I am seeking to file a complaint against Capital One Credit Card Company for fraudulent practices. I have also contacted my congressperson and both California Senators in writing. I will also copy this complaint to all consumer websites (the internet is a wonderful thing), The Attorney General of Virginia, the Commissioner of Financial Institutions as well as CNN, Sixty Minutes, Primetime and anyone else I can think of who can speak out against this type of egregious behavior. I know it's hard for the media conglomerates to step forward and dig deeper when their advertising revenue comes from companies like Capital One. However, after watching some of the hearings in Washington last week against banks and credit card companies charging excessive fees to their customers, I felt compelled to finally express my frustration for the hard working tax payers of this country and to ask Capital One’s CEO, Richard Fairbank to stop abusing your customers.
For the past six months I have attempted to close one of my three Capital One Credit Card Accounts. My husband has one for business, I have a family use card and the one I’m attempting to close since October 2006, was my business credit card. I no longer have the business and therefore had no need for a third card. We have been Capital One cardholders for many years and have always enjoyed a low interest rate of 9.9% on all three of our cards, due to our good credit... until I attempted to close my business card in late October 2006. That’s when things changed.
On October 27th, 2006 I called Capital One and asked for a payoff on the the card. I promptly paid the balance. I received confirmation of payment. I then followed up once the check was cashed and asked that they close the account. They did not close the account. They continued to accept miscellaneous charges from Sports Illustrated Renewal, Amazon and now this month a Consumer Reports annual renewal notice. None of these charges was authorized or approved by me and all of these companies refunded me the money. However, as a result of these three separate charges, Capital One continued to charge me 28.1 % over the course of five months, until the time these money were refunded to me. I called Capital One and asked them to reimburse me for the finance charges and finally they did do that after three phone calls; it's not about the money, it's about the principle.
I have written a letter to Capital One and have made numerous phone calls to try and close account, to no avail. Today, March 16th, 2007 the account is still open, despite Capital One promising me on the phone they would not accept any more charges to my account. They must be making quite a tidy profit off of this practice: customer calls in to close account, take their rate up to triple what it was, let those monthly reoccurring charges flow in (because no customer can recall all of them), and Capital One has a huge revenue stream of profit coming in (thanks to the Actuary who figured this out).
Because I no longer have the card in my possession (I cut it up after my final payment) I cannot even access my statements online because I don’t have an expiration date and they can’t give it to me over the phone. I actually have to order a new card in order to get the expiration date in order to get online and review my statements. Today I called to ask for my last six months statements and I was told it was $3.00 per statement! It seems that every time I try to correct this situation, Capital One is charging me again. Now I can see why the CEO of Capital One, Mr. Fairbank, has made close to 500 million dollars over the past five years (that’s right, 100 million per year!). I’m appalled at the transparent and aggressive tactics used by the CEO, Richard Fairbank, to generate revenue and profits, at the expense of so many loyal customers. I wonder if Capital One shareholders would approve of such tactics knowing the CEO is consuming a large chunk of the profits via his salary?
My goal is simply to close the above mentioned account and have confirmation of this in writing. Today I spoke with two different customer service reps for Capital One Michael ID #QSJ941 and his supervisor Joaell ID #JKW464. Both informed me that Capital One cannot close an account until 30 days to make sure there are not re-occurring charges. After five years of having this card, this is a lot to try and remember. I couldn’t possibly remember what magazines I signed up for a year or two ago and what month they are about to expire. The lesson I learned from all of this is don’t use Capital One-ever!.