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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Smarter than the average BEAR

So here's a positive data point from this year's BEAR season: we only had to do three BEARs on paper. More and more service providers are getting the hang of the online certification over the past couple of years, but last year we still had to do a fair number on paper.

One nagging problem with online certification: I haven't seen the service provider interface for BEAR approval, but apparently the button they press says "Certify." So newbies take a look at the form and click on "Certify." But if they don't check a little box next to one of the FRNs, that FRN is cancelled. Most BEARs are only one FRN, so it's easy to miss that check box. So every year we get a handful of canceled BEARs, which we then have to redo. Even experienced certifiers forget to check the box sometimes.

There should be a warning when a service provider clicks the "Certify" button that says, "You didn't check the little box next to the following FRNs. Click 'Accept' to cancel those FRNs, or click 'Edit' to check the box before certifying."

And while I'm giving out BEAR beefs, why can't I modify a BEAR after submittal? It happens every year, more often than I'd like, that a service provider says, "It looks like you included this ineligible charge in your amount, fix it." Unfortunately, I can't fix it, so the SP has to cancel the BEAR and I have to post a new one.

Before a BEAR is certified by the SP, I should be able to make changes to it.

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