Wednesday, January 2, 2013

CapitalOne - friendly warning

When I got back from New Delhi, India last month I was surprised by a $4.95 foreign transaction fee for each purchase I made on my credit card.  Knowing that shortly most every transaction would be foreign, I decided to find a credit card that didn't charge that fee.  I settled on the CapitalOne card with 1.5% rebate, no foreign transaction fee, and no annual fee.  I was happy with the terms and credit limit so I signed up and got two personalized credit cards headed our way.

Before the cards even arrived I got a call from the CapitalOne fraud division.  They wanted to know if I really was who I said I was, and if I had indeed meant to open an account with them.  I verified my personal details back 60 years and said YES and told them why I decided to switch.  We chatted a while and I hung up thinking they must do this with every new account.

The cards arrived and for two weeks we moved all our day-to-day purchases to that card.  Then I ordered the Blue Sky MPPT solar controller, an almost $500 purchase.  CapitalOne fraud division called the next day to ask if I really wanted to make that purchase or had my account been hacked?  I said YES, I really wanted to order that part and in future, please expect boat parts to cost some money. I also related my angst over the necessity of repeated phone calls, especially once we start cruising and using sat phone.  She said there should not be any more phone calls from them and said "enjoy your travels".

Now today, a mere two days after the last call, I get yet another call from the wizards at CapitalOne fraud division.  This time wanted to know yet again if I was who I said I was and did I really want to open an account with them.  Ach!

I do not suffer fools well.  It might be that the CapitalOne fraud division is located in a state that has newly allowed marijuana use, I really don't know and at this point I really don't care.  All I know is that I do not have the time, patience, or cell phone/sat phone minutes to hand hold the idiots in that group each and every time we try to use that credit card.

We have (tried to) cancel that brand new CapitalOne account and are shifting back to my prior card. Anyone have recommendations on reputable credit card offerers with no foreign transaction fee and rebates?

Update 1/4/2013 10:00am: Just now I received yet another call, this time from the CapitalOne Executive branch.  The message they left said they "wanted to touch base and  see how they might be able to assist me in the future".  I just do not care enough to waste precious cell/sat phone minutes to hold their hand.  They are such a sad bunch.

Update 1/8: The executive branch person called once more today, again leaving a message offering assistance and demanding I call her back.  But finally this evening the account status has changed to Closed.  The entire ordeal lasted 3 weeks. 

1 comment:

  1. I've had a credit card through a credit union for many years. There is no foreign transaction fee but there is a 2% currency conversion fee. so for every $100 I spend out of the country, I pay $2. They are the cheapest that I know of. They are also dilligent about when I charge in foreign countries and when I travel, I call ahead and tell them where I'm going and the dates that I'll be there.