Friday, November 18, 2016

HESAA: Stop Bribing Kids To Lie To Me!


As I logged in to pay my monthly pound of flesh to HESAA I noticed something different...a three star Google rating? What?! Has HESAA decided to enact "self reform" and lower interest rates for struggling borrowers? Has HESAA offered standard bankruptcy protections? Has HESAA decided to "do the right thing" and disband itself on moral grounds? Of course not! They are bribing their new suckers - err young students who don't know any better yet - into posting love letters to HESAA.

That's right. Your warden in hell is using the few extra dollars they have lying around after fleecing you to spend on brand new flash drives for students they will suck dry for the next few decades, all because the borrowers in repayment rated them 1 star on Google for their god-awful practices. 

How do I know they are bribing people? It's right there on each and every five star post, the following message states from "the owner": "Thank you for reviewing our customer service. In appreciation of the time you took to write this review and sending us a screenshot of it we have sent you a flashdrive to assist your studies."

If by customer you mean "unsuspecting rube" or by service you mean "we pretty much can take all your money and not help you in any way whatsoever" then this would be a tad more accurate. Moreover, this is clearly a ploy to polish their image online at our expense. (Annie Waldman over at ProPublica wrote about this here: https://www.propublica.org/article/new-jersey-student-loan-agency-getting-good-reviews-giving-free-stuff)

I have a modest proposal, get over to Google and look at each one of those glowing posts and flag that review. Google will ask for your email, then they will ask for the violation type, which in this case is clearly "This post contains a conflict of interest." Nobody is hurt in the end, all the students had to do was take a screen shot of their positive review right? 

Let me now address the good young people who are accepting TAG grants or (please don't for your own good) NJClass loans from HESAA and then rating them five stars on Google:

Ok, I get it, it's a free flash drive. I was a poor student once and I gleefully slurped cheap noodles and hit every event that offered free pizza, hung out in dining halls ect. But sometimes in life you have to ask yourself "is what I'm about to do potentially harmful to others?" I know, I know, that sounds a bit much but hear me out. Those hundreds of thousands out there who have consistently rated HESAA one star, might actually have a point. You may never have had to pay a student loan back, but if you borrow from these people you will pay... and pay... and pay. Trust me, I'm one of the many, many people who owes so much after borrowing so little. So please do the right thing now. After you get your flash drive (I'm not made at you for the free swag) head back to the post you wrote and delete it. If anybody asks you why, just tell them there's a good person just like you out there who may actually avoid a lot of suffering because they were properly warned before they signed away their financial soul.