Credit Card Charge Becomes A Headache For A Wake County Woman
Posted May 17, 2002 10:10 a.m. EDT
WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — Sometimes it is tempting to not open mail if you think you know what is inside. Joan Walle, of Wake County, learned that doing so can create a big hassle.
"I won't do that again. I promise you," she said.
Last August, Walle called her credit card company, Capital One, to get the exact payoff amount.
Walle electronically paid the $4,500 bill right away. She assumed she had a zero balance.
When her next statement came she said, "I didn't open it because I was looking for that zero balance. So I just filed it away in the cabinet and I just let it go."
Walle did not realize she still owed $4.95 in finance charges until she opened the next statement. Inside she found the interest charge, plus a $29 late fee.
She called Capital One to straighten out the bill.
According to Walle, a Capital One customer service representative told her to pay the $4.95 and they would reverse the $29 fee, leaving her with a zero balance.
"So that's what I did, only that's not what happened," Walle said.
The next statement showed not only that $29, but another $29 plus interest. It then snowballed into a total of $122.
Walle continued to call Capital One and a collection agency continued to call her.
"It took them one keystroke to ruin my credit that I had spent years building," she said.
Five On Your Side called Capital One. The company immediately apologized, cleared Walle's account, and agreed to contact the credit bureaus to clear her credit report.
Walle's latest statement shows a zero balance.
"Is it over? I don't know. There's always next month's bill," she said with a laugh.
Capital One could not tell Five On Your Side why the case was not resolved early on. The company said it might take up to six months to get Walle's credit cleared up.