Consumer Law

New credit card terms provide for home and workplace visits, phone call spoofing

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Capital One doesn’t actually do this, a spokeswoman tells a newspaper columnist.

But the language in a recent amendment to the credit card issuer’s contract with consumers says “we may contact you in any manner we choose,” including personal visits to a customer’s home or workplace. The contract language also allows Cap One to engage in spoofing, placing phone calls that seemingly come from other entities, just like some telemarketers, an Orlando Sentinel columnist reports.

“We may modify or suppress caller ID and similar services and identify ourselves on these services in any manner we choose,” as the contract puts it.

In fact, spokeswoman Pam Girardo tells Orlando Sentinel columnist David Lazarus, the company would send a representative to visit a consumer’s home only in rare circumstances—such as a when an expensive piece of sports equipment, like a Jet Ski or snowmobile, needs to be repossessed. Similarly, the language about phone calls is intended to cover situations in which an exchange routing Cap One calls displays an unrelated number. The company wants its own number to be displayed, but doesn’t always have control over this, Girardo says, and “Capital One does not visit our cardholders, nor do we send debt collectors to their homes or work.”

So why does the contract language, seemingly, provide for a broader range of activities than Cap One actually intends to engage in? Lazarus asked Girardo. The language in the amendment, she said, is under review.

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