Look, whether I come off as one or not – I’m a fair guy. Sure, some of the entries on this blog are more vicious towards the companies that I deal with than others, but I speak with the voice of a consumer (or write with the hand of a consumer, since this is a blog). When I feel that a customer service agent or a company has done me wrong, I make the situation known to as many people as I can reach as quickly as I can reach them. JerseySmarts.com allows me to reach hundreds and sometimes thousands of people each day so that’s why I used this platform to lambaste the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (NJHESAA) over the last week. However, I think that credit ought to be given where and when it is due – even to companies that I wholeheartedly disagree with most of the time.
At some point yesterday afternoon I finally received a response from NJHESAA regarding an e-mail I sent them a few days ago. In fact, I received a response from an Assistant Director over there, so I was pleased that my problem was handled by someone in the leadership structure. And, to this gentleman’s credit, he wrote a real response instead of sending me something generated by a computer. Here, take a read of what I received and then I’ll pick up the story afterward the text of the e-mail.
Your check in the amount of $4,300 was received by our lockbox on October 25th. The lockbox processes all payments received and then notifies HESAA on a daily basis what payments were posted to what accounts. I do not know why, but your check was rejected from the normal process and was required to be posted manually to your account. Unfortunately, the bank did not notify HESAA of this issue until late this past Monday. Due to election day on Tuesday, HESAA’s offices were closed. When we received your email on Wednesday, we contacted our Accounting Department and they advised us your payment had been posted. Please be aware that it was posted as of the received date, October 25th. Please accept my apologies in the delay caused by our bank with processing your payment.
If you feel more comfortable mailing your payments directly to HESAA at the below address, please feel free to do so. These payments will go directly to our Accounting Department for processing. When you are ready to pay your loan in full, you may use the same address and please email me directly at XXXXXX@hesaa.org and I will be happy to supply you with a payoff figure.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me directly
As I read through this message yesterday, I admit that I was impressed how the response directly answered my concern about no longer trusting the standard payment processing system and wanting to, instead, send my checks directly to NJHESAA’s administrative building. Most of the time when you complain to a company, they send you an automated response that doesn’t even come close to answering your question. This guy actually answered my question and concern directly.
I have to say that this response was impressive and clearly the best customer service experience that I ever had with NJHESAA. Usually when I call in to the help line I’m either told how I don’t know what I’m talking about or treated as though I’m ignorant of how finances work (meanwhile, my job is to manage multimillion dollar loans on a daily basis – I think I know a little something about this industry). But this e-mail was good and I applaud the gentleman that wrote it.
If only my experience with this lending institution was that thoughtful and impressive since the beginning… What a shame.