I’m upset. No, I’m more than upset. I’m bordering on rage. And why, because a well-known, heavily advertised credit card company screwed me over.
Last November I received a snail mail letter from Capital One. It began: “Dear Michael B. Luckman: Our Customer Fraud Protection department here at Capital One has been trying to reach you to let you know that we placed a temporary hold on your Capital One account.” And so began a trip down the rabbit hole. They couldn’t reach me by phone because they had an old number. Did they forget that a simple call to 411 would have given them a new number? Did I ever receive an email from them (the email address they had on file was correct)? No I didn’t. So, obviously they really didn’t try that hard.
Feeling the panic that comes with believing I might be the victim of identity theft I immediately called their 800 number. And this is what I was told. A woman by the name Adaina Jarvis of Oakland, CA contacted them with my credit card number, a fake Yahoo email address that went to her inbox and whatever other information she was able to attain. She asked for a secondary card on my account to be sent to her Oakland address, and could they do it right away. And they DID, while also charging me a $16.00 “Fast Card Fee.”
Now I do have to give them some credit. Someone in their fraud department looked at what they did and probably said to themselves, “This doesn’t look right (duh). Ms. Jarvis doesn’t share a last name with the cardholder. She doesn’t even live in the same city (but 60 miles away). Maybe we should put a hold on this card and contact Mr. Luckman.” And they did. (See paragraph two above).
Other than an insincere verbal “we are sorry this happened” and issuing me a new card Capital One did nothing. I had to go to the credit bureaus and put a 90 day fraud alert on my account. I had to go to every company that bills me monthly on the old card and provide them with the new one, while arguing why I should not be charged a late fee. And then while all this was going on (trying to figure out if I was getting double billed by my recurring creditors) I failed to pay my December statement. My notes on the statement were kind of cryptic, but I believe that I was told that I would receive a new statement and not to pay this one. Either way I take full responsibility for not paying that statement.
Then I received my January statement. In a matter of two months I went from sterling customer with a credit score of 800+ to deadbeat. The top of the statement read “Help is Available call 1-800. Then went on “Missing a payment can happen to anyone…” I felt totally humiliated and so I called there 1-800 number to get some satisfaction. How foolish one can be.
I spent over three hours on the phone with Stasha yesterday, asking for only one thing; a written apology from a senior officer at Capital One. I was told in no uncertain terms “it isn’t going to happen.” And why is that; because “World Class” (I’m being facetious) customer service does not allow the people at the lower level to escalate the call to a higher level. It’s against their policy for the people at the top to ever speak to the average customer. Thus they go through life believing they walk on water, that is, until they drown.
And, by the way, I Googled Adaina Jarvis. She’s currently residing in Orange County California, experiencing deluxe accommodations at their county jail. But me they couldn’t find.
What’s in your wallet? No don’t answer that. It may scare you to death.
More to come in the saga: big bank, little man.