Closing My Capital One Account to Get Help

I’m waiting for Capital One’s senior support team to reach out to me to discuss whether or not I will finalize my request to close my accounts with them. Today, for approximately the third time in the past year or so, they shut off my credit cards after a single transaction they thought might be fraudulent.

In this case, I was booking a flight with an overseas agent – a place I’ve traveled to before, a company I’ve bought from before. The transaction was less than $300. They shut down my card without notice. I had told them the last time that this happened that I would close my accounts if they did this again.

I’ve been a customer with them for 2-3 years now. I’ve paid all of my bills on time. I’ve spent a lot of money through their card network. I buy pretty much everything on one of their cards. When they cut it off without notice, it can put me at risk – especially if I actually am traveling.

I understand the risks of Internet credit card fraud but it’s ridiculous that the banks start shutting down reliable accounts without notice for a transaction they’ve seen before – and make you spend significant amounts of time calling their fraud support to reactivate them. Frankly, I don’t have time in my life to do this repetitively nor is it how I wish to spend my time. Certainly, if the charge amount was more than $500 or there were three in succession, this would be more reasonable. If they have strong concerns about one transaction, they should call the customer immediately before cutting off their credit.

I asked the support tech (the second one I had to wait to talk to) for a $100 credit for my lost airline reservation and lost time. They offered $10 so I told him to close my accounts. He eventually said he would have their executive support team reach out to me. So, we’ll see what happens this week.

I have cards with other providers and I’m now ready to switch all my spending to them. I’ve had enough. They may not be any better but I refuse to continue business with companies that don’t listen to feedback and customer requests.

Customer Service Generally Sucks

I had a friend tell me he set aside two hours of time, pizza and a few beers so he could take the time to call Comcast for Internet customer service. Century Link call complaints – that it takes 30 minutes or more to get help or even to cancel your service – abound in Seattle. I’ve been hesitating to call Century Link to have them reset my monthly promotional price – they do this to every Seattle consumer – you have to call in once a year, threaten to cancel and only then do they restore your market rate.

And then there’s health insurance customer service, ugh! I find they respond better when I just file complaints online with our state’s insurance commissioner. My experiences with T-Mobile and AT&T received close to a hundred thousand page views combined.

Increasingly, American consumers are forced to deal with terrible customer support and huge wait times for basic things. We’re forced to talk to people who barely speak English who are trained only to patronize and not to respond. Our government regulations around consumer rights are terrible – and this government is too systemically corrupt and influenced by corporate money to ever do anything about it.

It’s time to start talking about this. We all deserve better.

Capital One – I’m not budging. Step up or I’m stepping off.



Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest.