Capital One Trials…

 

Since March 2011, Capital One has been our go-to credit card.  We signed up with Capital One because it was such a great international travel card.  The commercials were true you could use the points earned anytime, anywhere.  We dumped American Express which had become a cumbersome nightmare – at the time fewer and fewer places would except it.  I called Capital One today to get our history – we consistently pay the bill on time and in full.  We are what you would call a good risk.  Then why have our proverbial balls been busted for the last few months?  Why has it been impossible to use the card for online transactions here in Italy – unless it is for Amazon or another Giant corporation?  They know we are in Italy.  It is in their data base. A little back story might be the reason –

Information from Capital One on the Cyber Incident

Updated 9:30 PM ET, Sun Aug 4, 2019

What happened

On July 19, 2019, we determined that an outside individual gained unauthorized access and obtained certain types of personal information about Capital One credit card customers and individuals who had applied for our credit card products.

What we’ve done

Capital One immediately fixed the issue and promptly began working with federal law enforcement. The person responsible was arrested. Based on our analysis to date, we believe it is unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated by this individual. However, we will continue to investigate. Safeguarding information is essential to our mission and our role as a financial institution. We have invested heavily in cybersecurity and will continue to do so. We will incorporate the learnings from this incident to further strengthen our cyber defenses.

https://www.capitalone.com/facts2019/

It seems that while strengthening their cyber defenses they are getting more and more cautious about who charges what where.  Now that is not a bad thing. As a matter of fact over the years I have appreciated and loved their fraud alerts and caution approving charges we had made in strange non USA places.  This is a really great thing.  The bad thing is now they have changed their protocol and we can’t prove who we are or that we are making the charge unless they send a text to our NJ cell phone.  Since we live in Italy half the year, the NJ SIM card is not in the phone or active.  They won’t send a text to a European number.  They won’t or can’t send a text to our NJ number that is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) number.   They won’t let us call to get the magic one time code to complete an online transaction.  They won’t send the magic code to our e-mail.  They ONLY thing they will do is send a text to an out of service USA number.  In other words, as long as we are in Europe we can’t consistently use the credit card.

Historically, when a charge was held because they were concerned, I would call customer service and the charge would be immediately processed.  There were times they sent an e-mail about a charge Jack made that seemed unusual with a link to approve the charge.  Simple and always great customer service.  Actually, they had stellar customer service.

This “we can only send a text” is corporate stupidity.  Yes, I have called.  Yes, I called three times and spoke to three different reps.  All blamed it on Visa.  Hmm, when the Capital One Card Visa alert asked for the magic code and we couldn’t get one, Jack used our TD Bank Visa card and it went right through.  Same wonky out of USA vender.  Hmm.

Today I tried to log into Capital One on my Computer.  Even though they have it on our file that we are in Europe, I had to get a one time code to log onto my account.  There were three options. The first was to text me a temporary code – I put in our VOIP number just to try.  Boing bounced back.  The second was to call the home number we had on file – which is the same VOIP number.  The call came, I got the magic code and logged on.  The third was for them to send the code to my Capital One App, which is accessed by my finger print.  SHAZAAAM – why can’t they do that for internet vender charges that look smarmy????  Except I just tried that to re-log on and it wouldn’t work.  Fix it!

I hate to cancel the card.  We like the card.  We like Capital One.  As a last ditch effort to talk to someone who might understand our dilemma and not read from the script.”We send a text or we can do a three way call and talk to the vender.” (No they don’t have translators in the call centers.). I asked to speak to a Supervisor.  Supervisor Riley listened, understood my frustration and read the same script.  I then clearly, in my best radio voice suggested he forward the following to the marketing division of the company.   Do they really want to consider marketing themselves as the travel card when there are folks like me who are willing to explain to other folks like me that Capital One cannot be consistently used abroad?  Further, we know you’ve been hacked.  We understand the gravity.  That said, come up with a solution for acquiring the magic one time code that is not texting it to a USA number!  (psssst – think about sending it to the app and allowing the app to still function with a non USA number.)

PS – If anyone out there works for Capital One please forward this to them.

 

 

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