Tuesday, 24 March 2009
More crazy credit-card terms and conditions: Capital One
After getting notices of outrageous new terms and conditions from American Express and Bank of America and hearing about similar new terms for Paypal credit cards (see the comments) issued by GE Money Bank, I requested copies of the current terms and conditions for all of my current cards.
I just got the following from Capital One. It took three requests, as they kept sending me summaries or ancillary documents rather than the actual "customer agreement". I'm not sure when these terms were imposed, but any notice probably slipped by me in the fine print with one of my previous bills:
We may contact you from time to time regarding your Account. We may contact you in any manner we choose unless the law says that we cannot. For example, we may:
(1) contact you by mail, telephone, e-mail, fax, recorded message, text message or personal visit;
(2) contact your home and at your place of employment;
(2) contact you on your mobile telephone;
(4) contact you at any time, including weekends and holidays;
(5) contact you with any frequency;
(6) leave messages on your answering machine/service and with others; and
(7) identify ourselves, your relationship with us and our purposes for contacting you even if others might hear or read it.
Our contacts with you about your Account are not unsolicited and might result from information we obtain from you or others. We may monitor or record any conversation with you, modify our caller ID and use automated dialing and announcing devices (autodialers).
We may do these things whether we call you or you call us.
This goes further than any other card issuer's terms I've seen.
Why would they want to pay me a "personal visit" ("with any frequency" and "at any time") at my home or place of employment? If they knock on my door in the middle of the night, do I have to let them in? Have I already waived my right to call the police to make them go away? Why would I give any financial institution permission to "identify your relationship with us ... even if others might hear", or to spoof their caller ID?
And if their real purpose is to preemptively ensure their ability to harass deadbeats enough to get them pay their unsecured credit card debts, doesn't all this directly violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ? Does such a unilaterally-imposed and non-negotiable "agreement" really trump the limits on collection practices in the FDCPA? And would the arbitration clause in the "agreement" apply to private actions (other than in small claims court) to collect damages under the FDCPA? Comments from my legal readers would be welcome.Link | Posted by Edward on Tuesday, 24 March 2009, 09:22 ( 9:22 AM)