Rarely does the chance come to avenge oneself on a large corporation’s incompetent customer service department. The power of vengeance is now in my hands. Too bad I’m a wimp.
You may remember that five weeks ago, I told my online bill pay service to send $11,000 to pay off my Capitol One credit card bill of $1,100. As soon I realized my mistake, I called and begged for a speedy refund.
The first Cap One person I talked to said it would take 15 days to begin the 10-day process of refunding the overpayment. After deducting for recent credit-card charges, it would be $9,112.07.
The second said they’d wire the money in 48 hours to my bank, Wells Fargo. That would have been great, if they’d actually done it.
The third person said they’d mailed the money; a Wells Fargo guy said Cap One had used the wrong address. That check was lost. The Cap One guy agreed, under pressure, to send a refund check by express mail to the correct Wells Fargo address and to knock off the $75 “balance transfer” fee charged me for . . . Well, for keeping my money.
Wells Fargo never got the check. The fourth person said it hadn’t been sent because the Wells address was a post office box and UPS wouldn’t deliver express mail to a post office box. Instead of sending the check by regular mail, Cap One had done nothing. Which was OK, because they still were using the wrong address. The woman said she couldn’t mail a check to me, but eventually put me on hold for a very long time, came back and said she could mail it to me. But she couldn’t waive the $75, which was still on the bill. I asked her what service they’d performed for $75. She said “balance transfer.” I pointed out nothing had been transferred. She didn’t get my point.
The fifth person was supposed to be her supervisor but had never heard of her. He spoke with such a heavy (unidentifiable) accent I couldn’t understand him most of the time. I did get the fax number and address of Capital One from him, which enabled me to send a complaint letter.
I never heard back from Cap One. But this morning, I got an express letter with my $9,112.07 refund; the check was dated July 20. Then the regular mail came with another check, dated July 15, for $9,112.07. I checked my account on the web and discovered both checks listed, plus a refund of the $75. Here was the perfect opportunity for revenge. I could deposit both checks, then make Capital One wait five weeks to get its money back. Or I could wait till they noticed the double payment, which, given their level of incompetence, might be never.
Every now and then you hear about someone who gets in trouble for withdrawing money erroneously deposited into a checking account. I don’t have the guts to deposit both checks. I’m holding the second check, just in case the first one doesn’t clear. Once it does, I’ll have to decide whether to inform Cap One that they’re even stupider than I thought or just let them wonder why the books never balance.