Capital One Inspires Man's Loathing

Mr Bill says his latest dealings with Capital One have him “wanting to spit venom.” Whence this reptilian impulse? There is apparently no structure to refinance your loan with them. They consider it makes you a new customer, and they aren’t making any new loans. This takes several hours and several phone calls to figure out. There also seems to be no way to pay off a loan with a credit or debit card. This also takes several hours and phone calls to figure out. It’s really just totally frustrating for Mr. Bill. “What is this, 1987?” he writes. So he’s taking his business elsewhere. His misanthropic misadventure, inside…

“the dictionary defines refinance as:

1. When a business or person revises their payment schedule for repaying debt.

2. Replacing an older loan with a new loan offering better terms.

Unfortunately the word refinance does not exist over at Capital One. After spending the better part of several hours being transfered back and forth between the loan customer service dept and the new loan dept I finally wrote the to the president of Capital One, Richard Fairbanks. here is what I wrote:

My wife and I have owned a capital one credit card for several years now. We also have the loan referenced above. It was originally for 25K and it is now down to 20K. Due to some unexpected hardships we find ourselves with a credit card bill of $6000 as well as some other smaller debts. We have decided it would be in our best interests to roll of these into one new loan. We want to do this with Capital One. The term for this is refinancing, a term which apparently doesn’t exist in the capital one vocabulary. When I called to try to do this I was told that loan can’t be refinanced, we must apply for a brand new loan. When we spoke with the loan dept we were told that unless we were solicited by Capital One recently, we could not take out a loan. Forget for a moment, the fact that my wife has in fact received such offers in the past 2-3 months, this policy is ridiculous. Even if, because of the credit crisis I’ve read so much about lately, you aren’t loaning out money to new customers, we are NOT new customers.

We are an existing customer who you make money off of every month. We simply want to restructure the loan.

After speaking with numerous depts, being transferred multiple times between the new loan dept and the existing loan dept we are convinced that Capital One doesn’t want our money. If Capital One can’t assist us in restructuring this loan then we will get a loan thru Chase, where we have our checking and savings. We will use that money to pay off the loan and pay off the Capital One credit card and Capital one will stop making money off us. If Capital One isn’t interested in our business, fine. I accept that. I just want to hear someone say it. I want someone to tell me “Capital One is sorry to lose your business and all the interest we are making off your loan and credit card.” I don’t want to be given BS reasons about this and that, I just want you to tell me to my face “Your money is no good here”

Regardless of whether you do or do not respond or whether you can or can’t help me, this loan and credit card will be paid off. The only question is what company will loan us the money and thus make interest off us? If you can give us a loan for 27K over 60 months, then let’s talk. If not, I still want someone to call or respond back and tell me that you don’t want our money. If you can’t do this, there is no other logical explanation. You (or someone you designate) can call us at XXX XXX-XXXX. We have already applied to Chase for a loan and will have an answer within 24-48 hrs. You still have the opportunity to retain our business, but the window for that is closing quickly.

Unfortunately for Mr Fairbanks, he has completely lost us as a customer before he even had a chance to rectify things. My loan installment is due today. If you pay on their website it takes 5 days for processing and yes, you’ll be hit with a late fee even if you made the payment on or before the payment date. If you go into a branch and pay it takes 2-3 days for processing. My wife wanted to make the payment over the phone with our credit union debit card. She was told she could do so over the phone and that if it took too long to process that the fee would be waived. Only problem is I had the card with me. When I came home I called in and was told you can’t pay with a credit or debit card over the phone.” This, despite the fact that earlier my wife had been assured that we could. I said I would go to the website and pay there. Did the man warn me that you can’t pay at the website with a credit or debit card? Noooo…..

So I go to their website. You used to login by putting in your account # and last four of your SS#. Now it wants an account number. I’m baffled so I call us customer service. My wife had previously today told them to permanently note the account that they had permission to speak to me (she’s the primary, I’m the co-signer). Tech support tells me there is no such note and he can’t help me. I speak to a manager who sees the note in question and is happy to help. He tells me to go the, click on personal loans and that I should then see a tab marked access account. Nope, no such tab. After 5 minutes of going back and forth, he asks “Are you at” No, I’m at! I tell him to stop asking stupid questions or get me someone who can help me. This MANAGER transfers me back into queue for the same dept. That’s right the manager can’t help me, so he’s going to have a subordinate help me! The person who answers explains that the process has in fact changed and I have to click on enroll in online banking. Apparently the manager is a moron.

I finally create an account… and discover you can’t pay with a credit or debit card online.

I call up and ask if this is true and the representative happily confirms this to be true.

Did I mention that in calling them yesterday and today I was cutoff at least a half dozen times by their VRU? When you enter your account #, password, mother’s maiden name, shoe size and penis size, you finally have to hit zero to speak to someone. At that point, the VRU transfers you internally and someone at Capitalone screwed up the VRU programmed because they transfer you to a nonexistent number and you get that annoying local telco “do-do-DOOO! The number you have dialed is invalid…” recording. So at this point after the incompetent management, the inability of the people to know their job well enough to tell me how I can and can’t pay my bill, and the fact that oh yea —I CAN’T PAY MY BILL WITH A CREDIT CARD! What is this? 1987?— I am done with Cap One. I am dumbfounded by the ineptitude on both the frontline level as well as their policy towards customers.

as a a famous man once said “They are the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.”

I guess they really don’t want my money after all. And even if they did it wouldn’t matter. I don’t want them to have my business. Once I get my new loan I’ll pay off the loan and their CC and cancel the CC and they can keep their miles. Yes they had the best rewards program, but honestly, who cares about rewards when you get such crappy service?

-Mr Bill’

(Photo: yksin)

UPDATE: Bill would like to add the following clarification: “I was attempting to make a payment using a debit card linked to a credit union savings acct purposely established for emergencies. Since there is no checking account # I can’t pay via check. I could have gone to the credit union, gotten a check deposited it in my bank and waited a few days for it to clear, then made the payment via my checking account. I couldn’t do any of that that day since the credit union was closed. Sorry for the confusion, but I wasn’t trying to pay with another credit card. I’ve had a car loan where I could pay using a debit or credit card, so I naturally assumed I would have the same option. Not to mention that their representatives told me I could pay that way. I would not have been so mad if they had told me up front “no you can’t pay that way”. I would’ve been annoyed but not hyper angry.

As for the idea of restructuring or refinancing I realize I may get a new, possibly higher interest rate. I never stated I expect a lower one. I have no issue if the interest is higher as my monthly obligations will be less overall. My issue is their poor service, their broken VRU and the fact that they were uninterested in maintaining me as a customer. “”

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