Saturday, January 10, 2009

Countywide Customer Service Survey

Countrywide recently asked me for my feedback as a customer. Since I've always resented that in the mortgage market you don't get to choose to be a customer--you arrange a home loan from a local bank and that loan is sold to big mortgage companies without your consent--I decided to respond to their survey.

In PR, it is good to listen to feedback from all publics, customers and others. But the real test of legitimate PR is whether such feedback, when negative, is treated honestly as opposed to with some pro forma and defensive response. I'll see.

Here are my comments for the one open question they included:

I find it distressing that I never agreed to be a Countrywide customer. My loan was originated locally and sold to Countrywide without my consent.

It is unconscionable that Countrywide continues to send mail that could be considered predatory even with all the trouble with the housing market, credit, and Mozillo's own troubles.

Recently I was coldly informed that you did not have proof of my homeowner's insurance. For 10 years I have had the same policy, paid premiums personally and in full on time, and both my agent and the insurance company notified Countrywide of my recent policy continuation. Your letter seemed to 'threaten' me that you would provide lender supplied insurance if I did not act by a certain date--as if I was the one to blame for Countrywide's sloppy service. I seriously suspect this was a ploy to get more business--insurance--from people who do not pay attention to the relentless mail you send out.

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