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Lake life

Fishing for a license…

I haven’t been fishing in Louisiana since my license expired at the end of June, but I plan on going next week. So I went to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries webpage and clicked on the buy a license tab. I’ve been buying a Louisiana fishing license for more than 50 years, so I figured all my information would be stored on their Tandy 1000 and it should be just a few clicks.

Wow. My experience was more annoying than a dink bream nibbling away at my last cricket. The LDWF just got a big increase in fees and they must need it if everything is performing the way this site and customer service is. I’m lucky that now I get a $5 license, so the fee increase didn’t hit me. I wouldn’t mind paying more, but not for what I’m about to describe. I know it isn’t this way all the time (at least I hope not), but it was today. Here ya go:

At 11 a.m. yesterday, I go get my credit card, click on the LDWF page and enter the last four digits of my social security number. The screen comes up with all my information and I verify it. It asks if I want the Resident Senior Hunt/Fish license. Yes. It asks if I want to deer hunt. Yes. It asks if I want to hunt migratory birds. Yes.Then I see a page (step two of four) that shows I’ll owe $7.

I try to scroll down or to move to the next page and the computer screen won’t budge, but it just bounces around like JBE trying to sidestep questions about boys playing girls sports. I exit the page and start over. Three minutes later, same result.

So I call the friendly customer support help line (Help Desk (888) 362-LDWF (5393). After holding 10 minutes (which I expected) listening to music that I think I recognized form an old Starsky and Hutch chase scene, I hear beep…beep…beep…and I’m cut off.I call back. After nine minutes, I’m greeted by Tierra. I tell her I’m trying to buy a license and what has happened. “What state are you in?”, she asks. I wanted to say I’m in an annoyed state, but I simply said “Louisiana.” I would have thought since the number I called ended in LDWF that would have been apparent. Silly me.

“What’s your customer ID number?”, she asks.

You mean my LDWF number that’s on my license?“

What’s your customer ID number?, she asks again.

I’ll give you my LDWF number that’s on my license. It’s XXXXXXXX. “Did you say XXYY340P,” she asks, getting only the first two numbers correct.

No, let me try again. I read the number very slowly. Silence for about five seconds. Then…Beep…beep..beep. I get cut off again.

Since I gave them my contact phone number right up front, I was sure she’d call back. Twenty-four hours now, Nope. No call back. No fishing license for me.

I went back to the site and needing a little humor, I clicked on “Spanish” to see if that would help, but it was worse. Neither of us could understand what the other was saying.

No el permiso de la pescado for me here, either.I was patient.

I waited 24 hours and tried again this morning. Same result online. I even had someone else try and the same thing happened to them, just to make sure I didn’t do something wrong. Same result.So I decided to write this and share it.I still don’t have a fishing license. And now I have to go to the sporting goods store and buy it, so it will cost me at least $20 on top of the $5 fee. You know I can’t go in there and not buy something else. You know what I mean?

Have a great day.


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