Captial One’s Dirty Trick

Capital One's "What's in your wallet?" commercial already made me sick (that's why I don't have any their no-hassle card), this story on MSN Money about Capital One's dirty trick to collect more fees disgusted me even more.

When Brad Kehn received his first credit card from Capital One Financial in 2004, it took him only three months to exceed its $300 credit limit and get socked with a $35 over-limit fee. But what surprised the Plankinton, S.D., resident more was that Cap One then offered him another card, even though he was over the limit — and then another and another.

By early 2006, he and his wife had six Cap One Visa cards and MasterCards. They were in over their heads.

The Kehns were late and over the limit on all six cards, despite occasionally borrowing from one to pay the other. Every month they chalked up $70 in late and over-limit fees on each card, for a total of $420, in addition to paying high interest rates as a penalty.

The couple fell further behind as their Cap One balances soared. Even so, they still received mail offers for more Cap One cards. "I didn't open them," says Kehn, 33, who manages a truck stop and runs a carpet-cleaning business on the side. "I owe these people that much damn money and they are willing to give me another credit card? This is nuts."

Eventually, the Kehns have to get help from a credit counseling agency.

Yet, in a response to inquiry about multiple card offers, Capital One said

Our goal is to offer products that meet our customers' needs and appropriately reflect their ability to pay.

Even to those people who are already late in making payment and piling up debt. No matter how beautifully they sound when they run their commercials, the only thing they actually care is making money even it means getting people deeper in debt and that they don't care! 

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13 Responses to “Captial One’s Dirty Trick”

  1. Golbguru |  Dec 07, 2006 at 11:46 am

    Well its a capitalist world and Cap One is no differet. I am not surprised Cap One tried to push more cards to the guys. What is dissapointing is to see these people take the bait. It’s not rocket science to understand that if you have $300 credit limit…going above that will put you in a whole. But as they say..common sense is most uncommon :)

  2. Golbguru |  Dec 07, 2006 at 11:46 am

    i meant “put you in a hole”

  3. hustlermoneyblog |  Dec 07, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    damn..that’s why i can’t stand credit cards..haha..tell those folks to visit my website and i’ll show them how to take take CC’s lunch money.

  4. The Sun |  Dec 07, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” It’s hard to imagine that these people kept taking the baits and then complained that Capital One kept offering them. Nobody forced you to take it.

  5. Kevin |  Apr 20, 2007 at 10:59 am

    No offense but this is a poor story to point out Capital One ‘dirty trick’. $300 credit limit? They must have had a negative credit rating. Basic finicial management is common sense – these people didn’t have any of that.

  6. The Sun |  Apr 20, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    I think the story here is not really about the low credit limit they have, but rather Capital One, while knowing that they are having trouble paying off the card they already have, keeps offering them new card and watch them get deeper into debt. The card user in this card is responsible to his trouble, but if Capital One stops luring them with more easy credits, could they be better off?

  7. jonboy |  Nov 27, 2007 at 12:30 am

    Actually, you don’t have to have bad credit to get a $300 credit limit from Cap One. I know; I just got one. Laughed out loud when I saw that limit.

  8. Dawn |  Apr 04, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Capital One sucks, they gave me a credit card with a low limit, I wanted to reestablish credit, I was put on bed rest and couldnt work, they wouldnt work with me. It was eventually sent to collections, they wanted $165 a month, of which was mostly interest. I couldnt pay that, I tried to give them a lesser amount, they wouldnt accept it. Long story short, the garnished my wages, not monthly but all $1300 at once, now I cant pay my rent, utility bills or even put gas in my car to go to work, and I have to pay hundreds of dollars in over draft fees to my bank, think twice, is it worth it??? All I have to say is they are making money off of people that dont have it to begin with, now I am looking at an eviction notice and having my utilities turned off for $300.

  9. Credit cards no problem |  Apr 21, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Well, the real issue is the people that have no sense of self control or ability to calculate their financial status. Just because you know where to buy crack cocaine doesn’t mean you have to go buy it. The people that consistantly get into bad credit issues need to be educated. Business is business and a lot of times those letters are form letters sent to a blind mailing list. I hate it when people say that they were being targeted. I get those stupid introductory offer credit card “preapproved” hurry don’t waste time offers all the time. I toss them out because I am perfectly comfortable with my three credit cards … that I pay on time, never pay late fees and am well aware of what my credit limits are. You know why? Because I burned myself once … paid late fees and learned my lesson. Some have to learn the hard way, worse … others never learn. Like smokers, addicts and alcoholics, they should not blame the industries that provide thier vices but themselvs for succumbing to the temptations. They should be adult enough to know the difference.

  10. Credit cards no problem |  Apr 21, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Well, the real issue is the people that have no sense of self control or ability to calculate their financial status. Just because you know where to buy crack cocaine doesn’t mean you have to go buy it. The people that consistantly get into bad credit issues need to be educated. Business is business and a lot of times those letters are form letters sent to a blind mailing list.

    I hate it when people say that they were being targeted. I get those stupid introductory offer credit card “preapproved” hurry don’t waste time offers all the time. I toss them out because I am perfectly comfortable with my three credit cards … that I pay on time, never pay late fees and am well aware of what my credit limits are. You know why? Because I burned myself once … paid late fees and learned my lesson.

    Some have to learn the hard way, worse … others never learn. Like smokers, addicts and alcoholics, they should not blame the industries that provide thier vices but themselvs for succumbing to the temptations. They should be adult enough to know the difference.

    This is a prime example of what has brought this country to it’s knees in a credit crisis. Americans won’t take ownership over their mistakes. They need to acknowledge their mistakes and work with them. I’m tired of hearing about smokers blaming cigarette companies, undisciplined spenders blaming banks, and robbery victims blaming gun manufacturers. You need to own up to your own mistakes, grow up and face the consequenses. Be a responsible citizen and suck it up. Too many fragile people in this country.

    We have become a country of whiners, compainers and weaklings. The generation that is retiring now, as we speak … they were real men and women taking responsibility in thier own hands and working hard for what we now have. Just grow up already and get on with your life. Stop blaming others.

  11. corey bloomfield |  Apr 22, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Capital One got me good and I have no way to prove it. They ran a promotion in Dec. 07 saying sign up for a capital one platinum with $300 limit and no payments until May 5th 2008. So now my balance is $555. and they say its because I haven’t made payments since Dec. and they have no memory of that promotion. Does anyone have any ideas how to help? I looked through all the paperwork and cant find that promotion slip and I signed up for it on the internet. I think thats worse than what they did to Brad.

  12. Sun |  Apr 23, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Corey: Sorry to hear your experience. It’s pretty hard to fight with them if you can’t show them the promotion. Can you find the card carrier that they sent to you together with the card? It usually has promotion information.

    If I apply for a card with web-only promotion, I always take a screenshot of the offer just in case there are problems like this later.