I have complained before about my credit cards. More than once. With all the griping I have done, both here at Financial Methods and to people I know, I was surprised after a 5 minute phone call today.
First off, allow me to explain. I read a post a few weeks ago at Debt Free Adventure in which fellow blogger Matt Jabs was fed up with Capital One and was considering closing his account, despite what affect it may have on his credit score. Today, I felt his pain and was more than ready to take the same route, so I got on the phone. On my first attempt, I was ready and willing to go at it with any customer service rep that was put in front of me, but alas, they were having “computer issues” so I was instructed to call back later. This did not irritate me as much as I would have thought and I happily obliged.
The second call was successful. Here’s how it went…keep in mind that this is not word for word, but to the best of my recollection.
Rep: “Thank you for calling Capital One, how can I help you today?”
My head: “Close my freaking account, I do not wanna be jerked around with this $19 membership fee. If you ask me, it’s bullshit”.
My voice: “I would like to close my account”
Rep: “I can see from your profile that you have been a customer for over four years and have an excellent history, what makes you want to close your account today?
My head: “I will not be hosed by made-up fees”
My voice: “I am disappointed that you have charged me a membership fee on a card that should have no annual fee.”
Rep: “I’m sorry you feel that way, let me ask you a question, do you carry any other credit cards?”
My head: “What the hell does that have to do with anything”?
My voice: “Yes.”
Rep: “Does that card charge you an annual fee or a membership fee?”
My head: “HUH?”
My voice: “No.”
Rep: “I ask because we have noticed other companies charging their customers for services such as online accessibility, balance transfer offers, credit protection and similar services that we offer for free.”
My head: “I guess it’s not free anymore.”
My voice: “That is why I made this phone call. I tend to stay on top of my accounts. So, at the first sign of anything I am not aware of or have a question about, I get on the phone and find out what it is all about. None of my other accounts have surprised me with new and unusual charges, so I would like to close the account so I do not have to go through this on a regular basis.”
Rep: (After more banter explaining the ridiculous charges). “I have reviewed your account and it’s history and am happy to let you know that I will be able to remove the membership charge from your account. (More banter…) Would you like to add an additional card holder to your account today?”
My head: “Ohhhh, the nerve!”
My voice: “No, thank you. I appreciate your help. Just one more question. Will this fee be assessed annually to my account?”
Rep: “Yes sir, it is an annual fee.”
My head: “Man, you guys are greedy.”
My voice: “Alright, that’s all I need today. I guess I’ll be talking to you in about 12 months. Again, I appreciate your assistance today.”
Despite a nagging thought process, I was able to keep my cool, remove the fee, and keep the account open. I do not need this credit card, but I do like to have it to keep my debt/credit ratio constant. I actually use this card two or three times a year, so I understand them asking me to add a signer to the account…fat chance.
I know that I can not be the only one who is frustrated with made-up fees, so here’s what I want you to do: If you have a Capital One card, check your statement for the past few months. If you have this outlandish and unnecessary fee, give them a call at 1-800-903-6367 (It’s also on the back of the card.) Let them know that you would like to close the account, and see if they can do the same for you as they did for me. I’m willing to bet they will. Please share your success/failure stories in the comments section here. Viva la revolu?ion!