Cory says Capital One‘s Collection Department called his mother-in-law the other day in an attempt to reach him, which was weird because his account is in good standing. Their reason? They just wanted to remind him that his credit card payment was due soon. Oh, and to try to upsell him.
I got a call from my mother-in-law yesterday, saying that someone had called her Saturday night (11PM, no less), and asked for my number. When she asked who they were, they said they were the NCO (something) credit claim company. When she asked who they were calling on behalf of, they refused to say, so she refused to give my number, but copied down theirs. I was surprised to hear this, as we are very good with our credit, and going through all my bills, not a single one was late — or even due!
So, I called the number yesterday, and was greeted with, “Hello, you’ve reached Capital One’s Collection Dept. How may I help you?” At this point, knowing it’s CapitalOne, I shuffled through my bills to find theirs. I found it, and saw that I had already paid this bill. I told her who I was, and asked what the call to my mother-in-law was in reference to. She mentioned that they were attempting to collect a bill from me. I said, “Are you referring to the bill I just paid? The bill that is not due until November 13th?”
She confirmed that was the bill she was trying to collect, and when I asked her why they were attempting to collect a bill 2 weeks in advance, she said it’s just standard policy. I asked her if it was also standard policy to contact my mother-in-law, and how she even got the number in the first place. She didn’t answer the question, but just kept sidelining it by trying to confirm my own number. I eventually just gave up trying to resolve this issue, and demanded that she remove all phone numbers from my account except for mine; explaining to her that it was VERY embarrassing to have my mother-in-law be contacted by a collection agency for a bill that isn’t even due yet!
Once we cleared all that up, I asked her to make a note on my account to not contact me unless my bill is past due. She said that she would, and as she was doing her sign-off, she said, “And sir, I’ve made a note on you account to not contact you less than 2 days before you bill is due.” I asked her what that meant, and she said, “Well, we may contact you a few days or weeks before a bill is due just to remind you.” I told her that I didn’t need that reminder, and she said, “Yes, sir, but we also want to contact you to offer protection services and other offers.“
So, here’s how CapitalOne does business:
Step 1: Harrass extended family members at late hours with collection agency calls on bills not yet due
Step 2: Refuse to answer questions about how numbers mysteriously get attached to accounts
Step 3: Inadvertently confirm that this whole mess was just a ruse to sell me protection services
I’ll be paying off, and closing this account next month. I’ll be sticking with my credit union for all my credit needs in the future!
Apparently if you sign up for a Capital One credit card, you also agree to monthly telemarketing calls. Remember that by law, any company you have a business relationship with is allowed to contact you for marketing purposes. Maybe it’s best to just not do business with the company at all.
UPDATE: By the way, here’s an example of the kind of products Capital One is trying to sell: an “emergency payment protection plan” that they’ll try to keep you from activating when a real emergency happens.