How An EECB Rescued 120 Points On My Credit Score

Here’s what Matthew learned from his experience with Time Warner Cable: if you’re told not to return a piece of equipment that your cable company or ISP has issued you, don’t believe a word that they say. He was told that he didn’t need to return an aged cable modem, so he didn’t. TWC rewarded him with a collection notice and a huge hit to his credit score. How did he fix the problem so he could take out a loan and buy a house? The executive e-mail carpet bomb, of course.

TL;DR: A miscommunication with TWC cost me 120 points on my credit score. EECB saved the day.

A few years ago I was living in Dayton Ohio and using Time Warner as my ISP. When I moved, I disconnected my service and was informed that because the cable modem was cheap and out of date, that I would not have to return it. Being slightly skeptical, I added the modem to my box of extraneous tech and went ahead with my move. 3 months after arriving at the new house, I receive a collections notice in the mail from TWC. Understandably upset, I contact them only to find out that they did in fact want their outdated cable modem back. After an overly long journey to return their precious modem, I put the whole ordeal out of my mind.

A year later, I apply for a home loan only to find that my credit score has been significantly impacted by the collection notice to the tune of ~120 points (depending on the credit agency).
At this point I contact TWC and try to explain the situation to no avail. Then I filed disputes with each of the credit bureaus, also to no effect. I’m about to resign myself to living with a lousy credit score for the next 7 years when I stumble upon a few consumerist articles regarding executive email carpet bombs and their uncanny effectiveness.

While still skeptical of getting this problem resolved, I followed the guide provided on the consumerist regarding how to compose my letter and how to find the addresses within TWC that might get me some results.

After an hour of web-crawling and letter composition, I fired off my email. Less than 2 hours later, I received a message from the office of the president of TWC informing me that my issue was being redirected to the local Ohio office to be handled as soon as possible. Early the next morning, I got a call from the offices in Columbus asking for some more information regarding my issue. After a few minutes on the phone with the regional manager, a letter had been drafted to each of the credit agencies directing them to remove the blemish on my report.

All told, from the time I sent the first email until a copy of the credit bureau letter hit my inbox was less than 24 hours. Thanks TWC!

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Blueskylaw says:

    FALLACIES THAT WILL GET YOU IN TROUBLE:

    1). When the bank (of America) says you need to miss three mortgage payments before
    they can re-finance

    2). When the new car dealer says just sign the papers, we’ll fill the rest in later

    3). When Time Warner Cable says you can keep the rented equipment because it’s “aged” and don’t worry about it

  2. JJFIII says:

    “Then I filed disputes with each of the credit bureaus, also to no effect.”

    Are you saying they did not follow up on verifying the debt?

    In the future, i would suggest anything a person tells you to keep or do, get it in writing. Many people hate the chat online function of customer service, BUT I absolutely love it. I copy and paste the entire conversation and if there is ever a dispute, I say, well your rep told me this on such and such a date at such and such a time. I have the chat log to prove it. What somebody says over the phone is your word against theirs, what is typed lives forever.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      Whoever placed those credit report tradelines only needs to respond with a “verified” status. All that they really need to do is check their computer and see if there is still a collection account for that person and they will respond with “verified”. Then the tradeline stays on. The credit reporting agencies are not required to go any further than that. Sounds to me like the collection department of TWC just routinely verifies CRA disputes no further than checking if there is a collection account.

      The really sad part of this is that TWC most likely just made an exception and is doing nothing to make sure their reps do the right things, and certainly not tracking this bad rep down and putting them out on the street.

    • Smiling says:

      I also do a screen shot of any chat I take part in as proof of any promises that have been made. They can prove invaluable.

  3. yossi says:

    Great story. I hate assuming, but I will assume the account was removed from your three reports and your scores went back up 120 points?

    I only assume because you end the story by saying they sent off three letters directing them to remove the account, but then dont actually say if and when that happend?

    thanks!

  4. TuxthePenguin says:

    My suggestion to anyone applying for a home loan – get a quote from a company that will do a traditional underwriting of your finances without a credit score. It’ll be a more invasive examination (they’ll want all sorts of additional things) but many times you can get a better deal from those. Companies rely on credit reports because they are lazy.

    • FatLynn says:

      I rely on my credit score because I am lazy. Lots of extra paperwork to have a traditional underwriting done? That sounds like a blast!

  5. sjones says:

    I agree; what TWC reps say over the phone is absolutely worthless. Back in 2006, I called to cancel my cable. The rep said everything was taken care of, and so I thought that was that (I didn’t have a box to return). Months later, it turns out that the guy didn’t cancel my cable, and I was stuck with a large bill. I know I called to cancel the cable; I can remember it very clearly to this day because of the circumstances. I was in the Air Force at the time, and I was leaving for Afghanistan that day. It was my first deployment, so I have quite a good recollection of everything that happened on that first day from the time I woke up. Anyway, as my friend was driving me to the airport (I flew from my base to the staging point at Norfolk commercial), I remembered that I forgot to cancel my cable. I don’t have my cell phone on me (because it’s not going to work in Afghanistan), so I use my friend’s phone to call TWC from the car on the way to the airport. It was a normal call to a seemingly competent TWC, until months later I discover that it was never turned off. I was still in Afghanistan, so I had my parents contact TWC, who insisted that I never called and agreed to only reduce the bill a certain amount (I forget now how much, no more than half). I paid it. In hindsight, I should have fought it harder.

  6. theblackdog says:

    I’m going to find out in the next few days if I am going to have a similar situation occur with Verizon FiOS. I moved and had my services moved with them. However, Verizon handles transfers in a really jacked way, they just cancel the old service and start new service. So right after I get new FiOS installed, I get a letter (forwarded from my own address) demanding that I send back the old modem.

    One problem, I’m using that modem.

    I called and the CSR supposedly put a note on my account stating that I was using said modem and not to charge me. The next bill is coming in a day or so, we’ll see if that actually happened.