How Can I Fix My Capital One Data Entry Error?

Devin moved his banking to a local credit union. Hooray! The problem is that he accidentally gave his credit card company the wrong bank account number when he switched banks. He didn’t find out about the mixup until after his due date had already passed. He wonders: is there anything he can do to avoid the late fees and interest hikes sure to follow?

Last month, I finally closed my bank account and opened up an account at the local credit union. All well and good, but it looks like when I went to set up my online payments for my Capital One card, I typed in the account number wrong. I set up the payment and sent it in, but didn’t realize it until I got a letter in the mail today telling me that it had been declined. The problem is that today is the 8th, and the due date was the 5th. I immediately (after a brief freak-out) set up the payment (through my credit union this time) and sent it in, but I’m pretty sure that I’m going to get slammed with late fees and interest increases. I e-mailed them and explained the situation, asking if they could waive those, since this is my first late payment in years, but is there any advice that the Consumerist can offer in dealing with a credit card company in a situation like this?

Here’s what I sent in:

I just received a letter in the mail that said my last payment was declined due to an invalid account number. I just opened a new bank account last month, so I must have accidentally entered the information incorrectly. I immediately set up a transfer from my bank’s bill-pay system, to ensure that the transfer will go through properly.

However, I did not receive the notice that my payment was declined until after the due date had already passed. Because of this, I have two questions:

First, I understand that there are penalties for a late payment. However, as I was not informed of this error until it was too late to correct it, and in light of my track record of making payments on time, would it be possible to have those penalties waived in this instance?

Second, is there a way that I can receive notices like this through email in the future, so that the problems can be dealt with more quickly?

Thank you.

Any tips? (Any useful tips, since I’m sure I’ll get “Don’t carry a balance” from the comments, and those people won’t be willing to donate to help out an unemployed college student.) Thanks.

If you’ve successfully appealed a cascade of fees, do you have any advice for Devin?