I temporarily misplaced my Capital One card and called for a replacement. Hilarity/tragedy ensued.
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I Lost My Wallet
While in Paris, I temporarily lost my wallet. I recovered it a few hours later, but it was left in an Uber and once I was sure it wasn’t on my person I called my cards in as lost. I walk with very few cards, especially in areas like the Eiffel Tower where pickpockets are known to be present and I may be distracted.
Regardless, I lost my wallet for the first time I can remember as an adult and though I found it shortly thereafter, I called to cancel my cards in the interim which was likely the safest bet. The three banks I was carrying cards from at that moment were American Express, Chase, and Capital One.
The biggest concern with losing my cards, and why it felt like a race to stop fraud, was because of the widespread use of contactless payments. While signatures were never a truly secure method in my eyes, chip and pin meant that losing a card would be harmless and the rush to replace lost credit cards would be an unnecessary effort. But with the advent of contactless payments anyone could charge virtually anything to the card unchecked. We had used contactless payment at nearly every purchase.
Capital One Credit Card Customer Service
When I went to call Capital One customer service, I sat on hold. The call center number listed online was hard to find even on the bank’s website to report lost cards. Yes, I could have done it in the app, but I didn’t have the app installed at the moment. I just hadn’t needed to at this point so I never did.
I encourage any credit card owner to put themselves in the shoes of someone who has misplaced, lost, or been robbed of their cards and then click on this Capital One link for lost cards. Of the *helpful* tips it offers: 1) Retrace Your Steps, 2) Report The Loss or Theft Right Away (without the phone numbers to do so), 3) Keep An Eye For Statements, and 4) Update Your Autopayments.
In case you were curious, I ticked the box “no” that wasn’t helpful at the bottom of the post.
On my second attempt I found this on another page but had to search replacement as “lost” and “stolen” come up with the above tips.
“You may report your card lost or stolen by phone by contacting Capital One directly at: 1-800-227-4825
If you are outside the U.S., you may call collect at: 1-804-934-2001” – Capital One
Of course, their system wouldn’t let me report my card lost or stolen or even get me to a human being without first submitting my card number – which I didn’t have. First, I lightly pressed “0” and when that didn’t work, I pressed it more than 16 times because the system needs to hear 16 numbers apparently, even if they are all zero.
After a 14-minute call in which the representative not only wouldn’t send the card to my travel address (I am traveling, this is not uncommon for cards that are marketed to travelers), they wouldn’t send it anywhere until I submitted my Federal or State ID through a secure link to an email on my account. You’ve got to hand it to Capital One for applying that personalized customer service, “KYLE null.”
That was a fair enough request given the sensitivity of the information. I complied, though that took some effort because Apple converted all of their photo file types to HEIC and Capital One doesn’t accept them. I had a computer handy and followed the instructions assuming the card was on its way… somewhere.
A week later I received a garbled call while I was at Universal Studios instructing me that my federally-issued passport was not a state-issued ID and that I would have to submit my state driver’s license. I argued for a moment about the seniority of documents, explained that a passport was federally issued and was an acceptable choice but alas it was of no use.
I repeated the effort, uploading my driver’s license through the secured link using the proper image type.
How Other Banks Faired
I first called Chase as I had a couple of cards from them with me, including a debit card which offers fewer protections. The call lasted just over nine minutes, three cards were replaced and shipped to me at a traveling address I’d arrive to in a few days.
My next call was to American Express as some of their cards feature no limits and my exposure could be large if someone had nefarious purposes with my lost card. That call, like Chase, last just over nine minutes and like Chase, American Express shipped the new card to a hotel I’d be at in two days time. It was waiting for me at check-in.
As of six weeks following the first report and accepted upload of my federally-issued ID, and five weeks after the upload of my state-issued ID I have yet to receive anything at all. Not a note to say that a card is on the way, or that my documents were in some way insufficient. I’ve not received a notice that my account has been closed, nor a request to close the matter as resolved or unresolved.
I intend to follow-up this week, but as an experiment I left it to be able to report back to our readership how each bank performed. However, it’s been so long, I nearly forgot that I had the card at all.
Capital One’s credit card customer service in the event of a lost or stolen card is absolutely atrocious. I know that Matthew has been very happy with the Capital One premium card he has, but then again, he hasn’t lost his yet. If Capital One wants to play in the premium credit card market, they need to offer premium credit card services to its clientele. Alternatively, they could revise their protocol, I can’t imagine a single executive for the bank would have gone through this and said, “yeah, that’s a good process.” A word to the wise, don’t lose your Capital One credit card, it’s literally irreplaceable.
What do you think? Have you had a similar experience with Capital One? How did other banks treat you when you lost your cards?
Chalk up another one for Capital One in the “con” column.
I just lost my wallet, and received a new one yesterday. Bunch of BS!
The app for capital one and most banks let you lock the card. I’ve used that instead when I misplaced it. Thanks for reporting on attempts to send to a non home address. I’ve never tried
While Capital One has been improving its points program and credit card offerings, its performance as a basic bank / credit card offerer is still basically subprime, and is well below Amex/Chase. Which is why I would never recommend going with Capital One as a primary card.
Ultimately, this is the issue with Crapital One. The products they offer are decent, but if something goes wrong, they’re terrible to deal with. I’ve never had to deal with a lost card, but on a trip to Romania several years ago, C1 put a fraud block on my debit card when I tried to withdraw cash at an ATM in Bucharest – even though I submitted a travel notification that I’d be in Romania both online and over the phone prior to leaving the country. Naturally, their customer service for C1 360 accounts isn’t 24/7, so I had to wait until evening Romania time to call. Only to have them place a fraud block AGAIN when I tried to use it, requiring yet another call. Granted, Chase is just as bad about fraud blocks “for your protection” even when you tell them you’re traveling, but at least they provide 24/7 service and it’s not nearly the ordeal to get them undone.
I have absolutely no interest to deal with Capital One. It looks like they are in the Stone Age of banking and I had several question marks when everyone was rushing to get their card and I still have them. When it comes to money, better deal with the pros!!!
@Kyle: No sure how you travel but when I travel internationally I only bring 1 Amex, 1 Visa and 1 Mastercard with me. Those cards are also on my phone so you can basically use the phone to pay in Europe. I also bring my debit card. The debit card stays at the hotel with one of my passport always (I always carry two passports, US and EU when I go to Europe) as well as my US DL if I don’t plan to drive. For the 3 cards I carry with me in a small travel wallet together with no more than 200 euros in cash, I have PDF copies of them on my phone saved on iCloud. Thus, in the case my wallet is lost or stolen, I can quickly work on cancelling 3 credit cards and the main loss is 200 euros. Nothing else!!!! I see tourists opening their wallets and they are gigantic and fat, loaded with all sorts of cards, documents, etc… that are all useless in a travel to a foreign country. Who needs to carry medical insurance card? Costco membership card? DL if you don’t plan to drive? AAA card? BTW, all these are available electronically (other than DL) if you ever need them. Want to carry all these? Leave in the hotel safe.
Especially in Europe, the mobile credit card is a game changer. That and the fact you pay at the table makes it so easy.
while it does definitely highlight a huge need for improvement for Capital One, a couple of things stand out in your criticism.
1. the first page you linked is from Capital One’s learn and grow section, which exists to educate consumers in general about credit cards. The page was general information on what to do if you lost a credit card, not what to do if you specifically lost your Capital One credit card – linking to the FTC and giving general information on things that people might not immediately consider is not that terrible of an idea.
You may want to consider securely storing your credit card information (and even images of the card) in a digital vault on your phone or computer – I use 1Password (not sponsored), there are many more, and I’ve put all of the relevant card info – including phone numbers and card numbers in the vault for situations exactly like this.
As an IT Infrastructure and Security Consultant, one of the things I find myself telling my clients is the issue with losing your card is you don’t have the phone number or card number to help you sort it out, because it is on the card that you lost. Calling the regular customer service number would have been all that was required.
As for their customer service, definitely tons of room for improvement, although if their rules specifically say that they want “state-issued” photo ID, and you provide them with federally issued photo ID, even though it is as good or better, you did not provide them with what they want.
They could have done better for sure, but I think part of this might be on you this time Kyle
just as a follow up to my own comment – from the main capital one page, if you click on the little help icon in the top corner, one of the main options is to report a lost or stolen credit card, which you can do online through the website or the app, as well as the phone number listed directly below the information.
I am consistently amazed by the professionalism of Chase and how they make things easy to get done.
Capital One has friendly agents but I’ve found them to be hard to deal with if something is not cookie cutter. So this doesn’t surprise me very much.
Will likely cancel this card next year. Especially since they blamed no longer supporting Priority Pass restaurants on changes at VISA. Lol. Funny how Chase continues to be able to provide this useful service when a lounge is not available or is a better option.
Capital One is definitely behind AMEX and Chase in several important areas in this regard.
Kyle, I have only had issues with Capital One requiring me to email the office of the CEO for resolution.
Only after reaching out to the CEOs office did they get the ball rolling and fix their issue which was getting a new card issued.
It should not require such effort, but the is Cap one for you.
After they solved their issue, I cancelled the card and haven’t looked back.
“My next call was to American Express as some of their cards feature no limits and my exposure could be large if someone had nefarious purposes with my lost card.”
Um. No. Your “exposure” would be $0 … They could buy a Porsche and a vacation home on Lake Como and uojr liability, with once call, is $0 … stop with the FUD for clicks.
@J – I’m unfamiliar with “FUD” but to be clear, while I may have no liability, it doesn’t mean I won’t have a huge mess until it’s untangled. For what it’s worth, I have a good friend that was held liable for charges on a missing card because they didn’t report it quickly enough.
FUD is fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Back in the day, IBM was known to fan the flames of FUD regarding competitors who might get the job done, but we’re not “the gold standard” like IBM.
@LarryFromOregon – Thanks for that. While you weren’t necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with the commenter that suggested I was deploying FUD. I stand by my post that Capital One, in my experience, dropped the ball (and has yet to pick it up) while other banks in a side-by-side comparison did far better. Others have stated they had a great experience with Capital One and at least two commenters had terrible experiences with AMEX. Neither change my experience but do add talking points to the discussion.
I appreciate you contributing the explanation and history.
Why do you think they are called Crap1? This is a bank that made its fortune as a subprime lender with secured cards and belatedly entered the premium mileage card game. Personally I had no problem cancelling online and ordering a replacement, but of course that option isn’t avail if you aren’t in front of a computer.
I had a frustrating experience with Amex afte a fraud incident where I had to wait in hold to speak to a fraud specialist to order a replacement card. This is inexcusable when you are overseas.
I think you’ve probably learned your lesson – always have the app on your phone (and pre texted with login) before departing on your trip. I also have iPhone contacts for all my card issuers with the stolen card telephone numbers so I don’t have to look them up on the fly.
Crap1 is actually one of my primary cards overseas as there is no forex and there is little inconvenience if it is lost or stolen as I never use them at home. But maybe I need to rethink that strategy in light of your experience.
This sounds like a reminder that it’s a good idea to keep a soft copy of my DL and Passport somewhere in case I need it as well.
I use a password manager, 1Password, and keep all credit card numbers, bank phone #, and copy of passport and driver’s license.
@Derek – It’s not a terrible idea and we have the data elsewhere on encrypted services accessible from a laptop but I guess my point is more for someone who can’t get a laptop out or doesn’t have the information to hand. If you’re Cap1 and you’re setting up a process for someone who has lost their card, why would the first question be “what’s your credit card number?”
AMEX shut down my Platinum card in the middle of the Kruger park in South Africa. They would not ship my replacement to the hotel I would be at in Amsterdam in a few days. I always thought AMEX was designed for US travellers abroad, but they apparently suck as bad as Capital One.
Don’t even get me started on Capital One. After going through their idiotic identity verification thing you detail above for a stupid Walmart card, they wanted proof of income. After sending them my 40 page federal tax return, they still didn’t think I qualified because I filed jointly with my wife, well duh. There was no way to apply jointly on the application (though I did list my wife as an additional card member). Customer support was so godawful that I cancelled to two other brand loyalty cards (Cabelas/BassPro and Williams-Sonoma) also hosted at CapOne.
I’m not sure why I read this far, but here we are. The whole accounting of your experience seems dramatic and a bit whiney. It suggests we to rush to close our Capital One accounts based on one user’s experience?
What has made us so attracted to the sensationalism of negativity, and missing elements of common sense? I’d expect to see this kind of commentary in a review, not as an article from a “travel writer.” Lucky you that you are paid for this.
@Chris – Welcome. As a first-time commenter, you might not be familiar with the decade of content preceding this post. I point out in detail unnecessary to an article solely about Capital One that other banks were able to deliver fairly easily. I didn’t siggest that anyone close out their Capital One accounts nor did I say that I would. I also owned that I lost my wallet temporarily and that it was my fault. I’m not sure how else I can portray a poor customer service experience in a positive light and our readership make personal fianncial decisions based on understanding what it’s like to do business with credit card companies, hotel chains, and airlines. How would one spin this into a positive experience, and how authentic would that be based on my account?
I had my purse stolen about a year ago, including my Capitol One card. I believe I went through the app to report it stolen/request a replacement. I had no issues doing so. Sorry to hear your experience was so different.
I lost my Capitol One Vantage card on the way to the airport. I called customer service, explained that I had lost my card. As I had a back up card I requested that a replacement be sent to my home. The entire call took less than 10 minutes. The new card was waiting when I returned home. In the meantime I received an email saying that the new card was in the mail. I have had previous p rproblems with my number being stolen. Capitol One has always handled problems quickly.
I can’t speak to the shipping international/travel address, but when my wallet was stolen I had zero issues getting my card replaced from Capital One. It took about 6 minutes total and the new one arrived before any of my other replacements did.
@Tyler – I am glad that was your experience, I wish it had been mine.
Capital. One phoned me a few hours before our trip to California to inform me that my card number had appeared on the list of hacked numbers and they were replacing the card. I had intended to travel on that card, but fortunately I had others, so I used a different card. Capital one replaced my card with a new one and it was waiting for me three days after their phone call.
Easy solution here: file an online complaint with the Consumer Financial Protect Bureau. No, they likely won’t open an investigation. But their platform will automatically route your complaint to a regulatory/escalations specialist (read: adult supervisor and competent, responsive employee). Even better, your complaint will serve as a data point for the CFPB’s monitoring trends. So down the road, your shared experience might help other consumers dealing with C1’s poor service.
Capital one is freaking fantastic compared to Synchrony bank. What a nightmare try to communicate with someone that at best has studied the English language by watching reruns of Hill Street Blues.
Had Capital One cancel my card during the middle of a vacation. The mistakenly detected as fraud a purchase I called into the a US merchant while I was in Italy. I tried to explain all the charges were me but they didn’t care. Took weeks to get a new card sent to my home addresss. No way they were sending the card to my hotel. But I was able through the app to get the new card into my iPhone wallet. Without the app you are SOL however.
I recently lost mine. Yes it was very tedious oroving and answering all the questions. What really amazed me is the length of time for replacement. More than 5 days isnt very giid service.
Don’t travel with your credit cards all in one place.
Lock a lost credit card and hold off reporting it lost until you’re sure.
I have had two Capital One credit cards for 22 years and a checking/savings account for several years. The company has been nothing but helpful to me. During periods of financial stress they have been flexible and helped me maintain my account and my credit rating. My free checks arrive overnight. I don’t get charged for an overdraft. My deposits get credited two days early. I worked with the fraud office after several unauthorized charges appeared. They were responsive and the issue was resolved without hassle.
I’ve never had an issue with my Cap One card and have always been able to get through to customer service and get results quickly. From having my card compromised in Mexico, to payment issues to lost a card, it’s by far my favorite card out of the several I have.
Very interesting experience; similar to what I had. After having a Capital One card (using often for almost ten years), I lost my wallet – actually damaged by fire. Capital One CS was terrible. Would not send an new card to me at my account address (home) or verification to my email without me sending in my Federal ID, (passport) in color; which I did not want to send as a fully color scan over the Internet. After that I just did not use the card for 10 months. I could not get them to send me a new one to my house (the account address). Finally Capital One simple sent a replacement card to me because the original card had timed out and expired. I activated the replacement card by the automated system, and have since used it a couple of times. All works okay. I’ll just will never let the Capital One Card out of my home or my hand, it might get lost or damaged again. Their CS is the worst. I could not agree more with your article.
Same result as you
Same problem with Capital One although we weren’t traveling. Our card got skimmed somewhere. No flags went up with Capital One when on two separate dates a total of 10 attempts were made to purchase from Microsoft with zeo amount charged, so Capital One did not alert us. Their mistake. Then over a week after the suspected location of where our card was skimmed, the big fraud charge came in from a Las Vegas casino box office, that motivated Capital One to alert us. We uploaded scan of passport to prove identity; they take 2 days to decide they didn’t want a federal ID, only state driver’s license. Uploaded scans of front & back of DL; they take 2 days to decide they cannot read the back side only of the DL & want a larger scan. Uploaded two 4″ x 6″ jpgs of DL front & back; they take 2 days to decide they still cannot read the back. The back side of our DLs only indicate whether you are an organ donor & if you wear glasses. This is all coming from their Pakistan/India division where you hear crying babies, clucking chickens, & dogs barking in the background. That was the last straw….we will pay the final bill & close the account after 20 years of using Capital One.