At Capital One, A CSR's Mistake Is Unchangeable Forever

At Capital One, front-line customer service representatives wield enormous power. At least that’s how it seems based on Rachel’s story. She called in to request an increase to her credit limit, and received a small one. She accepted the increase over the phone, and all was well, until she received a letter telling her that she had been offered the limit increase and declined it. It appeared that the customer service representative had made a mistake. Easy enough to fix, right? Well… no. No one Rachel talks to has the power to override this all-powerful CSR’s typo.

So, I recently contacted Capital One to ask for a credit limit increase to my already meager $3000 credit limit on my otherwise-awesome Capital One visa with no foreign transaction fees. The agent I spoke to offered me a $500 credit limit increase, which I thought was low, and continued to push for a higher increase. She insisted there was nothing she could do, as did a manager I was transferred to. I understand that a random computer algorithm probably dictated the increase I was offered, but the fact that there was no human that could look into, say, a person’s increase in salary, or inheritance, or some other criteria to determine a credit limit increase, is a bit baffling. Anyway, after a lot of back and forth, I finally accepted the $500 credit limit increase and thought I was done with the matter. But boy was I wrong!

The following week, I received a letter from Capital One declining the credit limit increase. The increase that I had ACCEPTED over the phone. Ok, no problem, I’ll just call, explain that the agent probably pushed decline instead of accept, and they will fix it, right? Wrong. (You didn’t expect another answer, did you?) The very friendly manager I spoke to said she would send the request/problem to the “back office” to see if there was anything they could do. Back office came back saying there was absolutely nothing that can be done, because the decline came from me. So, let’s boil down the fundamental flow in this company’s system – a customer service agent makes a mistake, and that mistake can NEVER be corrected because it is viewed as the customer’s decision. Someone please explain to me how this makes any sense? Because I don’t understand it.

I have to say, all of the representatives I spoke to on the phone were very nice, friendly, and apologetic for the situation, and each understood the ridiculousness of it, but no one has the power to reverse the original rep’s mistake. Gotta love the logic of American corporations!

Not getting a $500 credit limit increase isn’t a huge deal for me, but the fact that now I can’t ask for another increase because there will be a mark on my account that I declined the last increase I asked for, is really annoying. Good thing I’m returning to America in a few months and will never have to use this card again. Thanks for the not-so-great service Capital One!

Maybe the peeps at the company’s executive customer service have the power to break this magical CSR’s spell. You can call them at 703-720-2500.

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