Sunday, January 10, 2010

Capitol One Sending $200 Checks to Unsuspecting Cardholders

Check your mail.
Capitol One Bank is sending out $200 checks to unsuspecting credit cardholders. When one cardholder called Capitol One to ask why she received the check, a clerk told her the promotion was to let people know they can get cash transfers for free, in other words without a transfer fee. When the cardholder rejected the offer, the clerk and several clerks after her, told the customer she had to deposit the check, wait for it to clear and then write her own check to pay off the advance -- that she didn't want to begin with.
Also, the $200 was enough to put the cardholder over her credit card limit, which can result in a fine and higher interest rate.
After an hour and 15 minutes on hold (they had unusually high call volume tonight - I don't doubt), finally a supervisor tried to tell the cardholder that she had requested the check. When that failed the clerk told the customer she'd have to deposit it and then finally agreed that the customer could rip up the check. However it'll take the bank four days to clear her account of the $200 advance and credit any overlimit penalties and interest incurred.
I believe this falls under predatory lending. By the way, yes, Capitol One is one of the TARP recipients. Nice use of our money, folks.

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