Round 40: Capital One vs ATT

This is Round 40 in our Worst Company in America contest, Capital One vs AT&T!Here's what readers said in previous rounds about why they hate these two companies...

Capital One:

"they're a bunch of dicks that constantly send me auto loan offers even though they won't give me a credit limit of more than $500 and a shitty as hell APR."

"If you've EVER had to call Crapital One's customer service, the decision would be very clear to you. Being passed off to one incompetent rep after another, then transferred to the Spanish speaking line, then hung up on (elapsed time: 1 hour) is not awesome."

"I'm tired of them wanting to know what's in my wallet."

"They issued my daughter, who has terrible credit and no job a credit card a few months back. I'm sure they must have known, with her credit score and rating that she would never make the payments. So of course now she has late fees on top of late fees on top of an unpaid balance. Not saying it is their fault she is not paying her bill of course, but what the hell kind of business sense does it make to give someone a credit card when they have such bad credit?

America, no wonder we are on the road to ruin."

"Capital One sends us two credit card offers a week. Like clockwork."

"I have a personal history with capital one & really HATE them with a passion. Back in the day when I was not as consumer savvy.... I had a card through them. Even though I ALWAYS paid my bill on time every month, for some reason (at least 3-4 times a year) I would incur their $25 late fees. I believe this is because they have a special "processing facility" (in atlanta I think) that's sole purpose is to delay mailed payments before sending them off to the final payment processing place. This was just a theory I had long ago to explain why the bills I sent off way ahead of time didn't make it on time somehow.

There was also an issue when i went to cancel the card because of their late fee shenanigans. They kept keeping minute interest amounts on my card so they could keep me as a customer (talking about like less than 3 dollars). I had to LITERALLY OVERPAY to get it to where they would finally cancel my account. The miserable bastards!"

"Capital One sucks. I frequently carry a small balance on my card, always pay on time and never go over my limit, they're bombarding me with home loan offers now that I'm looking to buy a house, and I have a 780 credit score... YET, for some reason, will NOT raise my card's credit limit over $700. WTF?

I can't even buy a new fridge for the house I'm planning to purchase with that limit. I have the cash to pay, but want the added benefits/protections of buying it with a credit card, and don't want to have to open a new card to do it. Looks like I may have no choice..."

"

Voted for Crapital One... I have a card with them.

A year back, I applied for a secured card, where I had to put a deposit on it. Granted, I didd't have a credit history, and only had 1 other card open at that time (with my bank, and the limit was $500.00) I could see why they would charge me.

Fast forward 11 months later.. I now have 6 (yep thats right) 6 credit cards. That old card I had before Capital One, well now it's a gold card (Gold Cards in Canada, excluding Crapital one have to be a credit limit of $5k or higher), I have another US dollar card with a 5k limit, and 2 other gold cards from major banks.

What does Crapital do? Well they see I am not using my card, so they raise the limit to $1500.00 and dont want to budge on ever getting my security deposit back or getting rid of the damn annual fees! All my cards have 0.00 annual fee with the major banks, if Crapital wants to play, why dont they play fair!

Now I am getting purchasing checks every 2 weeks like clockwork... I am waiting until next month, thats when my 1 year anniversary with them is up and either they are changing my card to no annual fee and refunding my deposit, or I am cancelling "

"C1 sends my son, the unemployed college student, at least three offers a week. I usually intercept them (the Postmaster General can bite my hairy white ass) and run them through the shredder unopened, but just in case, I also made sure the kid gets the utter illogic of someone like him being in possession of a credit card. I'd almost rather see him join the Marines than get hooked up with Capitol One."

"I voted for C1 because the amount of paper they mail out, and the resulting ecological impact of all the dead trees and all the spent fuel of the mail trucks is atrocious."

AT&T:

"AT&T's willingness to help the government illegally spy on citizens that elevates them pretty much to the level of absolute scum."

"knowingly illegal colluding with the government + blatant attempt at monopolizing the telecom industry is really, really bad form."

"Now the problem I'm having with Ma Bell right now is that she's charging me Utility User Taxes for a jurisdiction I don't live in or have any connection to whatsoever. It's about $15 a month and it's adding up. I've called and faxed over official statements from my city's clerk and they insist I have to pay the taxes of the neighboring city. My zip code bleads into the big city so they insist I should be paying their taxes. I had this same problem with Verizon and they cried the whole administrative burden defense and said sorry we can't help you. After awhile I gave up because it was at the time an immaterial amount due to having a lower bill."

"Gee, didn't AT&T get broken up just a few years back into a lot of baby Bells because it was a huge, arrogant monopoly. And now it's right back to AT&T and being a huge, arrogant monopoly again. WTF. Don't we ever learn?"

"AT&T got my vote for helping W take a dump on the Constitution and for having poor customer service. Bonus points for that time in college when they charged me $7 for a 1 minute payphone call."

"hey sent my 84 year old father a CD for the $10 DSL which gave instructions for him to click here to finish and they left out the button to click to finish. I thought well maybe at 84 he can't see the button so I checked and sure enough it was missing so it couldn't be downloaded. So I tried to call the DSL number to find out why the click here button was missing and why when I tried to order the DSL online (after spending hours trying to find the $10 deal), it said they have no phone account for my father even though he has BOTH local and long distance service with AT&T. I got routed to 8 different states, not one of which was mine (NY). Each time they said let me send you to NY and each time I ended up talking to someone in another state who told me that they could not help me because I was from a different state. I said can you just tell me if they have DSL in New York. The answer from all was NOPE. The guy from Alabama asked me if the service he was providing was excellent causing me to spit out my coffee but I said well let's see if you can send me to a person in NY and then I will let you know. He sent me to Kentucky. I hung up. I will never do business with this company. I am in the process of changing my fathers phone service as well."

"AT&T is one of the worst companies ever. Even when dead, they managed to come back to life. They have screwed me out of some much money for cell phones and even back in the day for "long distance access". Remember that crap? I would love to have an iPhone, but will never buy one until they get rid of AT&T."

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: Sallie Mae vs eBay/Paypal, TransUnion vs Diebold, Best Buy vs CompUSA, DeBeers vs Verizon, Exxon vs United Airlines, Sony vs Ticketmaster, Comcast vs The American Arbitration Association

Comments

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  1. DrJimmy says:

    I voted Cap 1, but it was a tough choice.

  2. beavis88 says:

    I don’t have to deal with Capital One. I’m sure AT&T is routing a lot of my internet traffic to the NSA, whether I like it or not…so AT&T, you are the lucky winner of my vote today!

  3. Trai_Dep says:

    Sigh. Hateful – REALLY hateful – credit card company. Scammers. Annoying spokespeople.
    Versus a company that enables shredding the Constitution by a power-mad King George who’s above laws and piddly stuff like the Bill of Rights. And charging us a fortune for the “privilege”. Then suspending their patriotic duty (cough) when the gov’t doesn’t send them money quickly enough.
    Hmm, wallet or our great nation? I’ll go for the latter, thanks.

  4. Trai_Dep says:

    And, people – think about voting beyond your idiosyncratic personal experience. It annoys me a bit when people vote saying, “it didn’t affect me personally so…”
    We’re capable of reading, we have empathy and ethics, and can reason, right?
    Aren’t child-stealing murderers bad, even if we’re childless?
    Same principle. GEEZ! :D

  5. Truvill says:

    Voted for Capital One. I have a weird name, so every week or so I’m getting 4 different CC offers with various variations of it (and NONE of them have it right). They were also the first to offer me a CC here in the states within a month of me working here, with a laughably terrible interest rate and annual fee. I’ve never seen my shredder work so hard.

  6. hi says:

    @Trai_Dep: What is this constutition thingy you speak of?

    Come on.. “Capital One sends us two credit card offers a week. Like clockwork.”

    That is just evil!

  7. hi says:

    @hi: I would just like to add that as Americans we need more protection on our mailboxes and trash bins!

  8. DeepFriar says:

    I’ll save my anti-monopolistic rant and just say I hate telecomms

  9. SOhp101 says:

    Totally AT&T. Capital One may be ‘evil’ but there are plenty of other credit card companies to choose from, but getting phone service from a different company can be difficult if not next to impossible even with certain regions requiring sharing the land lines. Then there’s the whole spying/wiretapping issue.

    Anyone that sides with Bush is part of an evil empire.

  10. amyschiff says:

    AT&T for sure

  11. mike says:

    @DrJimmy: Tough choice indeed.

    Voted for Capital one. I’ve got Capital One and Sallie Mae going to the next round. Now THAT’S going to be a tough choice.

  12. mike says:

    Did anyone else fill out a bracket?

    Here’s mine

    Embiggen

  13. Murph1908 says:

    C1 sends me crap almost every freakin’ day. They also include some semi-thick card in the mailing that my shredder has to chew on pretty hard to handle. So I am forced to either open the offending letter, or hope this isn’t the card that finally kills my shredder.

  14. dscosson says:

    COME ON AT&T!

  15. ret3 says:

    Ma Bell got the ill communication

    and my vote

  16. quirkyrachel says:

    Aww come on people! ATT is evil! (Their logo even *looks* like the Death Star!)

  17. vladthepaler says:

    AT&T illegally shares every American’s private communications data with the government, and they’re *losing*? Wake up people, even if Capital One did have that enormous a security breach (and they haven’t), at least it wouldn’t be on purpose!

  18. womynist says:

    I have a cell phone plan w/Cingular and my service was absolutely perfect–until they started advertising that “Cingular is now the new AT&T”. Literally, within 2 days of hearing about the merger, my service turned shitty. Actually, I think it’s bad enough to call it SHIT-TAY. My calls get dropped all the time and I mean local calls. There’s sometimes when I have no service at all, in my own town. Or, someone will call me, the phone won’t ring, but it’ll say “missed call”. Ma Bell Fucking sucks!

  19. I received over 3000 (THREE THOUSAND) emails to my previously spam free email address after I applied for an auto loan through Capitalone.com

    They said it wasnt them since the emails did not come from @capitalone.com yet all the spam I was getting was regarding auto loans.
    Capital One might not have sent me spam, but they sold/gave my address to people that did.
    The emails continued for about a month until I submitted both a BBB and a FTC complaint.

  20. homerjay says:

    Come on, AT&T! You can’t bow out THIS early in the competition- especially to the “Whats in your wallet” guy!

    You suck so much! GO AT&T, GO!

  21. Empire says:

    AT&T is a horrible company that has screwed over every American citizen that has used a phone or the internet. Vote AT&T!

  22. BlackFlag55 says:

    Oooo. Gonna abstain on this one. Captiol One is the only crerdit card I carry because they’ve never screwed me … which I realize is only a matter of time, like running across traffic naked and with bad knees, but still. And though AT&T is probably the home court of Satan, or maybe GE or Chase is, they’ve not yet done me wrong (well, not too wrong).

    So, I say PayPal once again. PayPal is the second third and fourth horsemen of the apocalypse and Karmageddon is coming for them.

  23. technotica says:

    Hrm this one is a toughie for me, when I lost my wallet Capitol One was the worst by far for getting a replacement card. I was on the phone with them for almost a hour, whereas with Target it took 5 minutes, 4 of which they were abjectly sorry for my situation – go Target!

    AT&T is consistently evil. So I think this round they get my vote since last time I voted for Paypal.

  24. starlily says:

    This was easy because I have had nothing but bad experiences with ATT (completely got rid of our land line thanks to their poor service!)
    Plus Cap1 has taken good care of us – still have a 4.99% checking account with them! Maybe their CC division is worse, but I can’t speak to that.

  25. mrearly2 says:

    The banks want us to be indebted to them. They are un-Godly, hell-bent bloodsuckers. It’s best to avoid obtaining credit, if you can.
    Banks and phone companies (and others) are strictly for-profit corporations, and the sky’s the limit for profit.

  26. Sinflux says:

    I’ve never had a problem with Capital One, they actually lowered my rate without me asking.

    AT&T however, sucks. I’ve been trying to order DSL for two weeks, they accepted my phone order (which I didn’t even want) and can’t seem to let me order DSL

  27. Trai_Dep says:

    Whoa.
    I’m kind of stunned. A Pulitzer-prize winning exposé reveals that terrabytes of our voice mail, email, browsing history and traffic analysis was illegally sold for years at a high profit to a cabal of Washington bureaucrats. Abuses that make the Nixon Enemies List seem quaint in comparison.
    Losing to an annoying issuer of credit cards. One among thousands.
    Yeesh!

  28. Mr. Cynical says:

    Pretty sure Illegal wiretapping should win over a shitty credit card company… come on people, see the BIG picture here!!

  29. mzhartz says:

    Wow, this is a hard one, I hate them both with a passion. I wish this was the final round matchup, not round 2. But, I’ve had more problems with Capital One than AT&T (both are annoying and unethical), so with a slim margin, I went for Capital One.

  30. katekate says:

    I tried to get home phone service through AT&T (in order to get internet–the place I moved into at the time did not have a cable hookup). So they show up to “install” the phone, tell us it’s working, but we can’t get the internet to work. Finally, it turns out they never ACTUALLY activated our line AND our line wasn’t even connected to the pole. Rather than go through all the bullshit to get that done, we ended up getting Clearwire. Then, 6 months later, I get a call from a collection agengy for my “activation fee.” On a phone line that was neither activated nor billed. Motherfuckers.

  31. bleigh says:

    i get so much spam from capital one it’s disgusting. even after doing the opt out. go away, already!

  32. ottawa_guy says:

    Oh yeah, another vote yet again for Crapital.

    At least they now waved my annual fee….still no deposit back on my card and still the crap interest rate.

    The only reason I keep it is 2 nice features

    Tim Hortons + PayPass = Capital one stays around :)

  33. I have to vote for AT&T. You can choose to go with Capital One or not. Some people here – scratch that, most people here live in areas where they’re lucky if they have two ISPs. The rest of us have a nice choice between Comcast / Cox / Charter / Time Warner, Dial-Up, and Ridiculously Overpriced Satellite; and atleast Capital One doesn’t wiretap you.

  34. Though I forgot to mention (How about that edit button guys?), All CapitalOne mailings go straight to the shredder. Cross cut and all.

  35. YvetteImbesol says:

    WE had the same problems with Capital 1-the Extreme- Hassle Card company.

    We tried to cancel the card because we rarely used it and they were charging us $39/yr fee. The Customer no-Service Rep. was scary to deal with. Every time my husband said, “I just want to close my account now”, she would come back with a reason why he should opt to keep the account open. It became very cult-like and she would not stop telling him that he should not close his account. This went back and forth for over 45 minutes and then when she could not change his mind–she started saying that we owed finance charges on the $39/fee that we did not pay. The fine print says you can cancel your account before the due date and not be responsible for said fee but she kept saying (insisting) that we’d have to pay interest on this fee!

    Then she would not give us a balance due on this account so that we could put a check in the mail pronto and be rid of them. When she was pressed for a balance due over and over she just hung up on us! We called back and got a customer ser. rep in Ireland! He was completely untrained and every we asked him to give us our balance–he would put us on hold. Each time,he would put us on hold and then come back and act like he did not know what we were asking for!

    It was the most ridiculous thing we have ever been through. The Irish rep. finally after a very stressful conversation which lead to us asking for a supervisor he gave us our balance due which was only $79! Capital One is clearly INSANE to haggle with it’s card carriers in this manner and insist that they not cancel this credit card from this crazy company. Capital One is seriously in jeopardy of becoming one of the most hated companies in America. I will tell anyone I know NOT to get a c card from Capital One ever unless you want a nightmare experience trying to deal with them.

    In addition, they hide from their customers how to get in touch with a live customer rep! It took me an hour to figure out how to do it and I found their tactic of not giving the customers an option to talk to a live person on the phone so unprofessional of them. They must figure if you can’t reach them you are stuck with them for life Everything is automated and Capital One wants you jerked around and sent down paths that lead you know where so you will give up and keep the card or pay the fee or whatever so they will not have to deal with you–while they fatten thier bank account. Imagine how much money they make illegally this way because innocent people cannot find out how to get in touch with them!

    There must be a room full of people at Capital One who sit around and think up ways to try and keep their customers off balance, out of touch, illegally collecting fees,etc.

  36. rmuser says:

    AT&T are the ones who are going to be filtering pretty much the entire internet for RIAA/MPAA material. They’ve publicly expressed their intention to do so.

  37. Bryan Price says:

    I have to live with AT&T, both wireless and landline (yes, my wife won’t even think about going VOIP). I just have to deal with Comcast for cable and Internet. A Hobson’s choice?

    I dealt with Capitol One two or three decades ago. I wouldn’t touch them with a parsec pole. When the CSR laughs at me because I want a supervisor, and just taunts me over the phone, telling me I can’t even close the account down even with a zero balance.

    @rmuser: Yeah, that’s another issue I have with AT&T. But they have to be able to actually prove it works without blowing everything up, and while my Internet is Comcast, it goes through AT&T trunks rather quickly, so I fully expect this to still affect me if and when they throw the switch. And when IPV6 makes everything encrypted end-to-end, it will be interesting to see how deep packet inspection (DPI) which is what they are evidently going to do.

  38. blackmage439 says:

    Well, this was somewhat of a tough decision for me. I have both a Capital One card and cell service through AT&T.

    The C1 card has a ridiculous interest rate, even though I’ve only had MAYBE two late payments on that card in the five years I’ve had it, and a crappy rewards program. They send me “scam checks” every month. Hm… I’m still considering whether or not to switch to them from Chase, since those bastards just sent me another FREE* Circuit City gift card; the second in a month.

    *Free with the purchase of scammy protection plans.

    AT&T was actually on my family’s good side. We’ve had AT&T Wireless/Cingular for the past two years, and have had a pretty positive experience, until now. Their phone upgrade program is joke. Out of three phones we recently upgraded, only mine is functioning correctly. The other two phones were determined to be bricked on arrival, according to the 4+ hours my mom has spent dealing with customer “support”. I told my mom to request a refund for non-service after this is all said and done.

    AT&T: Your current shenanigans have put you on my shitlist.

  39. james says:

    AT&T is getting off easy “losing” this battle. I thought they would be a contender to win this thing.

  40. MagnusCattle[7] says:

    Here’s what Capital One did to me.

    I went to pay off my wife’s balance on a loan (NOT a small amount). I
    sent in the checks. 3 weeks later and nothing! Then I call in. They
    have no record of the checks and tell me to stop payment on the old ones
    and resubmit. They give me an address in Columbus GA to use since I’m
    going to Priority Mail the payment. The next day (after my call with
    them) 1 of the checks post to the account. What a coincidence! So I
    call back in to find out if they have the other 2 checks, since I JUST
    Priority mailed payment AGAIN! Not only can’t they tell me if they have
    the other 2 checks, but the woman on the phone (Jessica Johnson) tells
    me that there IS NO payment address in Columbus Georgia. Then where the
    hell did they have me send the new checks?

    Needless to say, now I’m off the bank to issue ANOTHER STOP PAYMENT on
    the checks I just sent them, while they rack up late payment fees by
    holding back the checks until AFTER I call! Gotta love it, right!

    Michael


    Michael Guerin
    President
    Automated Merchant Processing, LLC
    http://www.ampyourcashflow.com