November 22nd, 2010

studying, school, typing, writing, working

Educational Computer System, Inc: not "serving me better" even a little bit

So, The University of Oregon has decided to "serve me better" by outsourcing my student loan to Educational Computer Systems, Inc. This is, as always in these cases, couched as a move to serve me better. I dispute this strongly.

Counter-example #1: They charge a fee for paying online, whereas it was free before. So, right, fuck 'em, I'll pay by check, and a human will have to actually handle my mail in the process rather than having my computer talk to theirs. This is stupid of them, and quite possibly costs them more money, but I'll live. I resent that I was informed of this change after it happened, as I would have been tempted to pay off my remaining loan balance (of less than $800) in September online had I known.

Counter-example #2: They just sent me a letter (received today, dated the 18th) telling me that I had a bill, sent on November 16th, due December 1st. Historically, I've been on quarterly billing, due the last day of the month in March, June, September, and December. This would be moving my due date up from the 31st to the 1st and informing me less than two weeks in advance.

Counter-example #3: As a result, of #2, I decided to spend some time talking to them today, as I still hadn't received this Surprise Early Bill they just sent me. They "helpfully" printed an 888 number on the letter. It would have been substantially more helpful had this been THEIR 888 number, however, instead of the disco'd one referring me to a $4 per call directory service line actually printed on their letter.

In conclusion, serving me better my ass.

(I did actually get all of this resolved, eventually. I called the UO admissions line and had them figure out the proper 888 number, then called ESCI, the least competent company I've had the misfortune to try to give money to, to discover that they've actually moved my billing due date to January 1st, which is an acceptably small change in date and also explains why they haven't sent me a bill yet.)

Once I can write the non-profanity-laden equivalent of this blog post, I'm writing a letter to UO, including a photocopy of the letter from ESCI with red-pen corrections, a grade of D--, and a comment of "see me!". I'm tempted to also write further letters, if anyone can help me brainstorm who else might possibly care about this galloping display of incompetence I now get to deal with, presumably every 3 months since I don't actually trust this company to be able to find their ass with both hands and a guide dog, let alone correctly process my loan payments.

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