A few weeks ago, there was a commenter to this blog who wondered if I would have anything new to discuss about our financial situation in particular about the banks. Well yes, with this Capital One letter that I received on 8 November 2010.
November 1 2010
Re: Capital One Account Ending in XXXX
Capital One Case Number 10001565502261
I write in reference to your follow-up complaint dated October 23, 2010. Please allow me to respond.
We respectfully continue to uphold our previous responses. We believe our previous responses fully address your concerns.
If you have questions about your account balance, please contact our Collections Department at 1-800-955-6600. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact me at 804-284-3501.
Karen Stieffel, on behalf of Capital One.
The first question that anyone should ask is this: Why apply a “case number” to address any kind of complaint? Second: Given the fact that many of their “responses” came with Collections case numbers, and it would seem to be an attempt to intimidate or harass, then their “previous responses” would hardly be argued as satisfactory let alone valid or something that can be upheld. Rather than correct the matter when they have been reasonably informed that A. The remaining account is inactive, B. the replacement card was never activated after it was received through the mail, C. The only charges now on the card were those unreasonably generated by the bank, D. yes, it is illegal to put excessive charges on an inactive account in a “closing status,” but to actually demonstrate that the bank understands that little factoid, or E. That the letter actually sent would provide such a satisfactory response; yes, we’ll put a halt to these abusive practices? See above. Why would I contact this person?
With reference to When banks go wrong part 5. Everything described on that billing statement to include the block quoted statements are as accurate as I could make it from the actual statement itself. The statement is, when a bank has been reasonably notified that it is doing the wrong thing by making a “minimum payment due” much higher than it ought to be for the size of the account balance, then the bank should be prepared to correct the matter. This bank would not. Therefore, this bank did not provide a satisfactory response. This bank was fully aware of changes in credit card laws and decided to exploit them against a former customer. Even though the bank provides a due date, the bank decides that such a due date need not be honored so that they can generate “more profit,” from such an action. But the bank would not honor such a due date as another bank will: From *XYZ Bank* that provides a *national retail store* with a card under its own name—Please note your mailed payment must be received by 5 p.m. (ET) or your in-store payment must be received during store hours on the due date.—For the payment due date: 11/11/2010. In short, *XYZ Bank* does not classify a payment to be “late” if it arrives [by mail] at the above time or is paid on [in-store] on the due date itself. Again, refer to above link for what Capital One wishes to classify as a late payment.
Now compare Capital One with *XYZ Bank*. By what is quoted, *XYZ Bank* isn’t even prepared to give its customers a hassle over debt payments. They simply provide reasonable information to the customers about what to expect so that they can have the payments mailed or delivered in-store on a timely basis. By the way, most payments that I make are in-store. Very few have been mailed.
I complained to this Ms. Stieffel that a bank that continually charges late fees and penalty interest rates has done permanent damage to my credit rating. For anyone who would like to do some research of the Wall Street Journal (it also has a Face Book page); not so long ago, the question was asked if an employer (or prospective employer) could check his employees credit history. Again, refer to the above link. Seems to me that Capital One Bank isn’t overly concerned about who they hurt with this sort of behavior, as long as they are satisfied with the “profits” they rake in. None the less, any credit report will tell you, that hundreds of dollars in late fees (that amounts to almost a year’s worth) for payments “not late” by the normal practices of other banks, will really screw up your report and make you an unacceptable risk. Precisely, even if you had the hundreds of thousands of dollars on hand to buy a house, would you be able to? The tens of thousands of dollars on hand to buy a car, would you be able to? The issue is that the bank itself created this “credit risk” by wanting to turn a profit through “late fees” and “penalty interest rates.” The sort of abuse that was supposed to be rendered illegal by the changes in the credit card laws. The bank that dismisses valid concerns and legitimate complaints (see the correspondence block quoted above) is not a bank that can be trusted to do business with.
Visiting Face Book myself this morning, I visited the CBS Evening News page and noted where a new-left Republican was trying to defend major corporations. Indeed, prepared to attack another commenter as a person who lusted after someone else’s “good grades.” My response (briefly) was to also inform this Wall Street liberal that the same argument that she applied against the previous commenter could just as easily apply to major corporations. Corporations such as Capital One that received TARP, special treatment, subsidies, tax breaks, tax cuts, non-enforcement of federal regulations, an opportunity to run amok after the “Bankruptcy Reform” bill was passed into law. But now, it would be a real sin, wouldn’t it, to make them pay their own way? To actually believe in this country that they received so much from? To contribute something back to the free enterprise system that they had benefited from? All the benefits but none of the work; and nothing to show that major corporations have even earned any of it. That spells: socialism, in my book. Excuse me, if I have no sympathy when it comes to welfare for the wealthy.