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Capital One’s update to their contract with customers takes big brother to the next level, even for a credit card company. The language says “we may contact you in any manner we choose” and that such contacts can include calls, emails, texts, faxes or a “personal visit.” In addition, the contract says that Capital One may visit you  “at your home and at your place of employment.”

Capital One goes on to say “We may modify or suppress caller ID and similar services and identify ourselves on these services in any manner we choose,” which basically means they can trick you into picking up the phone by making it look like someone else is calling.

Credit Card contracts are already difficult to understand and companies shouldn’t be trying to sneak questionable provisions like this in the fine print.

Capital One felt the public backlash right away and their PR man quickly backed away from the contract language with a statement on their web site:

“You may have heard there is language in our customer agreements stating we could potentially make ’personal visits’ to our customers. As much as we would like to get to know each of our customers better, we don’t visit our customers at their homes or workplaces to discuss their credit card debt–ever.”

We think it is wonderful that the public relations man has such a good sense of humor about it all.  It’s too bad the company’s current contract is so out of sync with what the company now claims.

The statement on their web site also notes that the company “will never claim to be anyone other than Capitol One” when it calls customers.  That’s terrific!  But how come it says otherwise in the contract?

After the public uproar, Capitol One announced that it would revise its contract to make its intentions more clear.  However, it still hasn’t done so.

If getting a personal visit or deceptive phone call from your credit card company is a little too creepy for you, take a minute now and contact Capital One’s CEO, Richard Fairbanks at Richard.Fairbank@capitalone.com.

Simply copy and paste this into the email and add your own personal touch:

Dear Mr. Fairbank,

Please do not come to my house or my place of work. Also, do not change how Capital One’s phone number will appear on my caller ID.
Finally, while I totally trust your Public Relations department, I would like to know when you will be revising your credit card contract to make it clear that you will never engage in these outrageous practices.

Sincerely,

Capital One customer