Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Capital One: What's in Your Wallet? - A License to Steal

I'm starting a short series of blogs on companies that have customer service issues. Capital One wins the lottery for the first such company.

Ten years ago Capital One had one of the best customer service groups in the country, and Capital One was sitting high. Now they have problems.

Today, I discovered why. Capital One has lost its customer service emphasis. Their customer service reps aren't allowed to make decisions. They have to follow a very restricting script that doesn't allow them to really serve the customer.

Last year when I was moving, I failed to pay my Capital One VISA card within 30 days (didn't get it until way after the time limit because mail had to catch up with me). So they canceled my good rate and started upping the charge. When I checked out my credit card statement today, they were charging 28.95% interest. Now that's just outrageous. No justification for that kind of rate, even with the most marginal of customer. And I'm not marginal.

It is scary to think what credit card companies are charging. 28.95% is way over any justifiable amount. They are either really bad at investing or doing business, or they are literally stealing. What's in your wallet? I'll tell you. Simple: A license to steal. Truly scary.

When I called to get my rate returned to the original agreement, the customer service representative couldn't help me. She didn't have authority to keep a customer, even after hearing my explanation for why I missed several payments (simply delayed). There was a time not many years ago when their customer service reps could make changes. Now they can't.

No wonder Capital One is falling behind. Bad customer service is the harbinger of worse things to come from a company.

They lost my business today. And will never get it back. They've made a ton of money via my account, but didn't seem to want to keep it.

Their customer service stinks. No wonder companies like Nordstrom stand out for their customer service. It's not hard when you're being compared to services such as Capital One.
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