June 29, 2012
20% of Credit Card Complaints Aimed at Capital One
It was revealed Thursday that Capital One (NYSE: COF), the diversified financial services holding company, received 20% of credit card complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
That number might appear particularly staggering when considering that the company has less than 6% of the U.S. credit card market by purchase volume.
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a database on Tuesday that allows the public to view complaint data for credit card companies.
Of the 13,502 complaints filed between July 21 2011 and May 15 2012, 2,713 were against Capital One. That is more than 300 beyond Citigroup (NYSE: C), which had the second most complaints. Citigroup, however, has a credit card market share of roughly 9.5%. This share is more than 50% larger than that of Capital One.
Capital One was the subject of the largest number of complaints in 10 of the 11 months with data available. On average, the company received approximately 74 complaints for every 1 million credit cards in circulation.
Thursday's news might not be surprising to consumers who have visited Capital One's customer service comments board. At the time of writing, this board displayed 215 negative comments and only 14 positive.
Customers might feel more compelled to write a comment if they are dissatisfied or angry. So, the aforementioned customer service comment disparity might not be entirely due to poor service. Still, some of the comments are notable.
One customer, called "Please Close My Account", wrote, "I wish someone could explain to me why, after paying my balance off in full and attempting to close my credit card account more than 5X does Capital One elect to keep your account open until the next billing cycle? I called to pay off the balance in full 2 months ago. A customer service rep had informed me of the incorrect payoff balance as he "forgot" to include an interest charge which in turn kept my account open. Of course no one contacted me to inform me of this interest charge balance either by email or snail mail."
Tom Caron called Capital One the worst credit card company ever, saying that it "gives any reason they can to put a 4 day hold on payments on top of processing fees.” Caron continues, “WOW, imagine how many people pay thousands of dollars that CAP ONE is collecting interest on without the card hold having the ability to use what should be available credit. It's a scam. I've used loan sharks with better terms. Screw them. Stick with American Express if you can."
Finally, a customer with the username "Pissed Off" said, "I don't know how many times you have to call this place to get what you need. I have called no less than 20 times over the last two days to request items I need for a refinance. They send the wrong documents. Then diplicate the wrong documents they send again. I have wasted 4 hours in what should have taken less than 20 including hold times."
On Thursday, Capital One traded around $53.26, down roughly 2.2% for the session.
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