Capital One Bills You Twice In One Month

I had an interesting experience with Capital One this morning. After paying our bill in full promptly for 10 years we were notified today that we owe the company a couple of hundred dollars due tomorrow November 09, 2007.

The bill due November 09, 2007 was already paid. We are being recharged before our statement date.

Basically the company double billed us in the same billing cycle. The charge amounts are for purchases that have not been posted to a bill yet. We have not received a statement for the November billing cycle, The representative who was in some foreign country told us to pay what we owed. The charges are correct, however they should have been applied to the November statement which we never received and is not due. All our statements are online and should be current. There is no statement showing these charges as the billing cycle has not closed. The money is chump change, I paid the charges before the statement was posted. I bet they bill me again for the same charges at the end of this billing cycle. We are closing our accounts with Capital One.

To this point I couldn’t believe the horror stories I heard about this company. I am a believer now.

Good for you. CapitalOne isn’t actually a “No Hassle” card, they just play one on TV.

(Photo:taberandrew)

Comments

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  1. Yep says:

    Think this is happening to more than one cardholder? Gee, I wonder why they’d start calling in debt that wasn’t technically due yet. See: [www.bizjournals.com]

  2. Buran says:

    @Yep: If it’s not due yet, you don’t have to pay yet because it’s a violation of their agreement with you.

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    It always bothers me when someone just pays a company that is wrong because it is “chump change”.

    Lets say the ammount was $60. That may seem like chump change to one person, but for someone on a tight budget that can really throw them off for the month. Plus, companies like people to think something is “chump change” and just fork over the money. If everyone stood up to these problems, regardless of the ammount of money, all consumers would be better off.

  4. nweaver says:

    Except they probably changed the agreement somewhere and posted it in the record’s division (aka, an unused lavoratory in a dark basement missing stairs with a sign on the door saying “beware of the leopard!”)

  5. Yep says:

    @Buran: Agreed. Why are they asking to be paid? That’s what I’m curious about.

  6. babaki says:

    i dont think this is some widespread conspiracy to get more money from you. seems like a computer error or something that im sure you could straighten out over the phone. i dont see a reason to cancel your account.

  7. kc2idf says:

    I’ll tell you what’s not in my wallet!

  8. Canadian Impostor says:

    @jackattaway2:

    Comment ombudsman: Jackattaway2 is making vaguely on-topic but not really on-topic at all posts on multiple Gawker sites, and is including links to random webpages in each of them.

    You should probably ban him for being a spam bot.

  9. Black Bellamy says:

    CapitalOne has consistently been the most trouble-free card I’ve had. So mileage does vary.

  10. smitty1123 says:

    Off topic, but isn’t every country aside from the one you reside in, by definition, foreign?

  11. nickripley says:

    Wow… I am a consumer advocate, but even I view this as a bit of overreacting!

  12. bobpence says:

    Did you make the prior payment that you think covered the Nov 9 amount due prior to the closing date? Perhaps it was credited in the October statement, and then your lower amount due was calculated on the lower balance. Maybe it will help to show you what I mean:

    9/13 balance $5000, account closes, $200 due 10/9
    9/21 pay $400 “October payment”
    10/9 due date, already satisfied
    10/12 pay $400 “November payment” <– the “missing” payment
    10/13 balance $4200, account closes, $168 due 11/9
    11/9 due date, payment “late” because 10/12 payment credited to 10/13 statement

    This happened with me and American Express. The were very helpful, one phone call and they re-assigned the payment to the later statement period as I had intended.

  13. rdm24 says:

    @AlteredBeast: You’re absolutely right, but we all have to pick our battles. For a few hundred dollars, I’d raise a stink. For a few dozen, I’d just write the check, maybe make an irate phonecall if I had the time.

  14. DadCooks says:

    I predict that we are going to see more of the Credit Card Companies doing all sorts of things to bring in extra money and their Customer noService to get even worse.

    Citi has started double entering charges on me (folks take a look online at your “Unbilled Acivity” and see if it is happening to you). Citi blames it on “the computer system” of course.

    I also recommend against getting only online statements from any company. Yes, mail sometimes gets lost or misdirected, but it is all too easy for an electronic statement to disappear in the ether. At the very least, if you become injured or die how can you be sure that your spouse, significant other, life partner, attorney, etc. is going to know what bills to pay?

  15. dapuddle says:

    I had the same experience with Capital One. Took me a couple instances to figure it out though.

    I no longer use Capital One.

  16. Cowboys_fan says:

    @Canadian Impostor: Agreed. I have seen posts on sites like rent-a-coder asking do do crap like this…Vaguely relate to blogs and leave a link to unrelated topics(all the links are about chemical peels). I’m for banning.

  17. alyssariffic says:

    A similar thing happened to me a while back with capital one. I sent it in to the consumerist but it wasn’t posted. Capital One didn’t post my payments for a few days so I paid again thinking it didn’t go through correctly. Then they posted both, resulting in a negative balance of 300 dollars that they refused to refund unless I wanted to wait a month for a check to come in, so I just kept it on my account. But yeah, capital one = fail.

  18. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @Canadian Impostor:

    @Cowboys_fan:

    Yep. He’s banned. A couple of people flagged the spammified comment, so it was brought to my attention pretty quickly.

    Thanks again to all who help out by flagging comments (on this and other threads). It really helps us respond quickly to spammers, trolls, etc.

  19. Yogambo says:

    Something is afoot at CapOne. I’ve got them loaded at Mint and they continue to pull charges twice from them (this is a Mint-specific issue — the charge shows twice — that others have reported for other accounts, but for me, it’s only CapOne). I asked Mint about it and they say “just exclude” or some other PIA solution. Anyway, I called CapOne to see if something was up and they told me they were doing a migration to a new online access system — which my account now has as of two days ago. They suggested it ‘might’ have something to do with it. Previous to this, I’d often watch as the due date passed and CapOne wouldn’t close out the statement, allowing several days more charges to pop in there. I always thought this was a conspiracy. My intent is to buy and get as much of my grace period as possible. I always saw this ‘delayed’ closing date situation as a wee bit shady. I asked them and they said the date is fluid, allowing those mailing payments a few more days to get them in there. I don’t know, I could sometimes see that there funds extracted from the available balance that weren’t showing in the transactions — like they were getting stuck. I’m always a PIF user. I’m thinking about bailing and going somewhere more transparent.

  20. Canadian Impostor says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: Doh, I didn’t even flag it. I forgot the option was there. I’ll report things in a less stupid and obtrusive manner in the future!

  21. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    No worries. :-)

    I try to monitor the threads (directly and via RSS), but since this isn’t my full time gig, the fastest way to make sure I see something is to flag it or to e-mail me at anne@consumerist.com.

  22. Mojosan says:

    I have noticed some billers begining to mail out a new statement as soon as the previous months payment is rec’d.

    Countrywide absolutely does it to my mortgage account. I’ll get December’s bill about 3 days after they receive Novembers payment…even though it might not be due for 45 days.

    I feel like comcast was doing it as well. I have multiple homes and was noticing both statements coming early on the same day.

    But now I use eChecks and pay the day they are due so it’s harder to tell.

  23. NoWin says:

    I’m confused: did the OP receive a second bill in the mail or was this via a “cold call”?

    …and if it was via a call, was the call-back number the same as the CapOne customer service numbers? (Only thinking about possible identity theft here…)

  24. theblackdog says:

    @AlteredBeast: I agree, especially because I just had to fork over $175 to my electric company despite the fact that I am currently disputing the amount, simply because twice they’ve claimed that I shouldn’t be getting disconnect notices since my account is being investigated.

    I hope I get a nice fat credit when all is said and done because that is not chump change to me.

  25. sburnap42 says:

    I just had something like this happen with Chase. I made a payment before I received the actual statement for the month. Chase applied it to the prior month and then charged me $39 because I was “late” in paying on the next cycle. Silly me, I had thought that if I was paying after the due date for the prior month it would go to the current one.

    I’m very tempted to just set up an automatic payment of $50 every week to prevent these stupid games.

    This in the same month that Countrywide simply turned off my automatic payment for no reason I can discern thereby forcing me to miss a payment thereby incurring a late charge. (Which the representative insisted was not a late charge but a “processing fee” for paying after the deadline.) Two decades of dealing with mortgages and credit cards and suddenly it seems with every account is hitting me with this. Am I cynical to think it’s an attempt to profit by late fee?

  26. AndrewJC says:

    @smitty1123: Well, the word “foreign” can be literal or metaphorical. England is a foreign country, but because they speak English and aren’t too culturally different from the United States, we don’t consider them “foreign” in the metaphorical.

    As for bobpence‘s comment, I think that this kind of billing is incredibly inconvenient. I know that because it’s a credit card, it’s kind of subject to different rules because of the nature of interest and closing dates and the like, but it bugs me to no end that I can’t just pay my credit card bill every four weeks like I pay all of my others.

    With a cable or phone bill, if you make a payment before the bill is due, your account simply goes into a negative balance until the bill is processed. But with a credit card, you have to ensure that your bill is paid specifically between the closing date and the due date, which can get to be a big hassle when you’re scheduling payments regularly (as I’ve had to train myself to do in order to be more financially responsible—paying on each payday so I don’t forget or spend the money somewhere else “accidentally”). It makes me more likely to either forget or misschedule my payment.

  27. NoWin says:

    @sburnap42: “Am I cynical to think it’s an attempt to profit by late fee?”

    Nope! (lucrative secondary income avenue to those companies)

    …I think your idea of the OP’s situation sounds more plausible.

  28. TechnoDestructo says:

    I am not capable of believing that this was not intentional and did not happen to at least hundreds of other people.

    That is how much I trust Capital one (and Chase, and Bank of America)

  29. lenagainster says:

    Capitol One just revised their online website. More secure, quicker access. Wonder if this revision had something to do with the OP’s troubles.

  30. Womblebug says:

    @sburnap42: I worked for a credit card company. There are two dates: the due date and the cycle, or bill date. Generally there’s a five to seven day gap between the two. It -used- to be that you would not receive a late fee until the cycle date passed with no payment, I don’t know if they’ve stopped doing this. But yeah, if your payment hits after the due date but before the cycle date it’s applied to that month’s bill, not the next.

    As to the Capital One issue, it’s -possible- that it’s an error due to changing cycle dates. (Long arcane explanation to follow – skip to end if you don’t care)

    Credit card companies assign all cardholders to one of a few cycle dates, in order to keep things organized and track delinquency rates (If everyone billed on the 30th, all the end of month reporting, bill printing, and other business would be crammed into a few days. On the other hand, if the had accounts bill every day of the month, they’d constantly be doing maintenance and printing with no real way to organize and track accounts) Accounts will bill, say, on the 4th, 10th, 16th and 20th of the month. Your account is assigned to one of these bill dates when you open it.

    Let’s say your cycle date is the 10th of the month. Let’s also say that your credit card company has now bought a bunch of accounts from another lender who wants out of the business, and so has 500K new accounts to handle. There are really too many accounts now for just four billing dates, so we’ll add the 8th and the 12th. All accounts, not just the new ones, are redistributed. There’s a possibility your account will go from billing on the tenth to billing on the 12th. IF the database side is not done properly, the computer will send you a bill closing on the 10th… and then another closing on the 12th of the same month.

    This is not supposed to happen, and if brought to their attention should be fixable, but only if you get a non-myrmidon on the phone who’s aware of the situation. Writing a letter might get you better results, as at most companies correspondence will go to a different set of people than calls.

    If this isn’t what happened, hell, I don’t know.

  31. warf0x0r says:

    Never ever had a problem with Capital One, and they’re the only card that offers me a rate below 10% fixed (8.9) All my other cards have like 17% rates and I haven’t used them in 3 years… course I don’t charge any more than 500 bucks now that college is over and I have a good job.

  32. DaWezl says:

    My BoA Mastercard is really driving me crazy with the billing. They recently set the due date for my account to the 22nd of the month. I have to pay by that date, or else I’ll be charged late fees. In the meantime, they continue to process charges for the month until the 6th of the following month. Which means that if I don’t accurately predict those charges, my account will show a balance, and thus can generate interest (and since it’s a two-cycle card, will generate the interest for two months.)

    I find it interesting that they made this change to my billing right after I consolidated bills and paid off the balance I had on that account. I’m looking to change cards, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. (I haven’t incurred any interest due to this situation yet, b/c I’ve been very vigilant about what goes on the card.)

  33. chartrule says:

    Personally I hate credit cards – they are needed for so many things these days (i.e. rent a car, hotel/motel … etc….)

    I find it alot better to have both the electronic billing as well as a paper copy just in case of gliches where your billed more than once for a transaction

  34. Boberto says:

    I have a Capital One account that I pay off entirely every month. The rule I use is that I have to pay off the entire balance at most, 25 days from the first charge incurred within that billing cycle. Otherwise, I’ll get whacked in interest charges for the whole balance.

    Why bother even using it? Well, if I can get away with it, I’ll accumulate cash rewards. Roughly $20/month. It’s actually a pretty good deal if you can be diligent in watching the cycle dates. They do tend to mix them up a bit and change them from month to month. I go online and check every few days.
    Making Capital One MY bitch.

  35. dirtymoney says:

    Years ago I had a capital one card. And I would routinely get charged late fees for payments I sent in the mail. But the thing was…. I almost ALWAYS sent in the payment the day after I first recieved the bill.
    I always wondered if they had a specific waystation mail processing center that delayed delivery on purpose so they could then charge late fees.
    I cancelled the card after getting screwed by them several times. I now pay my credit card bill online & it isnt a capital one card.

  36. goodkitty says:

    @Buran: Agreement-ashmeement. What are you going to do if they violate the agreement? Go to arbitration? Hah hah hah hah hah… Capital One: You’re in THEIR wallet. :)

    Capital One has to send me at least three (no joke) different and unrelated credit card offers each month. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were really trying to scrape the barrel for clients and fees at this time.

  37. vex says:

    @Mojosan: My mortgage lender does this also. Why is it bad? It’s not like they’re demanding the payment earlier.

  38. sburnap42 says:

    GOODKITTY: My wife and I each get an offer from Capital One every week, regular as clockwork.

  39. edrebber says:

    Capital One is a descendant of Bank of Virginia, the first bank to offer a credit card in the 60’s. Capital One’s billing system is running on Unisys mainframe systems with programs that were written in the 60’s. Capital One has been trying and failing to migrate their billing system to a more modern technology for at least 10 years. You will continue to see these types of conversion errors until the billing system is fully migrated. Finacial institutions should be required to inform the public when they undertake such drastic changes to their billing system. This way customers could switch credit cards, if they are adverse to the risk.

  40. gobbi says:

    Capital “Crime” One! In an effort to help my son with his debt while he attends college, I made a payment to Capital One. He had been charged $39 for going over his limit and another $39 for a late payment. I paid the balance down to just under the credit limit. On the following statement, they charged him $13.61 (27%!) in interest and another $39 because the interest charge once again put him over his limit!! I told my son that I would pay off these crooks if he promised me to call and cancel his account. What’s in my wallet…money, and you are trying to get your hands on it!