Capital One and Really Bad Service

I love good customer service. Whenever I’m treated to really good service – i.e., someone does something that surprises me by going above and beyond the call of duty – I tell everyone. I do this because I’m a stickler for providing great service, I study the topic of customer service, and I want others to know what it means to provide great customer service. The other day, a friend of mine told me about exceptionally poor service he received from Capital One. Let me know what you think.

My friend’s daughter will be attending college abroad next semester. He wanted to pay the $14,900 tuition on his Capital One credit card, which he has had for the last 10 years. He would obtain the perceived benefit of double points for this charge. However, his credit limit on this card was only $15,000. Therefore, he prepaid the charge, waited for the funds to clear his bank, and then called Capital One to explain that he would be charging the tuition and they should apply the prepaid amount to the tuition charge.

The Customer Service Representative (and I use the term very loosely) at Capital One told him the charge would be denied since it would exceed his credit limit due to other charges already placed on his account. My friend spoke with this person and then this person’s supervisor, all to no avail. My friend, a ten year customer that has never missed a payment of any kind and, had Capital One obtained a recent credit report they would have seen that his credit is impeccable, was denied the ability to place a charge that would have exceeded his credit limit, even though the amount had been pre paid. Oy gevalt! Are the Capital One Customer Service people, and supervisors, so poorly trained that they cannot make simple, common sense decisions? Does Capital One not care at all about its long time customers? Did Capital One purposely deny the ability to make this charge since they knew they would not be collecting exorbitant interest for the next millennium? Let me know your thoughts.

To add insult to injury, my friend requested a refund of the prepaid amount so he would be able to use these funds to pay the tuition. Capital Bank told him it could take up to 10 business days for the funds to be refunded.

This is my last Blog post for 2010. Posts this year were:

 The Tipping Point
 I Can Write a New Banking Story Every Day
 Rep. Hank Johnson
 Should Congress Establish a Cap on ATM Fees?
 Housing and the Credit Crunch
 Financial Reform Reshmorm – What a Mess
 Student Loans
 Commercial Property Owners Defaulting by Choice
 Riddle Me This: When is a Foreclosure Not a Foreclosure

I’m an optimist; I always see the glass half full. However, I still believe we are going to experience greater economic malice in 2011. We cannot succeed as a country with massive amounts of debt and out of control government spending, long term unemployment at ridiculous levels, lack of credit availability, continued increases in oil and commodities prices, and so much uncertainty that businesses choose to horde cash rather than making needed capital investment in fixed assets and personnel. That said, I’m grateful for my family and our good health and I wish all of my friends and associates and very happy holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year.


2 Responses to “Capital One and Really Bad Service”

  1. Rob Loewy Says:

    Loved (hated) the Capital One story but I wish it surprised me. Suggestion for you: ask your readers to contribute GOOD customer service stories. I’d like to read those.

  2. Mike Says:

    We’re a group of marketing students from McGill University doing an analysis of Capital One’s customer service. Participation in the following survey would greatly be appreciated and will take less than 5 minutes. Every response is anonymous and confidential. Thank you!

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