How hard should you have to work to pay your bills? No, not to make enough money to pay your bills, but to actually give your money to someone else? Reader Matt has been trying to convince Capital One to take his money for several months now. They’re not taking his money, or his calls, but they are willing to send him to collections! Check out his story, inside.
So two things happened in January. One: I started leasing a dedicated server from Sago Networks, and two: I asked for paperless credit card statements from Capital One. Little did I realize this would cause me
headaches for the next 4 (going on 5) months.
Sometime in February I received an email from Blockbuster Total Access that my card was refused. I thought that was strange, so I tried to login to capitalone.com (as I did every month to pay my bill) to check it out. So one of two things happened here: right after logging in I was either sent to http://www.capitalone.com/?state=timeout or I received a standard 404 message. I thought that was even stranger so I decided to call and see what was up.
Over the next month or two I’d call about twice per week, stay on hold for about an hour, then hang up. As a good Consumerist, I’d call the collect number on the back of my card and try to blast my way through to a human by repeatedly dialing “0″. This did little good. Every time I called I was on the phone for a minimum of an hour, at which point I had to hang up because I was calling during my lunch breaks.
Once I finally got a hold of an actual human, I was told I needed the fraud department, which added to my hold time. When talking to the fraud department, I asked several times why my card was marked as fraudulent. They wouldn’t answer. I was asked some simple questions, like my mother’s maiden name, city of birth, then, “Did you charge $69 with Sago Networks in January?” (Gee, I wonder who was responsible for my card getting stopped.) I said yes, and then they supposedly reactivated my online account and sent me a new credit card.
Next time I logged in to Capital One I could navigate the website without errors, but when I clicked “Pay My Bill,” I got an EMPTY SELECT BOX when choosing which account to pay! Over the next TWO MONTHS I ended up playing phone tag with a mysterious “special division of the fraud department.” Every person I talked to told me I needed the fraud department. When I was connected to the fraud department, they told me I needed some “special division.” They wouldn’t give me any names, but they did tell me that this special division is only open M-F 9-5 EST (very inconvenient for me on the west coast). After holding for my entire lunch break, I had to hang up.
HOWEVER: This did not stop them from calling me on Saturdays. I turn my ringer off at night, but when checking my phone later on I’d see up to 3 missed calls from Capital One. Apparently their collections
department works all weekend but the fraud department is only available M-F.
So one day earlier this month I took a personal day and called Capital One again. This time I decided to take notes during my call:
Began phone call – 10:52
Talked to Ashley – put on hold at 11:04
Talked to Evelyn from 11:15-11:29
Talked to Marian (Collections department) 11:35
Talked to Kam (Fraud department) 11:45-12:07
Talked to Michelle (Account Manager) at 12:10
Hung up 12:35
Not one of these representatives explained why I was being transferred or told me I was being put on hold before they did so. Michelle finally helped me. She claimed she removed the 3 late charges attached
to my account and accepted a payment via check right there on the phone. Thing is, I checked recently: no payments have been made. They don’t want me to pay them! I also asked Michelle to reactivate snail mail bills so maybe I’ll start getting those…
They refuse to let me pay! Anyway, thought this might be interesting…
Keep up the great work Consumerist!
Be fair now, Matt. Don’t assume Sago can take credit for your Capital One’s genius. It’s time to call Capital One’s Account Supervisors, and probably time to think about closing this account. If they’re this bad at taking your money, they probably don’t deserve the 13.99% APR.