Ask For Your Deposit Back, Capital One Hangs Up On You

Seeking to build his credit and be all responsible and stuff, Matt got a secured credit card from Capital One. If you’re not familiar with the concept, that’s a type of credit card where the creditor is… well, you. You deposit, say, $500 with the credit card issuer, and that gives you a spending limit of $500 or a little more. A good repayment history with this card will help build or rebuild your credit when you’re not able to get another card. And when you have good enough credit to move on and shut down the card, you get that deposit back. In theory, anyway.

Matt has put his time in rebuilding his credit with a Capital One secured card, and graduated to an unsecured credit card. He canceled the secured card, and thus should get his deposit back, but it’s not that easy. Because Capital One keeps hanging up on him when he asks for his money.

I had a Secured Deposit Credit Card though Capital One to build up my credit. If you don’t know how these work, it’s simple: the amount you deposit with them (Capital One) sets your monthly credit limit. It worked as plan, and I was soon able to procure a better, actual credit card. No longer needing the SD CC and not wanting to pay the annual fee, I cancelled the card. They told me it would take upwards of two billing cycles to receive my check. Long, but alright.

However… that time has passed, and still no check. I decided to try their customer service. What a nightmare! First, the number they give you (1-800-955-7070) Only has two options: Enter your 16 digit card number, or say “apply for a new card,” I dont have my card number anymore (Stupid on my part) so each time I call I have to go through the automated application process, get connected to a cs rep, and then immediately ask to be transferred to payment services.

Each time, it goes like this “Hey, this is Matt. (Explains situation)”

Rep (Sometimes from the US, Sometimes India): Sure, we’d be glad to help! Please hold

10 minutes holding

Rep: Hey, I see that you cancelled on (Date) and that’s past two billing cycles, yet you have not received your check?

Me: yes

Rep: odd. Let me see if I can re issue the check

Me: Will that take 2 more months?

Rep: I’ll see if we can get this sent out sooner. Please hold


(Hold for 15 minutes… than get disconnected)

So that’s been happening each time I call. I thought people might like to know – while a secured deposit credit card is great for building your credit, don’t expect to see your money back w/o issues.


Edit Your Comment

  1. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Two words: registered letter.

    (Then maybe three more words: small claims court. But the letter should call them out if they’re just stalling.)

    • Marlin says:

      Don’t forget to ask for the extra “fee” from capital One being late on payment and of course the intrest rate went up after the first month it was late so compound the intrest in there as well. ;)

    • Thyme for an edit button says:


      I’d write a letter demanding my deposit back by a certain date (maybe give them one month from the date of the letter) and if they don’t send it by that date, file a suit in small claims court.

    • Bodger says:

      Not ‘registered letter’ — those are for items which have some intrinsic value. All you need in this case is a ‘certified letter with return receipt’ which costs much less and it perfectly legal evidence. In fact that is what courts use to mail out notices of appearance etc. so that they can hold people accountable if they don’t show up when they are supposed to — the recipient the green receipt card in order to get the letter and the card goes back to the sender to prove that they got it and when/where.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Good point, thanks. Every time I need a service like that from the USPS (which isn’t often, but definitely recurs fairly regularly) I have to review the options, so it’s no surprise I had the wrong one.

    • lehrdude says:

      I can do it in 1 word…



    • El_Fez says:

      Yeah, the first thought was straight away to the Small Claims Court. They jerk you around, get all Judge Wapner on them!

  2. Lukecadet says:

    Next time you call them ask them what your 16 digit card number is. So at least you can get through faster.

    • scoosdad says:

      I think he’s going to have to jump through an awful lot of hoops to get them to cough that information up. How do they know he’s really who he says he is? I’m surprised they’re even talking to him.

  3. Frankz says:

    “…each time I call.”
    But he didn’t say how many times he has actually called.

    You’d think he would have something with the old CC# on it, such as an old statement or bill, or some type of billing he set up with it, even if he didn’t keep the actual card.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Once is way too many times. This should be resolved in under a minute.

      And people wonder why there’s so much financial regulation.

  4. scoosdad says:

    So Matt never had a record of his full card number, expiration date, three digit security code on the back, or the card’s customer service phone number stashed away anywhere? What if the card was lost or stolen, how would he have reported it?

    • chiieddy says:

      You call. You give your PII and they cancel the card and issue a new one to the original home address on the card. Even if you’re not the person, the card is cancelled and the actual person gets the new card.

      He probably cut up the card after cancelling it, not realizing it would take 6 months to get his money back.

      To the OP might want to try the number in this post if it still works.

    • Difdi says:

      Not everybody memorized their card.

      How long do you keep canceled cards after they’re useless? A week? A month? 20 years?

      • operator207 says:

        If there is unresolved issues with the account? Until there are no unresolved issues with the account + 1 month. Kind of a no brainer there. wiating for your deposit to be sent to you still equals an unresolved issue. It is *being* resolved, but has not *been* resolved yet.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      I don’t think I ever had to say anything besides my name and approximate loss/stolen time for my card. (I imagine this would be an easy prank to pull, but that’s a separate Consumerist story.)

  5. chiieddy says:

    So it’s not buried in replies. Back in 2007 (so ymmv), The Consumerist found a number to contact Executive Customer Service. Might be worth a try –

  6. eezy-peezy says:

    This is why I always take names when dealing with a CC company like this. Take their name and get them to say they are going to be responsible for sending the check out, and by what date. Let them know you will be speaking to a supervisor on your next call and mentioning their name if the check does not arrive.

    Actually, if it was me, at this point I would ask for a replacement card to be sent to me, charge up the $500 and not pay. Then put a note on my credit report saying WHY I was not paying.

    But I understand why someone trying to establish their credit would not do this.

    • wildbill says:

      That won’t work. The credit report will show a no pay and you wont’ be able to get it off because, you know, you didn’t pay.

      Bad advise.

      • GoldVRod says:

        But he did pay. He paid $500 initially.

        This is exactly how I did Capital One when I first moved the states. Plunked down $500, built up credit then I cancelled card when it reached a $500 outstanding balance. We’re square and I walked away without waiting for them to reimburse me.

  7. nbs2 says:

    I don’t know where Matt lives, but he may want to try a branch as well. Granted, things may have changed since the takeover, but the old Chevy Chase banks had a pretty goodcs rep, from what I hear.

    • Captain Spock says:

      Old Chevy Chase has this to say…

      “I was always the guy getting kicked out of my classes at school for having an attitude problem.”

      Seems that fits the situation :)

  8. anime_runs_my_life says:

    *Checks WCIA* Yep, they’re on the bracket. I’ve got a couple of Capital One cards. Customer service for the most part is hit or miss. The less I need to call them about anything, the better. Luckily, the charges that go on the card are for reoccuring billing – Gym, Netflix, etc.

    The only time I call is when my yearly membership fee is about to come up and I want them to waive it. So far, so good in that department for the last 3 years.

  9. wildbill says:

    Here is what you need to do:

    1. Signup for Google Voice.
    2. Using google voice and it’s recording feature, call Capital One.
    3. If in a state where it is required for both parties to be informed recording is taking place, tell the operator first thing, this call is being recorded.
    4. If they hang up try 2 more times.
    5. If they don’t try and get refund. The threat of recording might do the trick
    6. If they still hang up, now you have a recording. Try again 2 more times to ensure a good record.
    7. File a small claims case. Ask for triple damages, I am sure the judge will be more than pissed to hear them hang up on you not once, but three times.

    Good Luck

    • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

      He’s calling across state lines, and likely across national borders to an outsourced call center. That places the recording of the call in Federal territory. Federal requirements specify one-party consent to record a call, so he has no need to inform them at all.

      • Difdi says:

        Great advice, except that it’s wrong.

        Many states have what are called Long Arm statutes. That is, if you do something that harms a resident of that state, or violates that state’s law with regards to the resident, then the state can extradite you, even if what you did is not illegal where you were physically located at the time.

        It’s happened before that someone calling from a one-party state has been arrested for recording someone who is in a two party state.

        • scottd34 says:

          Always assume you are calling a two party state. While you may be in a one party state, the call center rep on the other end can be in a 2 party state so ya if you do not disclose the recording then you could end up in a bit of trouble.

        • kpsi355 says:

          Federal law trumps state law, especially since this involves Interstate Commerce. So while theoretically you could be arrested (false arrest, but still), that would necessitate your local PD arresting you And Then Conveying You To The Other State. Or, conversely, the other state’s PD picking you up. Not too many cops up for that big of a road trip, nor are that many PDs up for that much airfare/OT.

          Your defense initially is the extreme inconvenience of it all. Your ultimate defense is that you’re in the right.

          I’d ask if the call was being recorded (it always is) and say “As long as we both know this is being recorded…” and roll into whatever you were going to say. Wiretapping laws IIRC just want consent to the recording, they don’t care who actually possesses it.

    • SonicPhoenix says:

      Google voice will only record on incoming calls to the number. You can get around that if you use a 2nd telephone with 3way calling to first call your google voice number than dial out to the number you want to actually call. But your steps as listed won’t actually work.

  10. donjumpsuit says:

    Am I the only one who would have charged $500 worth of goods and services then cancelled the card?

    • IphtashuFitz says:

      Probably, because that would just lead to more headaches for you. You fail to pay and they’ll start racking up interest & late fees. Then they’ll send it off to collections, and the collection agency will have every right to make you pay the debt. They have no obligation whatsoever to try to settle your dispute with Capital One.

      Of course if you enjoy getting harassed by collection agencies then by all means go ahead with this approach.

      • donjumpsuit says:

        I think it goes like this:

        Me: Hi, I’d like to cancel my card.

        Rep: Oh Ok, I see your balance is $494.56. You have a deposit of $500. With this month’s fee of $3.95, that leaves you with a balance of $498.51. We will be issuing you a check for $1.49. You should have it within 2 billing cycles.

        Me: Thanks! Have a good one suckers!

        • Doubting thomas says:

          I wish i lived in the same utopia as you. What you described is the way it should work. The way iot actrually works is the customer service rep gives you a line of corporate mandated BS about how they cannot apply the security deposit to existing balances. After several weeks to months of back and forth they send yo a refund check for about $460.00 after the check cutting fee and the cancellation fee. Then you have to pay the $500.00 balance you rung up plus all the interest and fees they tacked on while you were trying to playing smart ass games with someone who not only owns the ball and the court but also can change the rules of the game whenever they wish.

      • GoldVRod says:

        “You fail to pay and they’ll start racking up interest & late fees.”

        Why do people keep saying this? He DID pay – that’s what the $500 down payment is for. He is OWED $500 from Capital One. He doesn’t owe it TO Capital One.

        • Lyn Torden says:

          Either some people just don’t read and comprehend the article … OR … he knows that the bank will be just as confused about this and actually send a paid account to collections, anyway. Yes, banks are known to actually do this. And the collectors don’t care because they paid the bank for the account. The technical term for this is double-dipping. Banks about to fail (especially if they are too big to fail) will do this.

  11. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I really don’t know what to tell the OP – he’s really constructed a Gordian Knot for himself.

    Even if he kept a statement, I don’t believe the whole account number is listed for security purposes, and I noticed on my credit reports they’re either scrambled or list just the end numbers.

    If he could log into the Cap1 website, he could request another card, and solve this. If not, if he made a purchase locally with a mom and pop store, they may be able to go through their records and see exactly what account number was charged when he made the purchase, and they may even have the 3 digit security code from the back.

    I feel for the guy.

  12. Velvet Jones says:

    This seems to also be a common practice if you are trying to cancel service as well. I went through the same BS trying to cancel my Cricket Wireless modem last month.You cannot cancel on-line and there is no cancel option via the phone system, so you have to go in to the “new service” option, then tell that you want to cancel. After being bounced two more times over 20 minutes they would then promptly hang up on me. This happened three times in a row. Finally on the fourth time I got to a person who would cancel my account, only after another 10 minutes of trying to convince me to keep my $40 a month service “as a backup”.

  13. scoosdad says:

    I realize at this point he’s focusing on getting his $500 deposit back, but here’s another possible way to get his full card number back:

    He could always log into and pull any of his three free yearly credit reports. They will all show the full account number except for the last four digits. I just looked at my previous year’s reports from the three agencies, and that’s the case.

    Maybe that gets him closer to having the whole number, and he can figure out somewhere he can get those last four digits. Sometimes an online merchant will show a past purchase and ONLY show the last four digits of the card used for the purchase. Put 12 digits from his credit report, and the last 4 together, and voila, the whole number.

    • Difdi says:

      Which is probably how phishers get your credit card number by using your SSN.

      • scoosdad says:

        I dunno, every time I go to get my credit report, I’m presented with a list of security questions about personal things in my credit history that sometimes I even get wrong.

        “What was the value of the loan you refinanced in 2003?”

        What was the value of the auto loan you took out in 2001? (and the correct answer is zero, because I didn’t. My last auto loan was in begun in 2000.)

        “Pick one location from the list below that you are not associated with.” (and there’s a list of five cities, all of which I am associated with in one way or the other.)

        So it’s not just knowing an SSN to get the credit report.

    • newyorkjerry says:

      The OP shouldn’t need to do this, but given his situation he might just use his card to charge his full cash balance, or at the least buy gift certificates to stores where he plans to shop in the future.

  14. dobgold says:

    Comptroller of the Currency or the FTC might be able/willing to help

  15. dobgold says:

    Comptroller of the Currency or the FTC might be able/willing to help

  16. Yorick says:

    Obviously the CSR at Capital One is able to look up his account. the OP needs to request his account number at that time, then he doesn’t need to go thru the process of talking to a new accounts person. (Unless I missed something and the account number isn’t available)

  17. BBBB says:

    File the OCC complaint and then call again to tell them that you did.

    If you are lucky, the phone reps are instructed to note that info on the account and forward it to the executive branch or possibly connect you to someone who knows what that means.

    Follow through with the OCC – the first round is an automatic letter from the OCC stating that the Credit Card Company/Bank has responded (which is usually a “we are looking into it” form letter.). You have to follow the instructions in the OCC letter to tell them that you didn’t get a satisfactory response.

  18. Trudi says:

    Hi Matt,
    This is Trudi from Capital One. I’d like to see what I can do to help get this resolved for you. Please email me at I look forward to working with you soon.

  19. East_Coast_Midwesterner says:

    Do people use Capial One? It just seems like lie the bottom of the barrel of a company.