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 When I moved, I disconnected my service and was informed that because the cable modem was cheap and out of date, that I would not have to return it.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 Understandably upset, I contact them only to find out that they did in fact want their outdated cable modem back.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!