I just need to get this out of my system.
I recently was preparing my paperwork to apply for AB, STCW BST, and Lifeboatman. The school I attended (Sea School) told me that it would be $140 in fees to the USCG. I called up the USCG and they said that I owed $140 and told me who to write the check to. I enclosed the $140 check with my paperwork and sent it off. A few weeks later I received a letter from the REC in Mandeville, LA (formerly New Orleans) with my check enclosed and saying that the fee was actually $95, not $140. I called the REC and spoke to the woman who had written the letter. I explained that I had asked the USCG Merchant Mariner helpline how much I owed, and they had said $140. The woman in Mandeville insisted that it was $95 and asked me to submit a payment via pay.gov. I submitted the $95 payment via pay.gov.
Yesterday I got a letter from the Coast Guard in WV reading:
Evaluation User Fee- The total fees for an Able seaman is $140, you have submitted $95 of that total. (it goes on…)
Hooray for Mandeville idiots.