So, being younger and having no established credit, I got "preapproved" mail offers at least three times a week. I thought about it, weighed the pros and cons of a credit card, made a plan for usage, and decided to get a CapitalOne card with the sole purpose of paying bills only to have that balance paid immediately.
The idea is simple for people like me: no interest for a year so long as I paid my monthly statement on time. Cool. This is an awesome start and it came just when I was starting to get annoyed by the idea that Equfax had no clue who I was.
When I called to activate my shiny new card I could hardly hear the CSR. After a lot of I'm-sorry-could-you-repeat-thats I finally decided that I would opt for the optional payment protection and CreditInform offers they had. Good deals. Totally worth it. I was good to go.
I love the ability to use the online banking with my card. I can make sure transactions have cleared, dispute ones I don't agree with, and make payments any time almost 24/7 (they have regularly scheduled site maintenance at odd hours of the night, so I never notice when the site is down).
The problem is that in February I had a snafu and payment protection did not get used like it should have (I could have sworn I called it in, but they say I didn't - hmmmm). So, I'm one bill late, and within two days I get a call just after 8 am from an outsourced call center. A guy with a thick Indian accent was just short of demanding a payment and would not take no for an answer. Even when I said no five times. Whenever I said I'd use another method of payment he'd say it wouldn't work and come up with an excuse why I should pay him immediately. In order to get him off the phone, I had to hang up.
Later that day I checked on the account and, sure enough, the account was past due. After figuring out finances I was able to make a payment for way more than was due (including the late fee). I set up the online payment for that day and figured it was good.
Nope. I get a statement a few weeks later stating that I was still past due and had incurred additional fees (past due, and then an over limit fee because of the past due that put me over my limit, etc.). When I checked the account I realized that the payment had not processed and there was no record of it whatsoever. When I called, the CSR (another outsourced-to-India guy, boy do I hate those) politely informed me that a payment WAS showing up for that date, and that my account was past due and could I kindly provide him with a bank account number for a payment? I got nowhere with him, so, once again, I had to hang up.
I called back and made a payment over the phone through their automated system. Then, I went online and disputed all of the fees incurred due to the payment not posting properly, receiving email confirmations that they'd review it and contact me with the results.
When I checked the balance on the account after making the disputes (by this point I'm paranoid over the payments not posting) I realize that it's not showing the payment I'd just made over the phone so I called again. This time I manage to get someone that I'm assuming was in the US, or at least he didn't have an accent that I couldn't understand. He looked up the payment information for me and explained that the payment was good to go and would post later that day. He even looked up the unexplained missing transaction and found out that it was canceled with no explanation. This guy was the ONLY CSR who has treated me with respect in my interactions with the company to this date and I made sure he knew that.
By this point in my interactions with CapitalOne (it's been less than 30 days) had been horrible in general (minus one guy) and I had been sure to send them emails about how I was unsatisfied with their customer service. In return I got automated responses saying my concern had been forwarded to the proper department and then nothing more.
After the stated resolution times for my disputes I still hadn't heard a word about anything, so I tried, once more, calling in. This call was also taken by a thick-accented, outsourced CSR. This call had to be by far the worst experience with CapitalOne that I had. I asked him if he could check on the status of a dispute, to which he asked me what I'd been disputing, then condescendingly explained that the late fees were because I hadn't made a payment and the over limit fee was because the late fees had put me over my limit. When I told him I'd made a payment, he quoted the payment made before this horrible experience and, once again in a condescending manner, explained that payments had to be made monthly. Then, somehow, it came down to him explaining that, no matter what the online system says, I can only make payments no more than 10 days in advance or it would count for the previous statement (my online account lets me view and pay my statement around 20 days in advance). After deciding on his own to credit the fees that I'd already stated I was disputing, he, still condescendingly, informed me that he had fixed my problem and that I should pay my bills on time from then on. I hung up right then and there and proceeded to write another angry email to them stating that I would cancel my card if I had any more experiences like this.
So far, nothing. One of the disputes came back with a confirmation that they agreed I shouldn't have been charged due to their error but that's it. I've made payments when they were available online with no problems, one of them done on the day the statement became available. I was, however, slapped with an insanely high interest rate as a result of this entire ordeal that won't if I stick to my original plan of paying off the balance immediately.
I honestly would not recommend a CapitalOne card to ANYONE. It honestly a great card to start building credit on, but the customer service is horrid.