CapitalOne’s Stupidity Has Impacted My Credit!=Process Broken

UPDATE: Wow! Look at their GetSatisfaction page.


If you like customer service horror stories, then you’ll love this one.

The Story

In February of this year, our heroine, yours truly, called CapitalOne to pay off one of her 3 credit cards with this company and to change her address and phone as she had recently moved and her forwarded mail was coming to an end. There was a whopping $5 balance so digging deep into her financial reserves she paid the trolls $5 while still on the line. Apparently a few days, after the card was paid to zero balance, these mean people accessed a $29.75 late fee on the $0 balance. Business process=broken

Pretty sure that’s not legal, but where does she go to complain? Government process=broken

Of course, as luck would have it, the trolls changed the address/phone on 2 of the cards, but not on this particular card. Business process=broken?

6 months went by, and our heroine lived blissfully unaware that the illegitimate late fee of $29.75 remained on the card. She was not receiving statements, so she had no idea that the CapitalOne monster was about to strike.

After checking her credit report earlier today, the heroine found that CapitalOne had charged-off the account for, you guessed it, $29.75. Yep, she now has an illegitimate charge-off on her credit for $29.75!

After 4 hours on the phone with CapitalOne today, and after talking to many of the Troll’s minions, she learned that they would not reopen the account and that they would not address the negative credit reporting. 4 hours of her life wasted and credit damaged only because the Trolls at CapitalOne do not have their **** together…

The Rant

It’s a sad story, but one we’ve all lived through at some mega-business in the past. The CapitalOnes, Comcasts and other notorious offenders continue to victimize on a daily basis.

But, why does this happen? Do people really start companies with evil, nefarious aims? Do they think that they will increase their customer base by pissing off the people who are shoveling money in their coffers? No. These companies hire fancy, dancy consultants to come in and ‘help’ them piss off their customers in the form of cost-cutting. Throat-cutting would be more appropriate terminology.

Hey, big business… Cut the damn marketing budget before you cut customer care. All the new orders you bring in will eventually be lost due to your prime suckage.

If your customers are !screaming! to get help and all you can think about is how to cut costs, you are bound to lose money. These consultants rarely care for the longevity of your company. They were brought in to immediately lower costs, but they have no stake in the future of your company so they could care less what their cuts do to your future.

Business Example

I recently had a discussion with a friend at a large company. Friend and company will remain nameless, of course. He was explaining to me why their customer service sucks. While his team begged to keep their customer focus, the execs told them that they had to cut $40k from the budget immediately (thanks consultants!). This was, of course, to pay for the companies large social networking experiment. Don’t even get me started on that one…

6 months later my friend was able to show measurable losses of revenue after the significant cuts in customer care and had the foresight to forecast future losses. Because his team did this work, and showed that the $70K cut had put them on track to lose $900K by year’s end, they were unleashed to again serve their customers with excellence. But, how much impact was done in those 6 months? To have him tell it, the impact was substantial. In fact, months after, they are forced to adopt a new, costly customer retention program that will add additional losses to the big savings that the consultant brought them. The sad thing is that before they mucked with their current setup, they were retaining customers just fine and were one of the top 5 *****s in their field.

Sadly, as consumers we have no way to educate big business on this truth. One would think execs would have learned this in their obligatory MBA education from a top school… (I know, now I’m just being snarky).

We have no real way to speak out against these retarded cousins of the business world and I’m tired of just giving up. The Better Business Bureau is useless. Yelp is about the best way to get any attention when you are railroaded by companies, but that really doesn’t work well unless it’s a local business. Any suggestions on how we take back our time, energy and buying power? GetSatisfaction?Anyone else have a customer service nightmare they want to share?

5 Replies to “CapitalOne’s Stupidity Has Impacted My Credit!=Process Broken”

  1. Yeah, this is common practice with the credit card companies. I write on this constantly, and, at one time or another have revealed all of their little tricks. Their PR is geared to fool an audience with a Daffy Duck mentality. And, strangely, they get away with it.

  2. When my dad passed away last year I contacted all his credit card companies to let them know. I even sent them copies of his death certificate. His goldigging “girlfriend” apparently had his credit card number and continued to rack up charges on his Chase card months after he died. Whenever I got a statement I would call them and tell them, again, my dad is dead and the card should have been cancelled. I called up the individual companies like HSN to tell them not to allow any charges and they said I would have to call the credit card company. Been there, done that. I went to the local precinct to press charges. They weren’t interested. “Not enough proof” Excuse me? My dad was dead, he was hardly ordering stuff to her and her friends’ addresses. I wrote the DA, still no response. Chase finally released the charges, and I highly doubt they even pursued legal action with the thief, as they wouldn’t tell me anything. Then they had the audacity to send yet another credit card with a different number and an even higher credit limit to my dead dad. Unbelievable! I think I’m going to see if I could get a copy of his credit report to see if the thief is charging anything else on cards I didn’t even know about. His whole life my dad had great credit and I’m not about to let some con get away with ruining his good name.

  3. That’s horrible! I’m so sorry to hear that. It’s exactly what happens when customer service gets cut and won’t scale to meet the needs of their customers. I’m frustrated, but mine is a small price to pay. Again, I’m so sorry that you had to deal with this after losing someone so special!

  4. FYI: Resolved. Sent an email to their Investor Relations department w/this link. Got a call the next day saying that the offending info would be off of my credit report within 45 days and they credited me the $30 dollars. They also reinstated my credit card with no interest rate penalty and the same credit limit. Not sure if it was the blog post or the email to Investor Relations, but all is well now. I’m just now getting around to updating the post. Sorry 🙁

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