Just yesterday at lunch, I was bragging about despite the economic downturn, that I was holding in my wallet a Credit Card with a now unheard of 2.9 % APR. It was destined to be one of those relics from better times, like when we reminisce about how gas used to be $.60 / gallon.
That same day, I got home and logged into my account only to find that my 2.9% APR rate jumped to 9.9% APR. That is an increase of three times over! Needless to say, I was on the phone with customer service immediately. I spoke with a representative that informed me that he was showing that my rate was indeed 2.9% on the previous billing, and was now currently 9.9%. He informed me that he didn’t have any information as to why the rate tripled from the previous cycle. It was late, and he informed me to call tomorrow when the department that handles APR issues would re-open.
I called back this afternoon, and spoke with Jennifer about my APR rate tripling. She informed me that it was a “business decision made by Capital One”. I told her that I was fairly sure the card application showed a fixed APR, and that they could be breaching a contract. She “regretted to inform me that there was nothing that could be done about it.” I asked to speak to her supervisor because this was not an acceptable answer. She transfered me to Tracy who had further clearance to make these kinds of decisions.
Tracy was nice, and listened to my concerns about my rate tripling, and informed me again that “it was a business decision”. She looked at my payment history for the last year and confirmed that I had never defaulted on a payment. Basically, I was a model customer that just got screwed. It wasn’t until I threatened to close the account that she wanted to play ball. She asked if it was because I would have trouble making payments. I told her that I never imagined the rate would triple, and that it did impact the way we do our finances, since it was carrying a considerable balance.
She finally offered to restore the rate to the previous 2.9% APR – with the condition that the account was deactivated. I had to pay the balance at 2.9% until it reached zero. The account would then close. I accepted this condition (since this is all the card was doing anyway).
The humorous part was when she asked if I was interested in any other Capital One services. Nope. She then said that the regret to lose me as a customer. I corrected her and said that was their condition – not mine. I was a happy customer – they were terminating my account through no fault of mine.
Buyers beware – credit card companies threaten lawyers when you breach contract, but its optional for them to adhere to.