I have had an account with Credit One Bank for years. They issued a credit card to me soon after I declared Bankruptcy, almost 10 years ago. I have paid my balance in full consistently, never missed a payment, and have never been late with a payment. I have successfully rebuilt my credit. I now have a 730+ fico. Using their card, and other similar cards, in the manner in which they were designed to be used, accelerated the credit rebuilding process.
After having this card for many years, and, after using the same exact checking account and payment process for many years (I use WAMU on line banking to pay all of my bills), I received a letter, stating the following:
"...We are unable to verify your payment of $xxxx.xx. Due to this reason, we have placed a temporary block on your account. In order to re-activate your account, the following documentation is required: A letter from the financial institution, on bank letterhead, that verifies the owner(s) of the checking account name as it appears on the account and the payment received is authorized by the owner(s). This documentation must also include a contact person and their telephone number..."
I was given less than a week to comply with the request, and a warning that, if I did not meet their deadline, my account would be closed and would be listed as "closed by bank" to the 3 credit reporting agencies.
I received this letter AFTER my card was declined when I tried to use it to buy dinner for a very important client. How embarrassing! My on line balance at Creditonebank.com showed ZERO, and my available credit was my full credit line, so there was no indication that I was going to experience a declined credit card.
I went to my bank and requested the letter, and they told me that all letters must originate from their legal department, which takes a few weeks. They further told me that it would be unlikely that their legal department would comply to such a vague request.
Fortunately for me, the bank branch manager knows me, since I'm in there almost every day. He agreed to write up a short letter complying with their request. I faxed it to Credit One Bank, along with a copy of my statement showing the payment originating from my checking account, and a sternly worded letter from me.
I also sent everything in the fax to them via overnight mail.
I called the day after sending the fax and the letter, and I was informed that they had, in fact, received the fax, BUT, it would be an additional seven to 10 business day before the hold was going to be released.
I spoke to a supervisor and reminded him that I have a history with Credit One Bank that shows an excellent pattern of full balance, on time payments. He agreed that my account was in excellent standing. When I asked what had triggered this issue with the bank, he said that it's a fraud prevention mechanism that gets triggered when someone sends in a large payment.
Wait a minute: PAYING MY BALANCE IN FULL MAY BE CONSIDERED FRAUD?
Plus, I almost ALWAYS pay my balance in full, and it's frequently more than the payment that triggered this event. Go figure.
I told him that someone who pays their balance in full, consistently and on time, is being treated like someone who does the exact opposite. He agreed, but was unable to offer any additional help. So my card will be unusable for almost a month, because I pay my balance in full. And, the payment I sent to them, since it originates on-line from my checking account, has already been withdrawn from my available balance. What a ripoff!
Note to Credit One Bank: "I'm sorry you do not make money off me in the form of late payment fees, over limit fees, high interest, and other fees you charge people who do not manage their money well, or, have fallen on hard times. But, if you are going to punish me for playing by YOUR rules, I say, go to hell!"
I have a ton of other credit cards that do not subject me to such criminal-like treatment. I'll use them from now on.
Goodbye, Credit One Bank!