George Mason University is the largest four-year institution in the commonwealth of Virgina and was also ranked the #1 Up-and-Coming National University by U.S. News and World Report. In this blog entry I'd like to share a case study about this University and their experience with T2 System's Citation Collection Services.
With four campuses spread throughout one of the most congested U.S. metropolitan areas for traffic, Washington D.C., there is no shortage of parking and transportation issues. George Mason’s fast-growing student population and high volume of commuters has led to an increase in unpaid parking citations. George Mason uses T2 FlexTM to manage their entire parking operation, but they had been using a 3rd party collection agency.
In 2008 they switched to T2 Citation Collection Services, and have seen tremendous results.
Problems Before Citation Collection Services (CCS)
George Mason experienced a wide array of problems with their former collection agency. “We couldn’t track payments in a timely manner,” said Josh Cantor, Director of Parking and Transportation for George Mason. “We would get a monthly report of what was collected, and then we had to manually update the customer account in Flex.”
Rude agents, lack of transparency and poor customer service were also reflecting negatively on the university. “The negative feedback would roll in,” Cantor said. “Our customers thought the agency was making up fees because the collection fee was not always listed in the letter they received.”
Making the Switch
George Mason was approached by T2 about making the switch to CCS shortly after their migration to T2 Flex in 2008. After reviewing the facts, the choice was clear. “We were completely dissatisfied with the poor customer service and lack of financial accountability from our previous agency,” Cantor said. “We also needed to solve the transparency issue, and CCS has the ability to immediately add the collection fee to the bill the customers received.”
Benefits of CCS
Moving to CCS has streamlined the collections process for George Mason. “The collection fee is added immediately when the citation is transferred to collections, and is reflected on the balance in Flex. Because CCS has access to Flex in the cloud, they can look up customer accounts directly,” Cantor said. “Flex also provides our customers the option to pay CCS or Parking Services through the T2 eBusiness portal.”
Cantor has seen a major improvement in customer service for his parking operation and its customers. “Complaints from customers have dropped off significantly. I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard a complaint,” he said. “And just like T2 support, CSS is always easy to contact.” Cantor also stressed the importance of a parking-focused collection agency. “CCS deals strictly with parking debt. With our old agency, our low-value parking debt would be pushed aside for more lucrative opportunities,” he said.
Statistics Tell the Story
“In the first year we used CCS, George Mason collected an additional $300,000 in parking debt,” Cantor said. Here are some other facts and figures:
- 48% of all debt sent to CCS has been collected
- 62% of 2011 citations sent to CCS were collected
- 87% of 2012 citations sent to CCS were collected
With CCS, George Mason University has found a long-term collections partner committed to strong customer service and increased revenue for their clients. Cantor stated, “Our confidence and familiarity with T2 provided a comfort level we were very satisfied with."
This case study is written bij T2 Systems