled in North Idaho College last year. Many his age don’t check email, preferring text messaging, Facebook and Twitter.

So it was with some surprise that I learned how NIC no longer sends out notices of tuition due. I find it especially frustrating, not only because my son doesn’t check his MyNIC email, but also because he doesn’t pay the bills. I do. We weren’t given a chance to “opt in,” we were thrown in.

Because he doesn’t check his email, his tuition payment was missed. I’m sure NIC would like its money. I don’t mind paying the tuition either, because NIC is a great learning institution. But I’d like to either receive a paper bill or be allowed the courtesy of opting in. Or maybe having the tuition notice sent to my email address, not his.

Since the tuition wasn’t paid, my son’s certificate has been withheld and the credits for his summer courses are in doubt. For all the professionalism NIC brings to the community, this situation is very disappointing.

On June 27, I visited the NIC Board meeting to attempt to make public comments regarding this situation. I was informed that I cannot make comments on “non-agenda items,” so I’m addressing the Board and Staff of NIC in this letter: You can do better.


Coeur d’Alene

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  • rationaldiscussionplz posted at 10:13 am on Tue, Jul 3, 2012.

    rationaldiscussionplz Posts: 266

    "Email can get lost, and not everyone checks email."

    Really? Pray tell, how does an email get lost? Let's take a quick look at Gmail. It has a robust spam filter that has never once misplaced an important email for me in the 6 years, 1 month and 5 days I've been using it. How do I know that so exactly? Because I have logged 60,008 email conversations during that time and I just went through my archives and found my very first email. As for the spam filter? Even if an important email got sorted into spam for some reason, the spam messages remain in the spam folder for 30 days before being deleted. Plenty of time to rescue them.

    As I said, I have more than 60,000 email conversations archived from the last 6+ years. And yet, I can recall any one of those with a simple search. Do I want to find something I received about the CdA Press? I just search for "CdA Press" and every conversation I've ever had regarding the CdA Press comes up. You can also search for special emails. Let's say I am corresponding with my friend Jamie and he sent me an email awhile back with photos of our last camping trip. I search for from:Jamie has:attachment. It brings up any email he ever sent me that has an attachment. Easy peasy!

    There are easy-to-use tools to mark emails from certain senders as important. There are easy-to-use filters that allow you to take emails' context and group them by it--want all of your emails from a certain address to be grouped together? Create a filter for it. Want all of your emails with a particular keyword to be grouped together? Create a filter for it.

    I can honestly say that in the last six years I have never lost an email. Not one time. Modern email systems are responsive and robust with easy archiving, filtering and management options that make it virtually impossible to misplace an email accidentally.

    Whereas snail mail? Well snail mail is a nightmare. I can receive up to 20 pieces of mail per day--most of it junk mail. Spam filter? Nope! The USPS is encouraging junk mail as a revenue source for themselves. The mail then generally gets dropped in my car or on my desk to be ignored until I actually have time to go through it and pick out the important stuff, open it up and see what I need, then goes into another pile to later be filed or paid or whatever action needs to be taken. Snail mail is slow, inefficient and much easier to permanently misplace compared to email.

    As for not checking email? That's just ridiculous. Five minutes morning and night and you can respond to an entire day's worth of email. Have a phone capable of doing email? Check it when you happen to have a down moment. It's easy and fast!

  • justinian posted at 8:10 pm on Mon, Jul 2, 2012.

    justinian Posts: 318

    On June 27, I visited the NIC Board meeting to attempt to make public comments regarding this situation. I was informed that I cannot make comments on “non-agenda items,” so I’m addressing the Board and Staff of NIC in this letter: You can do better.

    They do NOT care Dan. Buy a clue, they do NOT care.

    Just sayin'


  • tarcomed posted at 9:13 am on Mon, Jul 2, 2012.

    tarcomed Posts: 22

    So let me get this straight...If I have a problem with my water bill, I should show up to a city council meeting and make comment to the council? And if they don't hear me I should write a letter to the editor?

    Now I don't write books for a living, but wouldn't I just go to the water billing department and tell them I'm having an issue?

  • searcher posted at 9:35 pm on Sun, Jul 1, 2012.

    searcher Posts: 365

    They also make it very clear to students that email is the primary official method of notification by the college. Most classes also use email in conjunction with Blackboard LMS to make the classes web enhanced and utilize blended learning. Electronic communication is something students need to learn to deal with as it will likely be a permanent part of their future. Facebook and Twitter and texting are social media... not appropriate for most learning environments.

  • WhitePine posted at 4:32 pm on Sun, Jul 1, 2012.

    WhitePine Posts: 137

    Have a son at NIC too. He is an adult. I am pretty sure that NIC treats all their students as adults and don't call Dad and Mom.

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