Monday, July 7, 2014

Thank You, Capitol One

Much as I hate U S Bank, I appreciate Capitol One. They're "in my wallet". They have been for years. I get a great interest rate, a generous credit limit, a user-friendly website that's full of all the info I could want and makes bill-paying simple.

Last week they showed me one other reason why I appreciate them.

It started on a McDonalds drive-thru in Winona. It was a $2.14 charge, and I handed over the card. After running it a couple times, the fellow frowned, called in a higher-up, and watched while she gave him instructions in what he apparently already knew. It still didn't work.  Hmmm..... Something to check out later. Maybe the more-than-daily use had worn the magnetic stripe again? Anyway, I had another card and, worst case, cash to cover the purchase.

Once home, that evening, my spam box had an email claiming to be from Capitol One with a fraud alert. I get so much fishing spam that I almost deleted it, but the memory of the afternoon's denial had me examining it closer. This one asked me to call the number on the back of my card rather than clicking on some link, so I decided to pursue it.

Good choice!

The Capitol One employee and I went through a very long list of supposed purchases that had been either made or tried on my card that day. I verified a gas purchase, a KFC purchase, a bananas buy, and the Winona attempt, explaining how my job sends me all over the place. I do keep my receipts, so I could confidently verify the valid ones.

Luckily for me, the $300+ and $600+ purchase attempts at Ticketmaster and  Best Buy had been declined, possibly because about two dozen internet and adult entertainment purchases had also been tried during a short period of time with mixed results on acceptance. We went over each one - twice - and I was able to verify their validity or lack thereof. There were a bunch that I never heard of and had no clue what they might be for, except the hints in the company names. I wasn't charged a penny I hadn't personally charged to my account.

Upon instructions, I cut up the card whose number had been duplicated. We likely will never know how that duplication happened. Somebody at a location I'd used it? A lucky guess? It would never happen again on that number. A new card was ordered, since that is my main card and holds the largest available credit balance. I could use my other card short term, but that was a debit card, and rapidly draining my bank account this far from the last payday. Capitol One agreed to rush out the replacement card at no charge to me for the extra cost of speed.

Once the new card arrived, I immediately called in to verify it. Capitol One remained vigilant, to my small inconvenience, however. The morning gas purchase went through, but my next purchase was declined, requiring a new phone call. The security info I'd set up while dealing with the fraud assisted in verifying this was really me this time, and further purchases have gone through without issue. I'm still checking my statements online to see if any other bogus purchases are going through or being attempted. So far, nothing.

All the whole mess cost me was a little of my time. So thank you, Capitol One, for identifying the fraud pattern and being so easy to work with in clearing it up. After having to deal with years of crap from U S Bank, you've been a pure pleasure to work with.

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