Ben Tanti is not your average credit card customer.
The 79-year-old Toronto man slipped in an extra digit when he was paying his bill online.
“It’s a problem of over $12,000,” Tanti told Global News in an interview.
Tanti figured it would be straightforward to convince Capital One bank to return the overpayment. Instead, he says, it was impossible.
“I’ve been talking to more than 12 agents,” Tanti said, pointing to hand-written notes with the names of customer representatives and managers he reached by telephone in an effort to get a refund.
Each, he said, was sympathetic; some promised he’d get the overpayment returned to his bank account. But the promises weren’t kept, he said.
One day, after more than six weeks of trying, Tanti telephoned Global News for help.
“I told one of the agents I’d had enough. You were my last resort,” Tanti said.
Accidental credit card overpayments happen for various reasons. If the amount is relatively low, many customers don’t bother seeking a refund because if they’re using their credit card for purchases the amount will be applied to their next statement.
On the CapitalOne.com website, the bank points out its obligations to anyone who asks for their money back after making an overpayment.
“If you overpay your credit card by more than $1 and request a refund, your credit card company must send you a refund within seven days of getting your written request,” Capital One advises.
That didn’t happen, even when Tanti made multiple requests. But a few hours after Global News sent an email to the bank on Tanti’s behalf, Capital One responded.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and sincerely regret that Mr. Tanti was dissatisfied with his experience,” a spokesperson wrote.
“We recognize Mr. Tanti’s frustrations with this situation and are actively investigating,” the representative added.
By the next day, Tanti had been contacted by Capital One and $12,117.34 was returned to his bank account.
Capital One also promised to pay interest of $55.20 on the overpayment and send him $250 for his inconvenience. Tanti insisted the money be sent by cheque.
Tanti credited the eventual credit card refund to Global News.
“Thanks to you,” Tanti said, relieved he had his money back and would not have to keep calling the company several times each week.
In October 2020, Costco and Capital One mutually agreed to end their credit card relationship.
As of March 2022, anyone with a Capital One Costco Mastercard will have their account transferred to CIBC, which is now the exclusive provider of credit card services to the retailer.