Credit companies are now going through extreme lengths to get what’s owed to them. If you’re a Capital One credit card holder, you may want to take a look at your recent bill and read the new card holder agreements that were sent along with it. This may lessen the shock you receive when you answer your doorbell and it’s a Capital One representative looking to collect on your bill. Or can you imagine the embarrassment when a Capital One representative shows up at your job?
According to Capital One’s new agreement the company may “contact you in any manner we choose” and that such contacts can include calls, emails, texts, faxes or a “personal visit.” Those visits may be anywhere “at your home and at your place of employment.”
But they won’t stop there.
Not only will they visit you during your evening meal, but they will also take measures to “spoof” their phone number when they call you. When a company spoofs their phone number it shows up as a totally different number on your caller id. Tricky, tricksters. But is it legal? If Capital One is spoofing their number for the purpose of collecting a debt, it pretty much isn’t. According to the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.
LA Times reporter, tracked down (ha) a representative from the credit card company to get to the bottom of these new updates. But of course, deny, deny, deny.
Pam Girardo, a company spokeswoman, told me that Cap One isn’t quite as much like Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction” as the company’s contract lingo might suggest. “Capital One does not visit our cardholders, nor do we send debt collectors to their homes or work,” Girardo said.
The exception to that, she said, is when it comes to big-ticket sporting goods. Cap One has partnerships with makers of gear like Jet Skis and Snowmobiles.
“As a last resort, we may go to a customer’s home after appropriate notification if it becomes necessary to repossess the sports vehicle,” Girardo said.
So Cap One is saying it’s more “Repo Man” than “Fatal Attraction.”
I asked Girardo about the spoofing. What’s up with that?
“Actually, we want our calls to display as Capital One on caller ID, and that’s the way they are programmed,” she replied. “However, some local phone exchanges may display our number differently. This is beyond our control, and we want our cardholders to be aware of that potential occurrence.”
That’s not what the contract update says, though. It says, ominously, that Cap One can “modify or suppress” people’s caller ID capabilities and identify itself “in any manner we choose.”
Well, I guess the only way to make sure Capital One doesn’t come knocking is to either keep your bill paid or cancel the card.