Capital One, and other, banks’ tactics that might shock you
This article is aimed at Capital One because I
have a great inside source who has been working as a customer representative for
a while now. He recently sent me an email outlining many tactics that Capital One
is using when you call in. However, this has come to the forefront because many
banks have been closing accounts and reducing credit limits of even their best
customers. I've had maybe a dozen accounts closed so far myself, including a Capital
One account. I called the bank to try and keep the account open and, for the most
part, the banks are not agreeing. They tell me that, "these decisions are in
response to the current credit crisis." Gee, I'm thinking that, "huh, the banks
blew it (to the tune of $300 billion) because of bad decision making and now,
their next move is to close the accounts of their profitable, and
potentially profitable customers." Yeah, that's a good move--duh! What are they
thinking! Talk about cutting your nose off.
Citibank recently closed my business account for
inactivity. INACTIVITY! Last I checked, I just bought two sets of plane tickets the
month before. Okay, prior to that I only used the card in January and November in 2008, but
hold on. From 1999 through 2007, I used the card every month. EVERY MONTH! What
are these fools thinking? So you know what? (and I DON'T recommend doing this) I closed
ALL my Citibank accounts. The funny thing is when I called to close my personal
accounts they tried to stop me. The rep from the personal side called the
business side and tried to stop them from closing the account. He couldn't stop
them. Stupid Citibank. I don't recommend closing all your accounts because
it may hurt your credit score. BUT, in this case, for me, I want to teach them a
lesson. That lesson is that I'm not using them, and I'll take my chances with my
credit score (I'll let you know what happens).
Okay, back to Capital One. The below email
details their tactics to deal with customers who call in about their accounts
being closed. Also, and most importantly, my source explains exactly what you
need to say to get out paying some fees. This is great information. Enjoy!
Here's the inside scoop...
Scott, In response to what I had mentioned earlier about what Capital One is doing
to their customers...
On December 8, 2008, Capital One decided to suspend 1.4 million inactive
accounts (up to a year of no activity) for 60 days, and they close the accounts
after that suspension period. Capital One never sent any letters warning the
customers to use their card before this irreversible action would take place.
That's why every single person that calls in about this I have to apologize to
when they ask, "Why didn't Capital One forewarn me?"
Capital One DID take the time to send out letters saying their accounts have
been suspended though. Also in the scripts I have to read to customers in
response to this IS not a good answer at all. It's just apologetic and I quote,
"I'm sorry to hear this upsets you....Would you like me to redeem any rewards
points before the suspension period ends?" There is NO legitimate or factual
reasons provided for me to give to the angry cardholder, which just infuriates
them even more, about why Capital One made this decision.
And ONLY if the cardholder inquires about their credit being affected am I
able to talk about the topic, "If you choose to close the account, it will be
reported to the credit bureaus as closed by consumer. And if you let us close
the account it will show in the credit reports as closed by grantor."
course it's better to be shown that it was closed by consumer but THEY DON'T
WANT THEIR ACCOUNTS CLOSED IN THE FIRST PLACE!
And then it is suggested that we tell them they can reapply with us. And I
always get the answer (of course), "Why? So my credit can get pulled again?!"
People are pissed about that...and the reason for their non-usage of the
account is to have the cards for emergencies--I feel really bad for the
A loophole to get out of past due fees and/or overlimit and finance
charges is (and I know you know all this stuff, but I'll state it just in
Let's say in reality you can't make a payment for one month because you don't
have the funds. The result would be you would assess fees, even if you called
and asked to have them waived, because it's not convenient for you this month,
Capital One would of course say "no" unless you had a legitimate excuse (and
you can lie of course, because we never request proof of the fact unless you
are part of a third party "payment protection program." If you lie and say you
are going through one of the following hardships we can waive up to two months
worth of fees (we have to accept our customers requests as truths).
||Hospitalization (if you want more than two months waived,
THEN you would have to send proof through fax of how long your stay was.
is NOT on there (and I think it really should be).
Three other non-hardship ways to get fees waived are:
||Say you never received your paper statement in the mail
(and make sure you don't have online banking set up because then we
won't honor your claim....we can see if you have that web access on your
profile) We would also do a "reprice reversal" and fix your APR back to
what it was before "you hadn't received the statement".
||Everyone qualifies to have a membership fee waived at
least once "if you call in and ask."
||Ask if you can receive a goodwill credit (which can be
up to $60) if you say you got poor customer service and/or "are upset
and irate and ask during your fit of madness."
Great info Scott, as always!
I featured this article on my blog. I am hearing so many
complaints like this. A few years ago, I shared the
platform with a speaker named Bill Hillestad. He warned
that if credit dried up in America the Great Depression
would look like a picnic."
I'm going through the same
thing with store credit cards I have been paying on time
every month and above minimum. Sears and Old Navy--they
reduced my credit limit and state they'll reevaluate me
in 3 months--you know I won't be using their cards
again. Now I know I'm not the only one. Thanks"
I like Scott's opinions...I
usually agree with him. I particularly liked his getting
mad at the situation Citi put him in because I can
totally relate. Frustration!
All of my creditors have
closed ALL of my credit card accounts. I have decided to
make a sea change in my family's lifestyle. If we can't
pay cash, we will do without. Screw the banks and their
Bank of America did the same
thing to me. Closed an account with no balance and cut
my limit on my other card to my balance raised my
interest rate and now I cannot pay the minimum and they
don't care. They will not do anything to work with me. I
have tried transferring to other cards and have been
turned down. My excellent credit score is about to go
down the drain because of them and it doesn't seem like
there is anything I can do about it. BofA let me
transfer 2 balances from other cards to make my current
balance and then tell me I don't make enough money to
pay it but raise my interest so the minimum is more and
won't let me use the card anymore. Why did they let me
transfer to this card to begin with. They suck!!!!!"
It just goes to show how
greed clouds up the thinking process at the Credit Card
It shows that I am not the
only one being affected. It also shows how stupid the
Highly informative and lets
us know what is going on behind the scenes. Gave
ammunition for the future.
You always seem to pull that Ace out of your sleeve when
the economy needs it most. Hats off to you, another
Hi Scott...John from the Twin Cities! Terrific article!
I can definitely relate. Been there, done that, got the
t-shirt, went home! I definitely agree that what Citi
did to you, me, and many other cardholders is going to
come back to bite them in the butt! But one question:
did you ask the Citi customer service rep that was
helping you if you could transfer the credit line on the
closed accounts over to one of your active accounts?
(that was before you closed all of your Citi Card
accounts) I did that with a Citi MasterCard pending
closure and the rep transferred the credit line to an
Great article. Chase did the same to me. I was going to
close the account, but they told me to lower the credit
limit to $1000.00. So I did, not to effect my credit
score, then they closed the account."