Dallas, Texas
Not resolved
7 comments

I like to think of myself as an aware consumer, always reading the fine print and double-checking it before I put my signature on the dotted line. Well, Capital One taught me that I have much to learn about many things, especially dealing with credit cards and their balance transfer offers.

Back in February Capital One sent me a balance transfer offer of zero percent interest for 18 months. What a deal! Since my son had recently started his own business and still needed startup funding, I used that balance transfer offer to help him out.

On the second billing cycle, I noticed Capital One applied a finance charge to my account. I called Capital One’s customer service about it. After wading through people from all over the world, I finally connected with Account Manager #1, someone with some level of power. I told her my situation and she apologized for the inconvenience and told me hat she would take care of things.

She didn’t.

By the fifth month, two months month after I had spoken to Account Manager #1, my finance charge continued to collect in the account at an astronomical rate.

Again, I called Capital One’s customer service. I asked to speak to Account Manager #1. Naturally, the woman with whom I now spoke didn’t know Account Manager #1 or from which location she worked. I took a deep breath and told my sad story again. She sat patiently and listened. After what seemed like an eternity, she put me on hold and when she came back she announced that a higher office denied my “request.”

What request? I didn’t request that they remove my finance charge because I thought it was unfair. The finance charge shouldn’t have even been there!

The lady from far off who-knows-where got tired of my lamentations and transferred me to Account Manager #2.

Account Manager #2 wasted no time informing me that I had used the wrong check. Imagine that, I used the ONLY check Capital One had given me and it was “the wrong check.”

Need I say I blew a gasket?

I demanded to speak to someone with more authority.

SENIOR Account Manager #1 listened to my argument and then asked if I had kept a copy of the check and the written offer.

I did not have a copy of either one—a lesson from which I learned to copy EVERYTHING!

She said that I had used a purchase check and that all purchase checks were at an annual rate of 14.99 percent interest.

I stayed firm in my protest that I didn’t use a purchase check. I used a balance transfer check.

She stood just as firm on her claim that the “higher office” determined the check I used was the wrong check. And unless I had a copy of the check and the offer letter, she could do nothing for me.

I was stuck with the 14.99 percent interest rate like everyone else who used the wrong check.

I hung up.

I panicked a few minutes and then realized my bank probably made a copy of that check. They did and were happy to send me a copy of it free of charge. The catch was it would be 5-10 business days before it arrived in the mail.

In the meantime, I had to get out from under this ridiculous interest rate or it would drive me to the poor house. I called another credit card company with which I had done business previously and asked them to help me out. They did, for a fee.

With a promise here and a signature there, my 14.99 percent loan became affordable. Not free, like the promise made by Capital One, but affordable.

Yesterday I got the copy of the “wrong check” and called Capital One customer service.

Again, I swam the sea of Capital One’s customer service representatives searching for Senior Account Manager #1. She was nowhere to be found. I refused to speak to anyone but a Senior Account Manager. Senior Account Manager #2 promised me the moon and then hung up. I didn’t trust him so I called again.

Senior Account Manager #3 reiterated what Senior Account Manager #1 had said—that I had used the wrong check because it wasn’t in a particular number sequence.

Actually, it was. It was one of the numbers RIGHT in the middle of the sequence. I had NOT used the wrong check. She said she would have to request a copy of the check to see for herself.

Now, mind you, I had already arranged to have the balance transferred to another bank so I wouldn’t get pinned down with exorbitant interest rates.

The next day, Senior Account Manager #3 called and said that yes, the check was in the correct number sequence and that she has credited our account the finance charges we had paid and if we hadn’t already paid the balance off, she would have been more than glad to honor the original balance transfer offer. Wasn’t that nice of her?

So, if you have a Capital One credit card and someone asks, “What’s in YOUR pocket?” You can tell them, “The hand of one of the sneakiest, low-handed, thieving companies out there.”

If anyone else has suffered a similar balance transfer scam from Capital One and wants to join me in a class action lawsuit, please post a response to this blog. I'm researching class action attornies this week. Thanks.

Product or Service Mentioned: Capital One Credit Card.

Monetary Loss: $2.

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Anonymous
#257512

Here is a copy of a comlaint I have just registered with t"complaintsboard.com":

Late in 2010 Capital One were offering cash advance checks at zero percent APR for 12 months. I was buying land at the time and decided that this would help cash flow, decided to avail myself of the offer and wrote a check in the amount of $6,000.

I was a little taken aback when I received the first statement which showed this transaction, because the $6,000 amount was mixed in with the regular monthly transactions. I pay off the balance on this card in full, without fail EVERY month and my plan was to pay off my statement balances in full, plus $500 each month, so that by the time the 12 months had expired, the cash advance would be paid off - thus incurring no interest, just the $120 cash advance fee (which they only tell you about when you grill them on it).

The way this 0% APR transaction appeared on my credit card statement makes it somewhat complicated to figure out the exact amount payable each month, and this was further complicated by having made a double payment in error one month and then missing the due date in January. I clearly expected to pay a late fee and interest for the late January payment along with the transactions listed on my statement which was due on Feb 25th. I therefore included these amounts along with the total for January transactions.

when I received my March statement, I found that I had still been charged interest on the outstanding balance - which of course solely consisted of the remaining balance of the zero percent APR check!

I queried this with Capital One and at first was told that the reason for interest being charged was that it did not arrive in time to be credited on the February statement, even though the March statement clearly shows the credit to my account on the due date. I was told it would take 2 months to work itself out, but that I would be credited. I then asked the question "Well if it takes 2 months to work itself out, what happens next month when the interest still appears on my account and has not been paid? Surely that amount will be picked up again and further interest charged". I was put on hold.

I was then told by the representative that she had been wrong and that I WAS being billed for interest on the ENTIRE outstanding balance - which includes the outstanding balance of the zero per cent APR advance!! So how can this be zero percent APR I asked?

I was then told that the only way I could avoid being charged interest on the zero percent APR portion was to pay off the entire balance of transactions to date and then not use the card again until I was ready to pay off the zero percent APR portion.

I asked to speak to a supervisor and got the same story.

I think anyone reading this will understand that by this time any normally honest and reasonable person -would have become apoplectic, seething angry and ready to tear someone's head off. What made it worse was being told that they could understand my frustration!

Sadly I succumbed to the power of invective - which didn't really make me feel too much better, so I am hoping that someone reading this can do something about the situation - which I consider to be a total rip off by a company which I had dealt with for nearly 10 years and almost without exception had always paid them the balance in full each month .

It has not cost me a great deal of money, but I feel they need to be brought to book for such shameful business practices - which according to my definition of the word I would consider to be fraudulant.

So yes Class Action? Bring it on!!

Anonymous
#103587

Cannot agree more, I did 0% balance transfer and year back and they charged me every month. When I asked they said I did EPR and not APR and I am stuck at 12% and paying huge money.

I dont have original documents with me and now I cannot prove anything.

Thanks "proco1" I like the idea of them sending me that EPA thing in writing and let me see if they send it.

Anonymous
#76864

No, nothing has been done. I guess Capital One is so big it can do whatever it darn well pleases!

What I do now is tell EVERYONE, even folks with whom I make only a casual acquaintance, not to use Capital One credit card or bank.

It's the best I can do I guess. Doing SOMETHING makes me feel a little better.

Anonymous
#76852

I see this was posted last year, but I have just recently been scammed and defrauded by capital one with the "bait and switch" oops we made a mistake on our balance transfer offer. Please let me know if this situation has been rectified at all.

007
#40191

Sorry to hear about your experience. I've had a Capital One card for almost two years now, and I haven't had a problem luckily, although I don't use balance transfers or anything. Good luck.

Jeri
#25786

proco1, I have a call into a class action attorney to see what we need to do to expose Capital One. As soon as I have any information, I'll post it to this site and you can then call the attorney.

Your letter sounded like it could have been written by ME, save for the fact that I am NOT a mathematician by any stretch of the imagination. :grin

proco1
#25646

Hello,

I am having the exact problem with the same offer. (0% for 18 months + 2% fee). I am quite knowledgable in the world of balance transfers and how APRs work. In addition, I am a full time professor of mathematics.

They are applying my purchase rate because I used it as a personal check. My purchase rate is 19.8%!!!! This is drastically different than 0%. I even called before using the offer.

Here are some of the excuses I have gotten: I used it after the offer expired, if I couldn't tell them the exact check number they couldn't track it, I used it as a personal check, they also told me that the finance charge was a prorated transfer fee-which is not something credit card companies do. And yesterday I was told that 0% is being applied to the transfer but that the finance charge is just a fee for carrying a balance on the card. I explained to the guy that the fee for carrying a balance depends on the APR..that's what a finance charge is and if I multiply 0 times the amount I transferred I get 0.

I have called 6 times and every time they transferred me to a supervisor I was conveniently disconnected. I even had them write my number down in case it happened again. Of course they didn't call back.

I believe I might have gotten somewhere yesterday. I called and simply asked them to send me a letter stating that the reason my APR is at 19.8% is because I wrote a check to myself. The girl was very nice and 6 calls later and many wasted hours later...she said it was an error!!! She submitted a request to correct the error and I will not find out for 1-2 billing cycles :) She also gave me her employee ID. I think she realized that the only reason I would want that letter is too have evidence. This must happen all of the time...

Either way, they are absolutely scamming and I have the original mailing so...I am ready for the next step. ( I just found the original mailing yesterday). I didn't have much to work with until I found that.

I believe it is time to expose them. I can't even imagine how many people they are stealing from.