This week, I opened my mail to find a statement from Capital One showing a zero balance and a 39.00 dollar annual membership fee, due this cycle. Problem: This is a card I paid off and canceled twice. Capital One seems to have memory loss when it comes to killing off credit cards. It seems they expect to resurrect canceled credit cards periodically for the thrill of seeing if they can collect further "annual fees." There's no telling how many people may have fallen for this baloney, if they're like me. It really chaps me that even after tighter government regulation of their questionable practices (that applies to other credit card companies, too), they are still trying to pull this one. And the customer service representative who looks the information up on the phone acts baffled that the account doesn't show the prior cancelation requests. Interesting. I wonder how three cancelations...get canceled.
Here is my response (no, I didn't actually send this, for those of you who wonder) to their latest attempt to collect membership fees from me after my no longer having an account with them:
Dear Capital One:
I realize I am a Valued Customer. I hope so. You have no idea how much this once meant to me.
It's not that I walked away with nothing from our relationship. After all, I have you to thank for the education, the math lessons that taught me (with my own money, hooray!) that all that interest I paid throughout the years buying things on sale with credit cards really meant I was paying about double instead of getting a bargain. And how a $40 annual membership fee for the privilege of buying things on sale that you're really not getting a good deal on after paying interest was a small price to pay to carry a cool piece of plastic!
I mean, you valued me, and we had our moments :)
But we didn't last. Breaking up is hard to do, but the day came when I looked at you and realized the magic was gone, even if you lowered your interest rate below 11 percent. Oh you promised me the moon, but I saw how you were always finding ways to mooch off of me with mystery fees and your inflated ways, and fine print no lawyer could read. Maybe you sensed I was withdrawing my affections, secretly sneaking off to pay things with cash, getting monetary counseling? Darling, I have outgrown you and my parents never liked you anyway. Oh, PLEASE with your protection insurance, buyers points, selling my data to Free Resort Weekend phone marketers. You would arrange for me to be called and reminded of you, even when I declined the repeated invitations for more conversation because your outsourced call center reps somehow never learned the English word "No."
Finally, it was over. I settled my accounts with you and said a firm goodbye. You tried to hang on, but I was adamant. Glen, Martin, Greg, Jordan...and so many others...passed the phone from one department to the other but couldn't sway me. But call me they kept doing. So I've had to get ugly, cut it off. I won't take your calls anymore.
Now...could you please stop stalking me? I mean, yes, I know you have my home address and other pertinent information, but really...I already cut the card up. No need for you to send my ANY more information about "the account ending in the numbers 1234" and so on.
This brings me to a very personal question. What religion are you? Have you been feeling well lately? Do you believe in an afterlife, in reincarnation, multiple resurrections, in the Un-dead??
Because you keep coming back. (Like a long-running vampire TV series geared towards irresponsible credit card-wielding adolescents.)
I already cut up that card, endured being put on hold through several refrains of phone musack (Play it again, Sam), talked to the appropriate representative who then passed me to the more appropriate representative, closed the account, and you were then dead to me...not too be too indelicate, but dead dead dead. Gone, kaput, shuffled off the mortal coil, pushing up daisies, kicked the bucket, joined the choir invisible, bought the farm, in perpetual repose, got the one-way ticket, etc etc. You were No More, No I won't send holiday cards and No I won't attend your brother's bar mitzvah...GONE.
So, what, then you started researching longevity and reading Deepak Chopra? Because you KEEP COMING BACK.
Account 1234 no longer exists, but you are STILL wanting...your yearly membership fee??
This is the third time I've been contacted by you, billing me for a (now non-existent)yearly membership fee on an account I've closed twice (now 3 times). Had it been a cat, I'd have taken the precaution of checking it for signs of life all 9 times, but I thought the credit card was safe being iced once and then being fitted for its concrete shoes.
OBVIOUSLY I will have to take more drastic measures.
This letter is to notify you that I have now taken the necessary precautions to protect myself as a consumer.
I am now wearing garlic around my neck and have driven a stake through the heart of the remaining cut-up plastic bits of my old canceled credit card...
at the exact stroke of midnight
while twelve unspoiled maidens
(whose fathers are all 5 star generals
and whose mothers run non-profit relief agencies)
and their equally-unspoiled accompanying unicorns
pledged allegiance to the flag
under a moonlit sky
and sang all 6 (or was it 8?) stanzas of Just As I Am
while lighting sparklers and drawing hearts and smiley-faces in the air and throwing salt over their shoulders.
I hope that will keep you and your legions of bloodsucking minions away from my mailbox. And phone.
Because if I hear from you again, EVER, about my non-existent account and any suggestion of phantom fees, I will no longer speak to you. I will sing.
Yes. RIGHT when I hear you tell me that our conversation may be recorded for quality control purposes, I will from now on sing my entire conversation to you, in my own special (and you wouldn't believe how special)operatic style. If that does not immediately reduce you to a small and quivering pool of melted chicken fat, I will then give an encore featuring the Hokey Pokey song.
So leave me alone. Because you value me so.
In loving memory,