EECB Scores Direct Hit On Student Lender ACS

Adam shares his success story in using an EECB (executive email carpet bomb) to get his student loan company to fix his botched loan after a year of runarounds and empty promises:

In January 2007, I took out a Graduate Plus Loan to cover a couple of courses at George Washington University. I was in-school half-time from mid-January to mid-May of 2007. Accordingly, I should have been covered by an in-school deferment through May of 2007. Well, unknown to me, my lender, ACS (as sub-lender to PNC bank) decided that I actually needed to be making student loan payments while in school and never decided to tell me about it!

So I was surprised to see this past September that the account was being reported as having been 60 days past due in May and 90 days past due in June, which dropped my credit score by about 50 points!

Calls to the lender led to re-assurances that they would correct the information. However, when I disputed the information with all three bureaus, the lender told them that the derogatory information was correct (mysteriously, Experian immediately corrected the information upon receiving my dispute while Transunion and Equifax did not). Another phone call to the lender led to more promises that they would take care of it, but it could take up to 60 days to get the corrected information onto my reports.

Flash forward to this past December where upon buying a new Iphone, I was told by AT&T that due to my credit report, I would need to pay a deposit on my cell phone service. Shocked, I pulled my credit reports and discovered, surprise, that my Transunion and Equifax reports still erroneously showed the 60 and 90 day past due notices. So I called the lender and was first told that they indeed had the information corrected. What that actually meant was that the lender reporting the account to be paid off (I consolidated the loan at the very end of summer)and CURRENTLY is in good standing. I explained that the account was still being reported as having been past due. So the CSR told me to fax in verification of my school enrollment to his attention and he would take care of this. So I faxed in copies of the credit reports and the information both to the attention of the CSR and to the general borrower services #. This was done on December 21st.

I called the lender last week to check on the status of the update, figuring several weeks had been plenty. The first CSR I spoke with said it was in process, however my cell phone cut out and I had to call back. The second CSR I spoke with claimed there was no record of me faxing in the enrollment verification and again giving me the line about how they were reporting the account as currently being in good standing (ignoring the past due issue that I was calling about). I was frustrated as how it was now several months after I first reported this problem and it was going nowhere and how they apparently had lost multiple faxes! I finally decided to escalate and requested a supervisor. Magically, the supervisor had instant access to all my access and assured me within 24 hours, she would correct the issue. A day later, I call back and was told that it was in process. Another day later I am told the same thing and was promised a call back from the supervisor that day or the next day, which never came.

Finally, I decided it was time for drastic action. After trolling around the lender’s webpage for a bit, I discovered the e-mail format used at the company by looking up the investor point of contact on the “Investor Relations” page. I then applied that e-mail format to the names of the CEO, in addition to 8 executive vice-presidents.

An hour and 20 minutes later, I received a phone call from the issue resolution team who assured me that it would all be corrected by today. And finally, after trying to correct this derogatory information since September, it was finally corrected (verified this morning with new credit reports). Thank you Consumerist for your tips and how to beat corporate red tape! Now the only remaining question is whether or not to take the lender to small claims court to get reimbursed for all of the credit reports I purchased and my cell phone deposit…

Cheers! Adam

Sometimes company email addresses can be hard to find when you’re trying to launch your EECB. Scour press releases, look for information in investor relations materials, and search message boards to find sample email addresses to use. Here’s how to launch an EECB of your own.

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