Capital One — unreasonable account restrictions
In August, 2008 I applied for a credit card with Capital One. I received correspondence from them requesting me to mail them a copy of my Social Security Card and Drivers license, since they could not verify my information. Since I still had a limited credit history, I accepted the request as reasonable and mailed the documents. About a week later, I received another letter confirming the receipt of the previous documents, but indicating they also need to verify my address, and I need to send a copy of my utility bill as well. A bit annoyed for not being asked to send this with the first mail, I obliged and sent them a copy of a recent utility bill. About another week later, my new capital one credit card arrived in the mail.
After using my card for +- 3 weeks, while making a purchase at a coffee shop, I had to face the embarrassment that my card was declined for a $5 purchase. I phoned Capital One, only to find out that a restriction was placed on my account due to ‘suspected fraud’. I was requested to send a copy of my SSN card and driver’s license before the restriction would be lifted, since they needed to verify my identity. I was incredibly upset by this, since I supplied ALL this information when I opened the account less than 3 weeks ago. But I was faced with Capital One’s fraud department who just refused to help (they said they had to assume they were not speaking to me until I sent them the documents). So after battling with one of their agents and his manager for about 45 minutes, I gave up, and faxed the documents. I was promised that the restriction would be lifted within 24 – 48 hours. Needless to say, 48 hours later, account still restricted, I had to get back on the phone with Capital One. I was now told that they again needed to verify my address! I was even more upset with this – but the result was the same as with the previous call, so I ended up faxing them the documents. The restriction was lifted the next day.
About a month later (October 2008), Capital One sent me a new card – with a higher credit limit. Once again, after using the card for about a month I, by chance, saw on my online banking that my new card was restricted!! I nearly exploded – again not even a phone call from Capital One to warn me. So, on Thursday, November 20th, I had to face up to the Capital One Customer Service again. Same story… I had to fax a copy of my SSN card and drivers license – and wait for 24 – 48 hours for them to process it. I was again ‘helped’ by an agent who refused to expedite the process in anyway, and because the documents I sent earlier were for my other card, they did apparently not count. After explaining my unhappiness during a 45 minutes call, I just ended up faxing them a copy of my SSN and Drivers license. This time just with the additional problem that my payment was due on the 29th, and I was unable to even pay my account online. I was told by the representative to mail a check, in order to avoid late payments. I did however not have my checks with me and felt that this was a rather unreasonable request, seeing that I did nothing wrong to have my account restricted in the first place. But augmenting with Capital One seems a waste of time. So on November 20th, I faxed the documents, as required to Capital One. Monday, 48 business hours later, I received a call from Capital One saying they received my documents, but needed to again verify my address. I refused to accept this, and asked that the account be closed, since I did not accept their way of treating me as a customer. I was told that they refuse to do that, until I send them my latest utility bill. Again wasting another 45 minutes of my time. I ended up faxing my utility bill to them. On Tuesday I phoned them AGAIN, hoping that they would’ve perhaps processed my documents, but was told that an agent will phone ME within 48 hours to tell me that the account restriction has been lifted. But, on Wednesday afternoon I have not heard back from them, so I phoned AGAIN. I was then told that it was still not processed and can take up to 72 hours!!! This was the first mention of this and completely different to that what I’ve been told up until now. Again a complete refusal to expedite the process whatsoever. Now it is November 30th. No word from Capital One. My account is still restricted. I had to pay $10 to do a balance transfer to my Bank of America credit card to avoid late feeds and negative credit reporting (although one lady told me they would take it into account, another told that I was responsible to get it sorted before the due date).
I am extremely frustrated and really disappointed that Capital One is allowed to treat a customer like this. I will definitely not recommend anyone to ever do business with them.
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