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Consumers Complain: Hands Off, Capital One!

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Richmond, VA: The Better Business Bureau has processed a total of 6,183 complaints about Capital One in the last 36 months. It reports numerous claims from consumers, including:
  • Claims alleging print or electronic media advertised claims or practices misrepresent the service or product offer; and


  • Claims of failure to disclose key conditions of the offer, and verbal representations not consistent with written contractual terms or agreements.
Capital OneChristmas Promotion Backfires
Capital One is facing a host of consumer complaints and pending legal action over its pre-Christmas flurry of blank checks to cardholders.

The promotion promised a starting rate of 5.99% fixed APR; and that after October 2007 the rate would drop to a 4.99% fixed APR. What Capital One did not tell consumers was that any purchases made with the blank checks would automatically be paid off first. This goes against the industry's "last in-first out" payment standard, where the last purchase made on a credit card is typically the first purchase paid off.

A History of Problems
This is not the first time that Capital One has handed in hot water. In 2005, the Attorney General of West Virginia Darrell McGraw filed suits to enforce subpoenas given to Capital One.

Back in December 2004, The Attorney General of Minnesota filed a civil suit in District Court alleging that Capital One has violated Minnesota consumer protection laws by using false, deceptive and misleading advertising to market credit cards with allegedly "low" and "fixed" interest rates that will never increase.

Capital One has also come under fire for reporting practices that damage a consumer's credit rating.

Consumer Accounts
One customer, "Adam," had this to say about the blank check promotion: "My balance from these check transactions accrued interest charges much higher than I anticipated. My balance of $374 and payment of $35 shot up to almost $500 and payment of $65.00. I hurried up and paid them off once I called customer service and was told just how the blank check promotion worked."

"The 'fixed' rate of my Capitol One Credit Card [rose] without warning," said "James" from California: "The damages that I suffered are a significantly higher interest rate on my balances: a 5.0% increase!

"Mark" of Georgia was worried about his credit rating as a result of dealings with Capital One: "[Capital One's] not reporting credit limits as they are required to do under the FCRA has caused my wife and I to pay more for credit, because our credit scores were lowered by Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax."

The Fine Print
Savvy consumers know that when it comes to credit cards, it's crucial to read the fine print. But what if there's no fine print that explains your sudden jump in interest? As in the Capital One situation, that's when consumer complaints and lawsuits rear their heads.

The Federal Reserve has started a major review of credit card disclosures and, in January, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on fairness issues in credit card terms. The Federal Reserve is currently developing new requirements for companies to disclose various payment and fee schedules, lawmakers and executives said.
Democrat Carl Levin, the Senate panel's chairman, said legislation may be needed to stop what he called predatory practices by credit cards. "Our investigation found that even accounts in good standing are socked unfairly by little known practices that inflate interest charges," Levin told the Senate Banking Committee.
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Capital One Credit Cards Legal Help

If you have suffered damages from Capital One Credit Cards not properly disclosing payment terms for their 2006 Christmas season blank check promotional offer, please contact a [Capital One Credit Cards] lawyer who will evaluate your claim at no charge.
Click here for a free evaluation

READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Patricia Smith
on
My husband received a Capital One credit card when HSBC turned his account over to them. His card was stolen and activated by another person. After finding out, we filled a police report, the woman admitted to stealing it and charging at several online sites. She was jailed and Capital One was notified. His account was closed while they investigated.
They opened another account for him, charged him a yearly service charge and began to place the charges from the stolen card on this card. He now is receiving late charges on this card even though our attorney informed them this matter is in court.
NEVER will we ever have another Capital One account. I am now looking for another card company to take over my Discover.
Please beware Capital One and do not open accounts with them.

Posted by
Teresa Grausam
on
I had a capital one cc with a $250.00 limit. I had never had a CC and ended up misplacing the card and called capital one who told me they would replace it. This was back in 1997. I got the new card and was making payments on the $250.00 when I started getting late fees so I called them and they told me I had 2 accounts. So shortly there after we moved to Minnesota and my husband ended up paying approx. $1,800.00 to capital one with late fees and interest on the $250.00 dollar limit. This morning I get papers I am being sued for $3,800.00 by a recovery company for capital one. I hope people read this and think twice about capital one.

Posted by
Tim Johnson
on
First off you guys need to remember that Capital One is located in Texas, and is a subsidiary of Transunion. As far as I have been able to find out, fraud is legal in Texas. This is the downfall of dealing with Capital One bank. Most class action suits fail because the trail must take place in their state, and they have one of the largest credit bureau behind them. I have even won a lawsuit against TransUnion once. But because I can not afford to go to Texas, and live there while I go to court for months, and months. I can not receive my settlement. Warning!!!

Posted by
jason jones
on
If anyone is thinking of starting a new class action lawsuit on Capital One's current blank check program. I want to be apart of it. They sent me a package with a approved credit limit, told me to go shop for a car, and even found a dealer they supported. After doing all this. The contract they sent was not only a lie, but caused me many problems with the dealership I tried to get a car from, with no help from said company! thanks -jason

Posted by
Joaquin Cortez
on
I had a Capital One account back in '03; I was issued those account checks to use on my account. A mistake was made by them causing me a great deal of problems which I asked them to correct---they refused so I refused to pay the account. The kept hassling me but finally closed the account a few months later and charged off the account. That was in late 03. Well, it has been 7 years and Capital One has continued to report to the credit bureau that I have been delinquent each month for 7 years, charges have accrued on the "closed" and "charged off" account nearly doubling the balance!!!! I contacted the overseeing agency for banks and got nowhere with my complaint and Capital One says they can and will continue this practice until the end of the year. Meanwhile, the only blemish on my credit for 7 years has been Capital One and it has severely damaged my credit to where I cannot get anything even when I explain the circumstances. It seems like Capital One has no oversight agency to stop them. Good luck to anyone who is a customer. I am retired and just deal with it now since nobody can help and just try to live without being able to buy anything on credit . I want to buy a house so that I don't have to keep renting but I guess thaat isn't going to happen either.

Oddly enough, one real estate agent accepted my explanation but expressed that he couldn't help me even seeing that this was the only drawback for me in getting a house unless someone ELSE would take the chance!!!!

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